Cannabidiol for the treatment of refractory epilepsy in children: a critical review of the literature

Canabidiol para o tratamento de epilepsia refratária em crianças: uma revisão crítica da literatura

Gabriela Araujo Moreira Roddie Moraes Neto Ricardo Gullit Ribeiro Ana Chrystina De Souza Crippa About the authors



The aim of this current report was to present a critical review of the use of cannabidiol (CBD) in the treatment of refractory epilepsies in the pediatric population.

Data source:

Literature review was carried out in the Medline (PubMed), Cochrane, and Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO) databases with the descriptors “Cannabidiol” and “Epilepsy.” The search was not limited by the date of publication, language, or study design. A total of 69 articles were included in the review.

Data synthesis:

The efficacy of CBD in treating epileptic seizures has been confirmed by randomized controlled trials for Lennox–Gastaut syndrome, Dravet syndrome, and tuberous sclerosis complex. The incidence of side effects reported in subjects of the studies is high. However, most studies indicate a good safety profile and tolerance to the drug, with most of the adverse effects being mild to moderate and transient.


There is no consensus on the release of CBD as a therapeutic tool by the drug regulatory agencies worldwide. However, the use of CBD is promising since it has presented satisfactory results in crisis control in well-designed studies. In addition, this drug has a good safety and tolerance profile. However, further studies with a long follow-up period are needed to confirm its usefulness and the long-term safety in pediatric patients.

Epilepsy; Cannabidiol; Drug resistant epilepsy; Child; Adolescent

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