Epilepsy is one of the most common conditions treated with medical cannabis, but there are no guidelines on how to apply the herb safely. A group of Irish neurologists is going to develop recommendations on the safe use of cannabis for people with epilepsy.
The Royal College of Physicians in Ireland has created a clinical advisory group of neurologists who will work on the instructions for patients and doctors on the safe treatment of epilepsy with cannabis products.
Dr. Colin Doherty, who represented the expert group, told The Irish Times that not all cannabis derivatives were appropriate for treating epilepsy, as there were some that could be potentially harmful to the children's brain.
As the group was set on including all patients with seizures, they wanted to ensure that cannabis-infused medications were safe and helpful for people with epilepsy. As for kids, they are more susceptible to the choice of cannabinoids as their brain is still developing.
The expert group confirmed that severe epilepsy had a destructive impact on the health of adults and kids. Dr. Doherty also said that they understood the feeling of desperation of parents who had children suffering from epileptic seizures.
Analyzing the available scientific evidence, neurologists concluded that Epidiolex, a cannabidiol (CBD) product, was safe enough for treating severe epilepsy.
America is now considering the use of Epidiolex to treat epileptic seizures, while Ireland is also expecting to make this medicine available later this year.
According to Dr. Doherty, this cannabis product has already been thoroughly investigated by scientists. Thus, it can be advised as an effective and safe option for people with epilepsy. Meanwhile, cannabis derivatives that contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) have not been adequately tested yet.
The main problem of prescribing cannabis products for treating epilepsy is that there are not enough clinical tests of their long-term impact, so Dr. Doherty does not recommend to use other derivatives except CBD-infused Epidiolex, as they have not been approved by any licensing and scientific authority.