CBD isolate improves treatment-resistant infantile epileptic spasms syndrome

Treatment-resistant infantile epilepsy is a devastating disease affecting children under 2 years old.

This study tested high dose CBD isolate as an add on treatment for infants diagnosed with infantile epileptic spasms syndrome (IESS, previously known as West Syndrome) who did not respond to traditional antiseizure medications or ketogenic diet therapy. It was published online ahead of print in January 2024 in the journal Seizure, the European Journal of Epilepsy.

Retrospective medical record data was collected for 28 infants with IESS; 16 were male and 12 were female. They ranged in age from 6 months to 21 months. Over approximately 2 years between 2021 and 2023 the infants received "highly purified" CBD isolate.

The doses started at 2mg/kg/day and were titrated up to an average of 25mg/kg/day although at least one was 50mg/kg/day. An average female infant weighs about 23 pounds (10.5kg) at 18 months. 25mg/kg/day would be a daily dose of about 260mg CBD isolate for her.

The primary data collected were:

  • neurological exams
  • EEG
  • Video-EEG & polygraphic recordings
  • Imagining studies
  • lab testing
  • seizure frequency, type, & duration
  • adverse effects


Results after an average follow-up of 15 months (range: 6-26 months):

seven patients were ES [epileptic spasm] free and

12 had a >50 % ES reduction.

Five of seven patients (71 %) with Down syndrome and 3/5 (60 %) with cerebral palsy responded well.

 Adverse effects were mild.


To summarize their results, 25% saw their spasms reduced to zero. 43% saw their spasms reduced by at least half.

The authors' conclusion:

In this study evaluating the use of CBD in children with IESS, 19/28 (67.8 %) had a more than 50 % ES reduction with good tolerability.


The article abstract is here at PubMed



Reyes Valenzuela G, Gallo A, Calvo A, Chacón S, Fasulo L, Galicchio S, Adi J, Fortini PS, Caraballo R. Purified cannabidiol as add-on therapy in children with treatment-resistant infantile epileptic spasms syndrome. Seizure. 2024 Jan 15;115:94-99. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2024.01.010. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38237316.