“There’s been so much media about [CBD]. For families who are living with epilepsy, their cousins, aunts and uncles, and the friends down the street—everybody is talking about it. They say, ‘I saw this in the media,’ and ‘have you tried it?’. So, families do ask about it.”
For Kelly Knupp, MD, pediatric neurologist and epilepsy specialist, Children’s Hospital Colorado, the most important work with cannabidiol (CBD) still remains to be done. She told NeurologyLive that while patient interest has been increasing with the recent approval of Epidiolex (GW Pharmaceuticals) for Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes, the need for data regarding its long-term safety profile and etiology-specific effects have never been higher.

As much as the Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet clinical trials improved the clinical understanding of CBD, physicians still do not completely understand why specific subgroups of patients respond to CBD and others do not. Meanwhile, with media coverage increasing and its availability skyrocketing, patients require more education than ever—and are requesting it.

At the 2019 International Epilepsy Congress, June 22-26, in Bangkok, Thailand, Knupp detailed what most patients are asking about regarding CBD for their epilepsy and how it doesn’t appear to be poised to become the most highly prescribed epilepsy therapy. As for the future, she spoke to the importance of moving the field closer and closer to a precision-medicine model, and how this process is essentially necessary for all epilepsy treatment. For Knupp, further research into the specific subgroup populations and their relationships with the treatments is still going to be the key.

For more coverage of IEC 2019, click here.

REFERENCES
Knupp K. Cannabinoids. Presented at: 2019 International Epilepsy Congress. June 22-26, 2019; Bangkok, Thailand.