Health Conditions

What Are the Risks and Benefits of Treating Pediatric Seizures With Cannabinoid Medicine?

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Dr. Sulak wrote this article, What are the Risks and Benefits of Treating Pediatric Seizures with Cannabinoid Medicine?, for families considering whether cannabis is the correct treatment for their child with seizures. He presents the dangers, potential benefits, how it works, current scientific research, and how to get started so they can make the best decision for their child.

Risks include:

  • Increased seizures
  • Drug interactions
  • Interruption of therapy
  • Side effects (decreased appetite, GI upset, and irritability) although these are mild compared to anti-epileptic medications

Benefits include:

  • Some cannabinoids have anti-convulsive properties, and can be used to reduce seizure frequency, intensity, and duration
  • Several cannabinoids have neuroprotective properties
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a muscle relaxant and therefore a great treatment for patients who also have musculoskeletal complaints
  • Some cannabinoids have great therapeutic properties for digestion, stimulating appetite and decreasing abdominal pain
  • When used correctly, cannabinoids can also promote sleep, which is essential for children with seizures and their families

By working with experienced clinicians, carefully documenting your child’s response, and maintaining the courage to pursue this alternative treatment, your chances of successfully reducing seizures with cannabis are excellent.

This article written by Dr. Dustin Sulak was originally published by Leafly on February 2, 2018.

Content for this article is based on the Pediatric Seizures Video Guides at, a medical cannabis patient education resource. Find the original video series and transcripts at

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