Researchers from the University of Saskatchewan have published the preliminary results of an ongoing and ground-breaking study showing that CanniMed® 1:20 cannabis oil, which is high in CBD and low in THC, can significantly reduce or even completely stop seizures in young children with severe and drug-resistant forms of epilepsy. These results, recently published in the scientific journal Frontiers in Neurology, also provide guidance on dosing for CanniMed® 1:20 oil in children with severe epilepsy.
The research was led by pediatric neurologist, Dr. Richard Huntsman of the University of Saskatchewan and the Cannabinoid Research Initiative of Saskatchewan.
“What makes these results really exciting is it opens up a treatment option for kids who have failed to respond to traditional medications,” Dr. Huntsman said in a press release announcing the findings.
Dosing was based on the children’s weight. When CanniMed® 1:20 oil was administered at 10 to 12 milligrams per kilogram of weight per day, all of the study’s young participants experienced a reduction in seizures, most by more than 50 per cent. Additionally, all of the seven participants, who were between the ages of one and 10, saw improvements in their quality of life.
“Some of the improvements in quality of life were really dramatic with some of the children having huge improvements in their ability to communicate with their families,” Dr. Huntsman explained in the press release. “Some of these children started to talk or crawl for the first time. They became more interactive with their families and loved ones.”
By assessing the children and measuring their plasma THC levels at each dosage increase, the study investigators also found that the dosages used did not cause THC-related intoxication. This was an important finding because, until now, physicians have had very little dosing guidance for cannabis-based medicine for severe pediatric epilepsy and health care providers have also expressed concerns about possible THC intoxication in children.
The research team independently selected CanniMed® 1:20 oil for the trial. CanniMed by Aurora and its parent company, Aurora Cannabis Inc., did not fund this study and remain at arm’s length from its administration.
“These preliminary results provide much-needed data on dosing of cannabinoid-based medication and help physicians better treat young patients with severe forms of epilepsy,” Dr. Kelly Narine (PhD), Aurora’s Vice President of Global Research and Medical Affairs, said.
The preliminary results are part of a larger 20-child study that concludes in Dec. 2019.
“We look forward to seeing the results of the full study and are very hopeful that CanniMed® 1:20 oil will provide effective seizure relief and improvements in quality of life for these children, and by extension, their families,” Dr. Narine added.
Research and innovation are at the heart of everything we do at Aurora. With an investment of $17.5 million over the next 18 months at our Aurora Prairie production and research facility in Saskatoon, Sask. – where CanniMed® 1:20 oil is made – we are increasing capacity and resources towards research and development to provide the highest level of care and products for our current and prospective patients. CanniMed by Aurora and Aurora as a whole look forward to continuing to advance clinical research on medical cannabis, and we are proud that our high-quality products are making such positive differences in the lives of patients in need.
About CanniMed® 1:20 oil
CanniMed® 1:20 oil comes in a 60 ml bottle and contains a high amount of CBD (in the range of 16.0 to 24.0 mg/ml) and a small amount of THC (0.8 to 1.2 mg/ml). Manufactured for the international medical cannabis market at Aurora Cannabis Inc.’s Aurora Prairie production facility in Saskatoon, Sask., CanniMed’s high-quality oil products are made using only dried cannabis flower – that is, without leaf, trimmings or waste material. After creating a pure resin through an ethanol extraction process, olive oil is added to create these edible cannabis products. In addition to being a potential treatment for severe pediatric epilepsy, high-CBD products such as CanniMed® 1:20 oil also show potential for treating conditions such as anxiety, inflammation and pain.1
1 Baron, Eric P. 2018. “Medicinal Properties of Cannabinoids , Terpenes , and Flavonoids in Cannabis , and Benefits in Migraine , Headache , and Pain : An Update on Current Evidence and Cannabis Science.” Headache Currents July/August: 1139–86