Researchers at University of Reading in Britain have identified a chemical present in the cannabis plant that could be used in developing effective treatment for epilepsy without any major side effects.
The researchers, working in collaboration with GW Pharmaceuticals and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, found that cannabidivarin, or CBDV, reduced the number of seizures in mice afflicted with over six different types of epilepsy without any side effects, such as uncontrollable shaking, caused by currently available anti-epilepsy drugs.
Lead researcher Dr Ben Whalley said that the study, published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, could pave the way of development of more effective treatments for epilepsy. "There is a pressing need for better treatments for epilepsy. It's a chronic condition with no cure and currently, in around one third of cases, the currently available treatments do not work, cause serious side-effects and increase fatalities", he said.