Pilot Study Finds “CBD is Effective for Reducing Seizure Frequency and Anxiety Symptoms”

According to a pilot study published by the journal Biological Psychiatry, the marijuana compound cannabidiol (CBD) “is effective for reducing seizure frequency and anxiety symptoms, with most patients showing reductions over time.”

Conducted by researchers from Wayne State University and the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, the study is titled Effects of Cannabidiol Treatment on Anxiety, Seizure Frequency, and Plasma Endocannabinoid Concentrations in Pediatric Epilepsy Patients: A Pilot Study.

The study notes that CBD, specifically Epidiolex, is FDA-approved for the treatment of epilepsy in children and adults. However, “the mechanism of CBD in the treatment of epilepsy is not entirely clear.” With that in mind, for this study the “impact of CBD treatment on anxiety and endocannabinoid signaling, in individuals with or without epilepsy” is examined.

“Here, we present preliminary data from an ongoing 4-6 week observational prospective study of patients as they began CBD treatment for refractory epilepsy”, states the study’s abstract. “We examined weekly changes in parent-reported seizure frequency and anxiety symptoms, and plasma endocannabinoid concentrations, from baseline to week 1 of treatment and study end. Baseline endocannabinoid concentrations were compared with a group of age-matched individuals without epilepsy.”


Researchers found that “Most participants showed a reduction in seizure frequency (90%) and anxiety symptoms (60%) from baseline to the study end though these effects did not reach statistical significance.”

There was, however, “a significant decrease in seizures and anxiety symptoms within the first week of treatment (p<0.05). Compared to controls, individuals with epilepsy had showed higher baseline endocannabinoid levels which reduced after starting treatment”.

Researchers conclude:

These data indicate that CBD is effective for reducing seizure frequency and anxiety symptoms, with most patients showing reductions over time. Although preliminary, our data suggest that CBD treatment may correct endocannabinoid system dysregulation in epilepsy.

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