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2023 Study: Non-medical Cannabis for Epilepsy

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A 2023 study entitled "Use of Non-Medical Cannabis in Epilepsy: A Scoping Review" that was published in the journal Neurology sought to "summarize the literature on recreational/non-medical cannabis (NMC) use in people with epilepsy (PWE), focusing on the experience, habits, and beliefs of PWE regarding NMC."

A boy experiencing an epileptic seizure.
Does cannabis help epilepsy?

Non-medical Cannabis for Epilepsy Study

Non-medical Cannabis for Epilepsy Study. The study, in the form of a literature review of prior studies, searched four online databases for studies about cannabis use for epilepsy. "NMC was defined as cannabis products procured from sources other than by prescription," explained the study's authors. Data gathered pertained to demographics of participants, cannabis use, and epilepsy characteristics.


"The study, in the form of a literature review of prior studies, searched four online databases for studies about cannabis use for epilepsy."

The researchers screened 3,228 study reports, of which 66 were included (45 of which were regarding mainly adult samples and 21 of which were for pediatric samples). Most of the studies reviewed were published after 2010.

A cannabis fan leaf.
Cannabis reduces epileptic seizures.

Non-medical Cannabis for Epilepsy Study Results

"The lifetime prevalence of NMC use in PWE was variable, ranging between 0.7 percent and 77 percent," reported the study. It noted that factors affecting use of non-medical cannabis for epilepsy included gender (with males more likely to consume cannabis) and age (with younger people more like to indulge). In children, non-medical cannabis was consumed orally and primarily for seizure control. Adults consumed cannabis mostly by smoking and used variable CBD/THC ratios.


"Most of the studies reviewed observed that non-medical cannabis helped reduce seizure activity."

Most of the studies reviewed observed that non-medical cannabis helped reduce seizure activity. The present study concluded that "the literature on NMC use in PWE is sparse and heterogeneous, with many salient knowledge gaps. Further research is necessary to better understand the experience, habits, and beliefs of PWE pertaining to NMC."


View the original study.

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