Purpose of Review: To summarize current understanding of the role of endocannabinoids as well as exogenous cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabiniol and cannabidiol in the functions of the body, including the brain, and to explore the role of cannabidiol in the treatment of pediatric epilepsy. Recent Findings: Previously, the evidence supporting the role of cannabidiol in the treatment of epilepsy was largely anecdotal. In 2017, two randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trials suggested that cannabidiol may be effective in the treatment of epilepsy, though conclusions about both seizure reduction and adverse effects are clouded by the large number of patients taking concomitant anti-seizure medications (such as valproic acid and clobazam) whose serum levels are often increased with the administration of cannabidiol. Summary: Cannabidiol has been well-tolerated in pediatric patients and may be an effective treatment for medically intractable epilepsy. Future studies that control for concomitant administration of clobazam and/or valproic acid are necessary.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health