Using Cannabidiol in Treatment Resistant Epilepsies: The Efficacy of CBD in Children With Dravet Syndrome

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Holly A. Stockhover, BSN
School of Nursing, Indiana University Purdue Univeristy - Columbus, Columbus, IN, USA

The purpose of this report is to present a review of the efficacy of medicinal marijuana in children with treatment resistant epilepsy (TRE), namely Dravet Syndrome (DS). A literature review was conducted utilizing key search terms: efficacy, Dravet Syndrome, medicinal marijuana, children, and cannabis. Abstracts of the literature included were reviewed and organized to identify strengths of the evidence. A total of 11 abstracts and articles were included in the review for this paper. The evidence provided by the literature, both qualitative and quantitative, highlight the efficacy of medicinal marijuana in treating epilepsies such as DS.

A literature search was conducted and evidence was categorized in order to provide a summary of the efficacy and benefits of medicinal marijuana in TRE and DS. The literature review was conducted from December 2016 to January of 2017. Three databases were used to acquire the articles for this review: Google Scholar, CINAHL, and PubMed. In order to generate relevant literature results from the databases, key search terms were used in a combination of different phrases to generate the highest number of publications possible. The search terms used include efficacy, Dravet Syndrome, medicinal marijuana, children, and cannabis.

Most of the articles included in this review were generated by using many of the same search terms. Due to this factor, all three databases seemed to duplicate results when different combinations of search phrases were used. In several instances, the results seen in one database often overlapped in another. Inclusion criteria for relevant literature included any article pertaining to the use of medicinal marijuana in children or adolescents with TREs such as Dravet Syndrome. All relevant literature was also written in the English language. Articles were excluded if they were animal studies, focused on the adult population, or talked about treatment avenues other than medicinal marijuana. The search results were refined by articles that were published between the years 2013 – 2017 ensuring all literature is recent.