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What are the likelihood and frequency of adverse events in CBD-using epilepsy patients?

Epilepsy is a prevalent neurologic condition that affects 67 persons per 100,000 people annually. Even though epilepsy is curable, in roughly one-third of instances, surgical procedures do not prevent seizures in epileptic patients, necessitating the development of new, complementary therapy.

The use of CBD in various severe epilepsy types, such as Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes, has been authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (US-FDA).

Although previous studies have looked at the effectiveness and safety profile of CBD, systematic reviews that identify adverse events (AEs) associated with its usage in epileptic patients or address the shortcomings of previously published reviews are lacking.
In the present study, researchers extensively searched databases, such as PubMed and the Web of Science, for articles reporting AEs following CBD treatment. They manually searched for grey literature on Google Scholar and previous systematic reviews for additional eligible articles.

An extensive search of backward and forward citations helped researchers discover additional qualified studies from included studies. The search continued from the database inception date till August 4, 2022.

The team removed duplicates (if any) in EndNote, version 20. First, two authors independently skimmed through each article’s title and abstract and reviewed their full texts. They resolved discrepancies (if any) through a discussion with other authors.

Two other independent reviewers extracted all the basic data from each article in the study. Notably, they included randomized clinical trials (RCTs) evaluating a minimum of one AE related to CBD use in epileptic patients.