Clinical Trial: Adjunctive Use of CBD Effective in Patients with Focal Dystonia

San Francisco, CA: The adjunctive use of a proprietary plant-derived CBD oral solution (Epidiolex) improves symptoms of adult-onset blepharospasm (BPS), according to placebo-controlled trial data published in the journal Translational Vision Science & Technology. BPS is a form of focal dystonia associated with uncontrollable eyelid twitching, among other symptoms.

A team of investigators affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco assessed the adjunctive use of either Epidiolex or placebo over a six-month period in 12 patients with the disorder. 

Researchers reported, “Daily 200 mg of sublingual CBD was found to be well-tolerated, without adverse events, and provided statistically significant improvements in several BPS parameters.”

They concluded: “CBD may be a useful adjunct to traditional BTX [botulinum toxins a/k/a Botox] injections for the treatment and symptom abatement of idiopathic adult-onset BPS. Further study with higher dosing is warranted.”

The findings are consistent with a pair of prior studies similarly determining that the use of cannabis formulations is beneficial for BPS patients. Israeli data published in August also reported that the long-term use of herbal cannabis is associated with sustained reductions in generalized dystonia symptoms and with improvements in patients’ overall quality of life. 

Full text of the study, “Cannabidiol as an adjunct to botulinum toxin in blepharospasm: A randomized pilot study,” appears in Translational Vision Science & Technology.