Use of Medical Cannabis and its derivatives for the anticonvulsant property in Epileptic patients along with Ethical considerations: a Review

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJCR.2014.03.01.Art014

Authors : Kavita Gupta


The present study focused on the use of medicinal cannabis and its derivatives for the treatment of epileptic seizures in children, as well as, adults. “Epilepsy” defined as a chronic non-communicable disorder of the brain had shown to affect people of all age groups. There were many conventional treatments discovered up till date to minimize and alleviate the symptoms produced as a result of epilepsy, yet none among them could provide the long term safety and efficacy of the interventional drug. On the other hand, increased resistance to conventional drug therapy is another issue which has made researchers to think for the alternative treatment for the long run. On an average, it had been estimated that approximately, 50 million people worldwide were suffering from epilepsy, which thus made it one of the most common neurological diseases globally. Epilepsy accounted for 0. 75%, of the global burden of disease due to premature mortality, lost work productivity, health care needs and unhealthy quality of life. In 2012, epilepsy was responsible for approximately 20. 6 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost. According to WHO survey, it was estimated that about 80% of the people suffering from epilepsy resided in low- and middle-income countries in which three fourths of people could not access the treatment due to cost-effective or non-availability of the treatment in comparison to the people who availed the conventional treatment responded to only approximately 70% of the time. Besides, in many parts of the world, people with epilepsy and their families suffered a lot from stigma and discrimination therefore, making it a social economic burden for hampering the quality of life of the patient as well as, that of the patient caregivers. Several countries (including Canada, Netherlands, and Israel) and 23 of 50 states in the United States had permitted the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, with or without undergoing a systematic medicines approval process. Epilepsy-related deaths are a significant public health problem, yet are poorly understood and often overlooked. Hence, people with epilepsy are two to three times more likely to die prematurely than people without the disease which is surely a matter of concern to both the health providers and the patient.

Keywords: ‘cannabis’, ‘marijuana’, ‘cannabinoids’, ‘tetrahydrocannabinol’, ‘THC’, ‘Pediatric’ ‘cannabidiol’, ‘CBD’, ‘cannabidivarin’, ‘CBDV’, ‘seizures’ and ‘epilepsy’


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