A collaboration between a UK research team and international medicine manufacturers may lead to a ‘milestone’ treatment for epilepsy. This treatment appears more bearable than current epilepsy medicines – and is based on cannabis.
A research team at the University of Reading performed the research, which was recently published in The British Journal of Pharmacology. Their research explored the use of cannibidivarin – a natural chemical called a ‘cannabinoid’ from the cannabis plant.
Cannibidivarin does not have psychoactive properties (anyone taking a drug based on this chemical will not feel ‘high’ as a result). It appears to reduce seizure frequency in laboratory animals with epilepsy and has fewer side-effects than traditional epilepsy medicines. The new drug can also be safely combined with regular medications.
Lead study author, Dr Ben Whalley, said: “This is an enormously exciting milestone in our investigations into non-psychoactive elements of cannabis as treatments for epilepsy. Our work has highlighted the potential for a solution based on cannabinoid science. It has shown that cannabidivarin is the most effective and best tolerated anticonvulsant plant cannabinoid investigated to date.””