Study of cannabidiol oil for severe seizures

The University of Alabama at Birmingham has launched two studies of cannabidiol oil, or CBD oil, as a treatment for severe, intractable seizures. The two studies, an adult study at UAB and a pediatric study at Children’s of Alabama, were authorized by the Alabama Legislature in 2014 by legislation known as Carly’s Law.

The UAB studies are designed to test the safety and tolerability of CBD oil in patients with intractable seizures. CBD oil, a derivative of the cannabis plant, is delivered orally as an oily liquid.

“We are extremely pleased to launch these exciting studies,” said David Standaert, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Neurology. “What we learn from these investigations could have a profound impact on the lives of many adults and children with uncontrolled seizures. We are honored to have been entrusted with this effort by the Alabama Legislature, and we look forward to getting the studies underway.”

UAB will enroll 100 subjects in the two studies, 50 adult patients and 50 pediatric patients. Potential study subjects must apply to the UAB Cannabidiol Program for inclusion in the studies. Each application, which must include a referral from a patient’s primary treating neurologist, will be reviewed by a panel of UAB neurologists. Patients must meet necessary qualifications in order to be enrolled. Applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received. Information on how to apply for enrollment can be found on the UAB Cannabidiol website at

Initial appointments will be scheduled as patients are enrolled. All patients in the studies will receive CBD oil.

UAB has contracted with a vendor to supply the oil, which is available only in very limited quantities nationwide. The vendor, who is providing the oil at no charge, has capped the amount of oil available for use in the UAB studies at enough to treat 100 patients, which would make the UAB studies among the largest in the nation. If more than 100 patients qualify for inclusion in the studies, UAB will investigate the possibility of expanding the studies.

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