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Position Statement on the Use of Medical Cannabis for the Treatment of Epilepsy in Canada

  • Juan Pablo Appendino (a1), Cyrus Boelman (a2), Paula M. Brna (a3), Jorge G. Burneo (a4), Curtis S. Claassen (a5), Mary B. Connolly (a6), Michael V. T. De Guzman (a7), Paolo Federico (a8), Deirdre Floyd (a9), Richard James Huntsman (a10), Manouchehr Javidan (a11), Nathalie Jette (a12), Laura L Jurasek (a13), Mark R. Keezer (a14), Jonathan C. Lau (a15), Bláthnaid McCoy (a16), Richard S McLachlan (a17), Marcus C. Ng (a18), Dang Khoa Nguyen (a19), Aylin Y Reid (a20), Jong M. Rho (a21), O. Carter Snead (a22), José F. Téllez-Zenteno (a23), Laura Wang (a24) and Maria Martha Zak (a25)...

Abstract:

In Canada, recreational use of cannabis was legalized in October 2018. This policy change along with recent publications evaluating the efficacy of cannabis for the medical treatment of epilepsy and media awareness about its use have increased the public interest about this agent. The Canadian League Against Epilepsy Medical Therapeutics Committee, along with a multidisciplinary group of experts and Canadian Epilepsy Alliance representatives, has developed a position statement about the use of medical cannabis for epilepsy. This article addresses the current Canadian legal framework, recent publications about its efficacy and safety profile, and our understanding of the clinical issues that should be considered when contemplating cannabis use for medical purposes.

Énoncé de position quant à l’utilisation du cannabis médical dans le traitement de l’épilepsie.L’utilisation du cannabis à des fins récréatives a été légalisée au Canada en octobre 2018. Parallèlement à ce changement de politique, de récentes publication visant à évaluer l’efficacité du cannabis dans le traitement de l’épilepsie, de même qu’une sensibilisation médiatique accrue en ce qui concerne son utilisation, ont eu pour effet d’augmenter l’intérêt du grand public à son égard. Le Comité médical thérapeutique de la Ligue canadienne contre l’épilepsie (LCCE), de concert avec un groupe multidisciplinaire d’experts et des représentants de l’Alliance canadienne de l’épilepsie, a ainsi élaboré un énoncé de position en ce qui regarde l’utilisation du cannabis médical dans le traitement de l’épilepsie. Cet article entend donc aborder le cadre légal qui prévaut actuellement au Canada et examiner de récentes publications s’étant penchées sur le profil sécuritaire et sur l’efficacité du cannabis. De plus, nous voulons apporter un éclairage au sujet des aspects cliniques dont il faudrait tenir compte au moment d’envisager l’utilisation du cannabis à des fins médicales.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence to: Juan Pablo Appendino, Cumming School of Medicine, Alberta Children’s Hospital, University of Calgary, 28 Oki Drive NW, Calgary, AB T3B 6A8, Canada. Email: jp.appendino@ahs.ca

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By the Canadian League Against Epilepsy Medical Therapeutics Committee, Invited Experts and Collaborators

Footnotes

References

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