New Study: Pharmaceutical CBD Better Than Artisanal CBD At Reducing Seizures


You must have heard of CBD, the cannabis component which has strong anti-inflammatory and anti-seizure properties. Unlike THC, cannabidiol doesn’t have psychotropic properties. This means it doesn’t make you high. Owing to the medicinal nature of CBD, the substance is used in the treatment of several ailments.

In fact, pharmaceutical CBD is even FDA-approved for treating two rare types of epilepsy in children. These are the Dravet syndrome and the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. However, several people use artisanal CBD for helping them with epilepsy. While pharmaceutical cannabidiol doesn’t contain THC, artisanal cannabidiol comprises of varying amounts of CBD and THC.

A new study says that pharmaceutical CBD is more effective at treating these two types of epilepsy than artisanal CBD. This preliminary research work will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s Annual Meeting happening in April-May in Toronto, Canada.

Diving Into The Research Work

For the purpose of the study, the team analyzed the medical records of 31 children and teens. These individuals were 10 years of age on average and were all followed for one year on average. 32% of them had Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and 6% had Dravet syndrome.

Of them, 22 were using pharmaceutical CBD for their seizures while 9 were taking artisanal CBD. Scientists noted varying factors. These included participants’ medication doses, CBD markers in blood, and history of seizures. They also recorded how the medications reduced their seizures and if there were any negative side effects of use.

Researchers made the following findings:

  • Those taking artisanal CBD had 31 ng/mL of CBD in their blood
  • On the other hand, children and teens taking pharmaceutical CBD had 124 ng/mL of CBD in their blood
  • Those who were taking artisanal CBD experienced a 70% increase in seizures in the duration of the study
  • Those taking pharmaceutical CBD had a 39% reduction. However, 11 of them had side effects. Side effects included nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and a low appetite

Author of the study Nathan T. Cohen said that for years people have used artisanal CBD rather than pharmaceutical. This is because it has been available for longer, even if illegally. Nathan continued that people “may want to reconsider because our research indicates that pharmaceutical CBD may indeed be more effective than artisanal CBD.”

Limitations Of This Study

This research work did have two limitations. First of all, it was very small. Researchers need to study more people with these conditions. Secondly, researchers didn’t look at participants taking these forms of CBD. Rather, they checked their medical records.


CBD has a strong anti-seizure effect, but these effects can vary based on what type of CBD you take. For epilepsy and reducing seizures, pharmaceutical CBD is better than artisanal CBD. A new research work says this. However, pharmaceutical CBD does have some side effects.


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