Medical Cannabis Review Articles and Reports on Seizures

Medical Cannabis Review Articles and Reports on Seizures

The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research
A report published by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.  2017. 
A rigorous review of relevant scientific research published since 1999, summarizing the current state of evidence regarding what is known about the health impacts of cannabis and cannabis-derived products, including effects related to therapeutic uses of cannabis and potential health risks related to certain cancers, diseases, mental health disorders, and injuries.  Sections on evidence of therapeutic effects include: chronic pain, cancer treatment, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, anorexia and weight loss associated with HIV/AIDS, cancer-associated anorexia-cachexia syndrome, anorexia nervosa, irritable bowel syndrome, epilepsy, spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury, Tourette syndrome, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, dementia, glaucoma, traumatic brain injury/intracerebral hemorrhage, substance addiction, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia and other psychoses.  Chapters summarizing evidence of harms include: cancer, cardiometabolic risk, respiratory disease, immunity, injury and death, prenatal/perinatal/neonatal exposure, psychosocial, mental health, cannabis use problems, and abuse of other substances.

A Review of Medical Cannabis Studies relating to Chemical Compositions and Dosages for Qualifying Medical Conditions (PDF)
Office of Medical Cannabis.
Summary of clinical trials and prospective observational studies in humans, published in peer-reviewed journals, which focus on medical cannabis formulations consistent with Minnesota’s medical cannabis program.

Information for Health Care Professionals: Cannabis and the cannabinoids (PDF)
Health Canada. February, 2013.
Endocannabinoid system, clinical pharmacology, dosing, potential therapeutic uses (by condition), precautions, warnings, adverse effects, and overdose/toxicity.

Handbook of Cannabis
Roger G Pertwee, Oxford University Press, 2014. 747 pages.

  • Constituents, History, International Control, Cultivation, and Phenotypes of Cannabis
  • Pharmacology, Pharmacokinetics, Metabolism, and Forensics
  • Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Clinical Data
  • Approved Therapeutic Targets for Phytocannabinoids: Preclinical Pharmacology
  • Some Potential Therapeutic Targets for Phytocannabinoids
  • Recreational Cannabis: Sought-After Effects, Adverse Effects, Designer Drugs, and Harm Minimization

Cannabis: The Evidence for Medical Use
Barnes MP, Barnes JC. Report published by Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust, May 2016.
Literature review and discussion of strength of evidence of effectiveness for a wide variety of medical conditions.  This report was commissioned by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform (UK).  The authors note they received no renumeration other than a small grand from the APPG for Drug Policy Reform for their work and that they have no commercial interests in cannabis or cannabis products.  The report includes good discussions of the evidence – or lack thereof – for long-term negative effects often ascribed to marijuana use: psychotic disorders, dependence, respiratory system cancer, cognition, amotivational syndrome, and decreased brain volume.

Cannabinoids in treatment-resistant epilepsy: A review.
OConnell BK, Gloss D, Devinsky O. Cannabinoids in treatment-resistant epilepsy: A review. Epilepsy & Behavior 2017;70:341-348.
Review article listing and describing briefly clinical trials and open-label studies using cannabidiol (CBD) preparations carried out in recent years. All of these were conducted using CBD preparations produced by GW Pharma, the company that has been most active conducting research to commercialize cannabinoid medications. Devinsky was active in some of the open-label studies included in the review. Gloss is an evidence-based medicine consultant for the American Academy of Neurology. O’Connell is affiliated with the NYU Epilepsy Center in New York City.

Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Epilepsy
Friedman D, Devinsky O. NEJM. 2015;373:1048-1058. 
Review article covering pre-clinical and clinical (human) studies of effectiveness and safety using cannabinoids to treat epilepsy.

Current Status and Prospects for Cannabidiol Preparations as New Therapeutic Agents
Fasinu PS, Phillips S, ElSohly MA, Walker LA. Pharmacotherapy 2016;36:781-796. 
Review article that provides an overview of the pharmacology and toxicology of cannabidiol (CBD), summarizes some of the regulatory, safety, and cultural issues relevant to further exploitation of its antiepileptic or other pharmacologic activities, and assesses the current status and prospects for clinical development of CBD and CBD-rich preparations for medical use in the United States.  Includes a summary listing of clinical trials of cannabis products listed in  The authors are U of Mississippi faculty associated with that institution’s National Center for Natural Products Research.

Drug Interactions Between Pharmaceutical Grade Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil and Commonly Used Anti-Epileptic Drugs (AEDS)
Gaston T, Liu Y, Cutter G, Bebin E, Szaflarski J. Abstract 2.208 at American Epilepsy Society (December) 2016 Annual Meeting. 
Treatment-resistant epilepsy patients enrolled in the State of Alabama CBD open-label safety study were studied with frequent monitoring of serum AED levels.  A flexible CBD dose adjustment schedule was used, starting at 5 mg/kg/day and increasing to tolerability and seizure control every two weeks by 5 mg/kg/day up to a maximum of 50 mg/kg/day.  Sufficient data points were gathered to analyze potential interactions between CBD and 19 AEDs.  Increase in serum levels of topiramate, rufinamide, and desmethylclobazam (active metabolite of clobazam) and decrease in levels of clobazam with increasing CBD dose was seen in combined pediatric and adult arms.  In addition, a significant increase in serum levels of zonisamide and eslicarbazepine with increasing CBD dose was seen in the adult arm only.  There were no significant interactions seen between CBD and the other AEDs investigated.

Updated Tuesday, August 06, 2019 at 11:27AM