Medical cannabis: evidence, challenges and barriers to progress

Cannabis sativa has been domesticated and cultivated by humans over millennia for its fibre, oils and psychoactive properties; throughout history, the resin, leaves and flowers of the plant have been described as having therapeutic activity[1]

In Ayurvedic and Chinese texts, cannabinoids — the plant’s natural components — were recommended for the treatment of seizures. The effectiveness of hashish in treating a child with a convulsive disorder was described by physician William Brooke O’Shaughnessy in the 1840s, following observations made in Bengal. And in 1980, Cunha et al. reported anticonvulsant benefits in a phase I trial of cannabidiol (CBD) — the plant’s most commonly identified non-intoxicating cannabinoid[2]. Over the past few years, several trials have reported that the safety profile of CBD justifies randomised trials in patients with epilepsy who do not respond to conventional strategies[3].


... read more at: