Marijuana Use in Epilepsy: The Myth and the Reality

Kamil Detyniecki, Lawrence Hirsch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Marijuana has been utilized as a medicinal plant to treat a variety of conditions for nearly five millennia. Over the past few years, there has been an unprecedented interest in using cannabis extracts to treat epilepsy, spurred on by a few refractory pediatric cases featured in the media that had an almost miraculous response to cannabidiol-enriched marijuana extracts. This review attempts to answer the most important questions a clinician may have regarding the use of marijuana in epilepsy. First, we review the preclinical and human evidences for the anticonvulsant properties of the different cannabinoids, mainly tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Then, we explore the safety data from animal and human studies. Lastly, we attempt to reconcile the controversy regarding physicians’ and patients’ opinions about whether the available evidence is sufficient to recommend the use of marijuana to treat epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number65
JournalCurrent neurology and neuroscience reports
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 26 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cannabidiol
  • Cannabinoids
  • Epilepsy
  • Marijuana
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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