A new treatment derived from cannabis is to go on trial in Scotland in a bid to help sick children.

Doctors have been given the go-ahead to test Epidiolex, a treatment based on cannabidiol (CBD) a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant.

And medical experts are hoping the treatment – which has had success in studies on the treatment of epilepsy in the US – will help Scottish children whose seizures cannot be controlled with existing medications.

‘Many children with serious forms of epilepsy do not respond to the medications that we currently have available,’ said Dr Richard Chin, director of the Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre.

‘We need new means of treating these conditions so that we can give back some quality of life to these children and their families.

The initial focus of the trial will be children with Dravet Syndrome, a rare type of epilepsy that is notoriously difficult to treat. Some children will be given the Epidiolex treatment while others will receive a placebo.

In a later phase of the trial, researchers will study the effect on children with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.

British biotechnology company GW Pharmaceuticals is sponsoring and funding the trial.