The director of the Epilepsy Center at Cleveland Clinic discussed why cannabidiol should be used cautiously in patients with epilepsy.
Imad Najm, MD
PUBLISHED November 15, 2019
“The excitement about CBD doesn’t come from the epilepsy specialists, it actually comes from society and the community. They think that CBD is the best treatment for not only epilepsy, but many other things.”
Cannabidiol (CBD) has become one of the most sought after, highly discussed options for treating not only epilepsy but other disabling conditions. Although it is a proven and FDA-approved treatment for Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndrome, epilepsy specialists should be cautious about prescribing it to anyone and everyone who seeks it. In an interview with NeurologyLive, Imad Najm, MD, the director of the Epilepsy Center at Cleveland Clinic, described the pressure physicians face when patients fail to understand the purpose and utility of CBD.
CBD is still in a very early stage of development and exploration for other types of epilepsies, and there is accumulating evidence that over-the-counter CBD products are often tainted or misrepresented compared with pharmaceutical grade CBD that physicians prescribe to their patients. Still, Najm remained positive that with more research, the possibilities of CBD treatment could expand in the future.
In the interview, Najm reviewed the complex dynamic that epilepsy specialists and patients share when discussing whether CBD is an appropriate treatment.