Cannabidiol (CBD), which is found in marijuana plants, can help cure children suffering from Dravet syndrome (DS) — according to research published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research said children taking CBD had lesser number of convulsive seizures than those taking a placebo.

"The median frequency of convulsive seizures per month decreased from 12.4 to 5.9 with cannabidiol, as compared with a decrease from 14.9 to 14.1 with placebo. The percentage of patients who had at least a 50% reduction in convulsive-seizure frequency was 43 percent with cannabidiol and 27 percent with placebo," the research said.

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CBD is one of more than 80 active cannabinoid chemicals in the marijuana plant. It is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance. Unlike the main psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol, CBD does not produce euphoria or intoxication, commonly known as "feeling high," according to the website of National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Orrin Devinsky, lead author of the study and director of New York University's Langone's Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, said: "CBD is an effective drug for this type of rare epilepsy but was not a panacea (or cure-all) for these children." 

Devinsky also believes CBD should be evaluated for epilepsy types beyond DS, which is caused by a genetic mutation and affects about one in 20,000 to 40,000 children in the United States, CNN reported.

DS is a "rare, catastrophic, lifelong form of epilepsy" that begins in the first year a baby is born. The syndrome results to frequent or prolonged seizures. It was previously known as Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy, and affects one out of 15,700 individuals, 80 percent of whom have a mutation in their SCN1A gene, according to Dravet Syndrome Foundation

Another research released by the American Epilepsy Society in December 2016 highlighted the safety of CBD. The study concluded the substance significantly reduced seizures in treatment-resistant epilepsy in patients with Dravet syndrome (DS) and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, two of the most difficult-to-manage seizure conditions.

A purified oral formulation of cannabidiol (CBD; Epidiolex, GW Pharmaceuticals) significantly reduces seizures in treatment-resistant epilepsy, according to new research that included double-blind randomized controlled trials of patients with DS and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, two of the most difficult-to-manage seizure conditions, Medscape Medical News reported.

Elizabeth A. Thiele, director, Pediatric Epilepsy Program, Massachusetts General Hospital and who has contributed to many of the studies, had told Medscape: "It's exciting because at least for a portion of people with Dravet and with Lennox-Gastaut, it's going to be an effective treatment, and what I can see with my experience with the expanded-access program, it's going to be an effective treatment for other people as well."

Although some studies have shown cannabidiol can help reduce seizures in children, it is difficult to study it as marijuana is still classified as a schedule 1 drug. Even chemicals found in the plant, like cannabidiol , are not easily accessible to US researchers, reports said.