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Cannabidiol (CBD) and Dravet syndrome

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Only one CBD-based drug is currently approved in Switzerland – Sativex. This THC- and CBD-based oral spray is used for moderate to severe multiple sclerosis. However, for drugs based only on CBD, there is no approval in Switzerland so far. This is due to the fact that research into the medical application and effect of CBD is still in its infancy at the present time. So far, the only thing that has been proven in clinical studies is its effect on epileptic diseases, especially in children suffering from Dravet syndrome. In the following article you will learn everything you need to know about the treatment of Dravet syndrome with CBD.

Dravet syndrome is a very rare and usually very severe neurological disease first described in 1978. The cause is a mutation or loss of a specific gene on chromosome 2. The disease usually occurs in previously healthy children already in the first year of life. Large epileptic seizures occur, some of which can last more than 20 minutes. In most cases, they can only be stopped by medication and often require immediate emergency medical attention. The prognosis for most children suffering from Dravet syndrome is not very good and in many cases major mental disabilities and lifelong impairments must be expected.

The disease is considered to be very resistant to therapy. There are very few drugs available worldwide that can improve the seizure situation and make life more bearable for the affected children. It is precisely into this gap that treatments with CBD could advance in certain cases. Clinical studies now exist on the efficacy of CBD for epileptic seizures in children suffering from Dravet syndrome. In the most well-founded study, 120 children were divided into two groups. The first half received 20mg CBD/kg body weight (and the standard prescribed medication) over a period of time, while the second received only a placebo (and also the standard prescribed medication). In 43% of the children treated with CBD, the frequency of seizures was reduced by more than half. In the placebo group, improvement was seen in only 27%. Fortunately, the number of seizures could even be reduced to 0 in 5% of the children in the CBD group, whereas this was not achieved in any child in the placebo group.

In summary, it can be stated that CBD in combination with standard medications can help children with Dravet syndrome and significantly alleviate their suffering. This can be chalked up as a scientific success – precisely because CBD is a natural therapy supplement with few side effects.

Very briefly:
The medical effects of CBD have not been well researched. Only as a remedy against epileptic seizures its effectiveness has been clinically proven so far. Especially in children suffering from Dravet syndrome, very good therapeutic successes are achieved.

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