Despite the pressure of anecdotal evidence prevalent in the popular press and social media, for the past two years the American Epilepsy Society has been opposed to the expanded use of medical marijuana and its derivative, cannabidiol or CBD, in the treatment of children with severe epilepsy. At this time there is no evidence from controlled trials that strongly supports the use of marijuana for treatment of epilepsy. Our position is informed by the lack of available research and supported by the position statements from the American Academy of Neurology, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Medical Association.
The American Epilepsy Society has consistently advised states against acting on anecdotal evidence alone and has called for more research. The need for more research is a consistent theme from nearly every medical society in the U.S. To help advance research, the American Epilepsy Society has requested that the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency reschedule marijuana to ease access for clinical studies.