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Aussies Will Test Pot On Kids With Drug-Resistant Epilepsy

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Craig Boudreau Vice Reporter
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Queensland, Australia, will hold clinical trials with a chemical compound in marijauna for 30 children who suffer from drug-resistant epilepsy, with the hope it will reduce the number of seizures they suffer.

U.K.-based GW Pharmaceuticals just completed another set of clinical trials for the Cannibidiol-based (CBDEpidiolex. CBD is a chemical in marijuana that does not get the user high. The company says the drug proved “safe and effective” in treating children with acute cases of epilepsy. Researchers are now looking to try the treatment on children with drug-resistant epilepsy, according to the publication Marijuana.

“We now look forward to seeking regulatory approval for Epidiolex across the world,” Dr. Geoffrey Guy, chairman of GW Pharma, told Marijuana Thursday.

“The news is exciting, but not so novel,” Jacqueline French, MD, the chief scientific officer of the Epilepsy Foundation and a professor of neurology at New York University, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “They now join a large number of U.S. states that have already been studying Epidiolex.”

CBD has a track record of effectiveness in treating a wide range of seizure disorders. According to a study done in March by the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), CBD treatment has been shown to reduce seizure activity.

“The evidence of seizure reduction gives us hope that, the more we learn about CBD oil, the better we will be able to tailor this therapy to provide relief for those with severe epilepsy,” professor of Neurology at UAB, Jerzy Szaflarski, M.D., Ph.D., said in the report republished by Science Daily.

Normal clinical trials usually involve a placebo group which doesn’t receive the drug as a means to test effectiveness, but all 30 children will be receiving Epidiolex for this trial. TheDCNF did not get a response from GW Pharma as to why there will be no placebo group.

Noting that there is no cure for drug-resistant epilepsy, Dick says he wants the families and children to know that they “are doing everything we can to ease their suffering.”

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