The Benefits of CBD to Treat Epilepsy

As of today, several states have now legalized the use of CBD for the treatment of epilepsy. However, because of its legalization, it still remains a controversial alternative to the treatment of epilepsy. With over 100 cannabinoids known to make up cannabis, it is clear that medicinal cannabis has become very complex. So complex that medical science has remained ignorant of CBD’s positive effects.

Laws Governing CBD Use

It’s no surprise that the laws governing the use of CBD have received criticism. According to NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano, the CBD laws are considered “unworkable” due to the many restrictions placed on it. These restrictions affect both doctors and their patients.

The Marijuana Policy Project stated that, “a very small percent of patients used their diagnosis of epilepsy as the main condition for the use of CBD.” This can be seen as the laws providing only a few amount of patients with the access to CBD. They also reported that “many patients that are on medical marijuana are expressing symptoms that could be treated with a higher amount of THC.”

Media Coverage

The use of CBD oil treatment among children has been a big focus in the media. Ever since the media found out that CBD has positive affects towards neurological conditions, including epilepsy, they seem to have blown it up. They focus on the fact that some of these children gained a tremendous amount of relief from one CBD extract. The results showed seizures decreasing to just a few each month while using CBD oil.

There is one epileptic patient who has had a tremendous amount of coverage. Her name is Charlotte Figi. Charlotte lives in Colorado with her family, and after her family had utilized all of their available treatments, was given CBD which decreased her seizures by 99 percent. Charlotte has since become an excellent example for the legalization of CBD and also motivated many advocates to push for its legal status in Colorado. She has also become an inspiration for “Charlotte’s Web” which is a CBD based product used for the treatment of seizures.

Results Will Vary

Many parents who are desperate for treatments of their children’s similar conditions have given them CBD oil. But not all of these other children have had the same results. This is due to the CBD oil not having enough THC to have a noticeable effect.

So now we are left with this question. Are state governments disregarding the fact that CBD-based treatments would benefit many epilepsy patients?

It’s only fair to say that all patients should receive the same strength of CBD that’ll alleviate suffering. But it seems that many politicians have become paranoid of the use of CBD. This paranoia unfortunately leaves many patients suffering in the long run.

Evidence

The evidence surrounding the use of CBD for the treatment of seizures has been known for a long time. There have been studies conducted throughout the 1970s which concluded that both CBD and THC both have anticonvulsive properties as well as many other positive effects that can be beneficial to epileptics.

A study published in 1975 showed that the combination of cannabis and regular medicines, successfully controlled a 24-year-old’s seizures. This proved that conventional medication alone was unable to completely control seizures. Not only were the patient’s seizures under control, but a complete cessation occurred simply by smoking a few joints every day.

In another study conducted in 2003 showed cannabinoids having many benefits which are not found among other pharmaceuticals. Lead researcher, Dr. Robert DeLorenzo, studied the cannabis affects relative to epilepsy and ultimately proved that seizures can be reduced by using cannabinoids. He noted that the results were due to CB1 receptors in the brain being activated.

A study published in 2014, discovered that an alternate CBD synthetic named WIN 55,212-2, that was used in place of the standard medication, showed seizures decreasing. The synthetic THC also proved to have no side effects due to its use and at the same time made conventional medicine side effects disappear.

Then, in a study that has shown to be the best, had 79% of study participants experiencing fatigue and diarrhea and had a 3 percent study dropout rate. These number of adverse reactions is quite big and is a lot higher as compared to the other anti-epileptic medications already available. The 3% of participants who dropped out suggested that it is quite safe to use CBD oil for a short time period, for now.

When it comes to long-term, many concerns come up. Studies suggested that the long term use of CBD could potentially cause harm to the brain which could be seen among both CBD and traditional marijuana use.

What Can Epileptics Expect Next?

Today, there is great news to be heard concerning CBD oil. Many clinical trials have been implemented now that’ll test CBD’s effectiveness towards epileptic seizures. The research results should be available very soon.

Until then, patients need to remember that the use of CBD is not regulated in the same manner as all other pharmaceutical drugs. That means if you order through dispensaries on through the internet, your CBD could be either contaminated or even mislabeled.

Having a mislabeled bottle may give you a false sense of hope when it comes to the design of the CBD. This could make your CBD look more effective when it is actually opposite. Patients that took CBD in replacement of normal anti-seizure medication were left with no significant treatment or positive effects due mostly by the patients being resistant to treatments of CBD. This caused only a small amount of seizure reductions.

With epilepsy that is resistant to treatment, patients are less able to receive a treatment that’ll work. This decreases the good quality of life an epileptic expects. At times, one’s life could be in jeopardy.

So what is the bottom line to all of this? Well, if you happen to live in a state that has legalized CBD, have been diagnosed with a severe neurological disorder and have exhausted all other seizure therapies, then your best bet would be to begin a CBD regiment under the supervision of your doctor. You can find many legitimate online suppliers offering CBD oil for sale on their sites.

Additional Information on Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a group of neurological disorders that cause people to have seizures. It is abnormal movements or behavior due to unusual electrical activity in the brain. These seizures can be very brief and unnoticeable or they are able to include long periods of forceful shaking. Having these seizures can end up with people having accidents that can sometimes result in broken bones. In epilepsy, these seizures tend to recur and seem to have no immediate underlying cause. People with epilepsy in some areas of the world experience stigma because of having the condition. Epilepsy is a relatively common condition.

Types Of Epilepsy

There are several types of epilepsy, each type has different causes, symptoms and treatments.

  1. Refractory Epilepsy

Refractory Epilepsy is when the medicine is not helping keep your seizures under control.

  1. Photosensitive Epilepsy

People that have photosensitive epilepsy will have seizures that are set off by flashing lights, contrasting visual patterns; or overexposure to video games.

  1. Benign Rolandic Epilepsy

Children have this type of Epilepsy. These seizures affect the face and sometimes the body. It will usually disappear by the time they are an adult.

  1. Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome

This one is a unusual and very serious kind of epilepsy that starts in childhood.

  1. Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy

JME is a form of epilepsy that can start in childhood or adolescence. This type of epilepsy can cause muscle twitching or jerking.

  1. Abdominal Epilepsy

Abdominal epilepsy is one where seizure activity can cause abdominal symptoms like pain and nausea. This type is so uncommon that some experts wonder whether it actually exists.

  1. Absence Seizures

These seizures are caused by unusual and severe electrical activity in the brain.

  1. Temporal Lobe Seizures

Also known as psychomotor seizures will cause short-term changes in movement, sensation or autonomic function like the persons heart rate or salivation.

 

Treatment and Management of Epilepsy

Epilepsy is typically treated with a daily medication regiment once the person has had their second seizure, but for those who are at high risk of having another seizure, medication may be started immediately instead of waiting for the second seizure to happen. Medications are able to control seizures in about 70% of the patients. Which type of medication is best for you will depend on the type of epilepsy you have, if you have any other health issues, if there are any other drugs that you take, and what is most convenient for you. Medication is also available for children that have epilepsy. In cases where the medications are not working, different management options may be considered. One that may be considered is a special diet. This diet is called a ketogenic diet, which is high in fat, low in carbs, and has sufficient amounts of protein. This type of diet can make the person have less seizures and it can even get rid of the seizures in some. It is a good option to consider for those who have epilepsy that does not improve with medications and for those who are not able to consider the surgeries. With this diet there are some side effects, which can include stomach and intestinal problems and there are also worries of heart disease when doing this diet. There are other diets that may also work without causing any side effects. No one is really sure why this diet seems to work. Also exercise has been said to possibly be helpful for preventing seizures. There is a little bit of information to help support this claim. Another option is having epilepsy surgery. This is an option for people with partial seizures that do not seem to get better even when trying the other types of treatments. The goal when having this surgery is for the person to be able to have total control of their seizures after the surgery. The common types of epilepsy procedures include removing the hippocampus by an anterior temporal lobe resection, removing the tumors, and removing some parts of the neocortex. Some procedures like the corpus callosotomy are done to try to help lower the amount of seizures instead of trying to actually cure them. Neurostimulation is another option for the people who are unable to have any surgeries. There are three types that have been shown to be effective.

  1. Vagus nerve stimulation which is a medical treatment that involves electrical impulses being delivered to the vagus nerve.
  2. Anterior thalamic stimulation is also called deep brain stimulation and it involves a medical device being implanted. This device is called a neurostimulator or a brain pacemaker. It sends electrical impulses to certain parts in the brain.
  3. Closed-loop responsive stimulation or RNS system is a responsive direct brain stimulation treatment. The RNS System uses a neurostimulator that is implanted in the skull. It has one or two leads that are implanted in the brain at the focal points of the seizures.

 

Music is also said to help some with epilepsy, the use of music is able to help reduce seizures. It has a paradoxical effect.

One highly controversial treatment is cannabis, especially CBD vape oil. This could potentially be helpful in controlling seizures. Stories of cannabis’s abilities to help with seizures have been around for about 150 years but interest in medical marijuana has gone up a lot in the last 10 years due to legalization campaigns. There have been some studies with trying this and here are some statistics.

  1. Seizures went down by an average of 54% in 137 people who completed 12 weeks.
  2. Patients responded more positively with a 63% decrease in seizures over 3 months.

This improvement in seizures lasted through 24 weeks.

  1. People who were also taking the anti-seizure medication Clobazam seemed to do better with a greater improvement in convulsive seizures than the patients who were not taking this medicine.

 

There are a lot of great types of traditional and non-traditional ways to help lower the amount of seizures people with epilepsy have which is something wonderful to have.