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|Title||Composition and Use of Cannabis Extracts for Childhood Epilepsy in the Australian Community|
|Author(s)||Suraev A. et al.|
|Journal, Volume, Issue||Sci Rep. ;8(1):10154.|
|Major outcome(s)||THC and CBD content in products used for self-treatment of Australian children with epilepsy varies considerably|
Recent surveys suggest that many parents are using illicit cannabis extracts in the hope of managing seizures in their children with epilepsy. In the current Australian study we conducted semi-structured interviews with families of children with diverse forms of epilepsy to explore their attitudes towards and experiences with using cannabis extracts. This included current or previous users of cannabis extracts to treat their child's seizures (n = 41 families), and families who had never used (n = 24 families). For those using cannabis, extracts were analysed for cannabinoid content, with specific comparison of samples rated by families as "effective" versus those rated "ineffective". Results showed that children given cannabis extracts tended to have more severe epilepsy historically and had trialled more anticonvulsants than those who had never received cannabis extracts. There was high variability in the cannabinoid content and profile of cannabis extracts rated as "effective", with no clear differences between extracts perceived as "effective" and "ineffective". Contrary to family's expectations, most samples contained low concentrations of cannabidiol, while Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol was present in nearly every sample. These findings highlight profound variation in the illicit cannabis extracts being currently used in Australia and warrant further investigations into the therapeutic value of cannabinoids in epilepsy.
|Type of publication||Medical journal|
|Address of author(s)|