Cannabidiol in the Treatment of Epilepsy

Clin Drug Investig. 2021 Mar;41(3):211-220. doi: 10.1007/s40261-021-01003-y. Epub 2021 Feb 9.


Anecdotal reports addressing the successful seizure treatment of severe epilepsies with cannabidiol (CBD) have increased both public interest and academic research. Placebo-controlled, randomized, controlled trials proved the efficacy of pharmaceutical-grade CBD in epilepsy treatment, thus leading to pharmaceutical-grade CBD approval by the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency for the treatment of seizures in Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome as well as for tuberous complex syndrome by the Food and Drug Administration only. However, the CBD market is confusing because an array of products of different origins, purity, and concentration is available. Additionally, the results from the pivotal studies with plant-derived, pharmaceutical-grade CBD cannot simply be transferred to other epilepsy types or CBD of any origin. Because of the high demands and expectations that patients with epilepsy and their caregivers have regarding CBD, information outlining the proven facts and potential risks is essential. The aim of this article is to thoroughly review available research data and practical recommendations to provide the treating physician with the necessary information for counseling patients with epilepsy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Cannabidiol / therapeutic use*
  • Epilepsies, Myoclonic / drug therapy
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Lennox Gastaut Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Seizures / drug therapy*
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Cannabidiol