Chronic Administration of Cannabidiol to Healthy Volunteers and Epileptic PatientsCunha J.M. · Carlini E.A. · Pereira A.E. · Ramos O.L. · Pimentel C. · Gagliardi R. · Sanvito W.L. · Lander N. · Mechoulam R.
Departamento de Psicobiologia, Departamento de Medicina, Departamento de Neurologia, Escola Paulista de Medicina; Departamento de Neurologia, Faculdade de Medicina da Santa Casa, São Paulo, and Department of Natural Products, Pharmacy School, Hebrew University, Jerusalem
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In phase 1 of the study, 3 mg/kg daily of cannabidiol (CBD) was given for 30 days to 8 healthy human volunteers. Another 8 volunteers received the same number of identical capsules containing glucose as placebo in a double-blind setting. Neurological and physical examinations, blood and urine analysis, ECG and EEG were performed at weekly intervals. In phase 2 of the study, 15 patients suffering from secondary generalized epilepsy with temporal focus were randomly divided into two groups. Each patient received, in a double-blind procedure, 200-300 mg daily of CBD or placebo. The drugs were administered for as long as 4½ months. Clinical and laboratory examinations, EEG and ECG were performed at 15- or 30-day intervals. Throughout the experiment the patients continued to take the antiepileptic drugs prescribed before the experiment, although these drugs no longer controlled the signs of the disease. All patients and volunteers tolerated CBD very well and no signs of toxicity or serious side effects were detected on examination. 4 of the 8 CBD subjects remained almost free of convulsive crises throughout the experiment and 3 other patients demonstrated partial improvement in their clinical condition. CBD was ineffective in 1 patient. The clinical condition of 7 placebo patients remained unchanged whereas the condition of 1 patient clearly improved. The potential use of CBD as an antiepileptic drug and its possible potentiating effect on other antiepileptic drugs are discussed.
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