Cannabidiol attenuates seizures and EEG abnormalities in Angelman syndrome model mice

J Clin Invest. 2019 Dec 2;129(12):5462-5467. doi: 10.1172/JCI130419.


Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by intellectual disability, lack of speech, ataxia, EEG abnormalities, and epilepsy. Seizures in individuals with AS are common, debilitating, and often drug resistant. Thus, there is an unmet need for better treatment options. Cannabidiol (CBD), a major phytocannabinoid constituent of cannabis, has shown antiseizure activity and behavioral benefits in preclinical and clinical studies for some disorders associated with epilepsy, suggesting that the same could be true for AS. Here, we show that acute CBD (100 mg/kg) treatment attenuated hyperthermia- and acoustically induced seizures in a mouse model of AS. However, neither acute CBD nor a 2-week-long course of CBD administered immediately after a kindling protocol could halt the proepileptogenic plasticity observed in AS model mice. CBD had a dose-dependent sedative effect but did not have an impact on motor performance. CBD abrogated the enhanced intracortical local field potential power, including the delta and theta rhythms observed in AS model mice, indicating that CBD administration could also help normalize the EEG deficits observed in individuals with AS. We believe our results provide critical preclinical evidence supporting CBD treatment of seizures and alleviation of EEG abnormalities in AS and will thus help guide the rational development of CBD as a treatment for AS.

Keywords: Epilepsy; Neuroscience; Pharmacology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angelman Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Angelman Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Cannabidiol / pharmacology*
  • Cannabidiol / therapeutic use
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Electroencephalography / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Seizures / drug therapy*


  • Cannabidiol