CBD Oil for Epilepsy
Published 25 Apr 2019

Plenty of anecdotal evidence exists to show the benefits of using cannabis for epilepsy. Those trying it are reporting success in their thousands, particularly from using high quality, pure CBD oil. Research is still ongoing, but there are studies available to support these claims. Sufferers of consistent, uncontrollable seizures may find significant relief from CBD when other drugs and therapies fail them.

According to the Epilepsy Foundation, the huge success that people are having using cannabidiol, or CBD, is what prompted the push for legalization many years ago across the United States, particularly for medical marijuana and all of its derivatives. Ever since, scientists have been uncovering more and more therapeutic uses for cannabinoids, most notably for CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

Understanding Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a severe medical condition that does not discriminate. It affects all age groups and causes uncontrollable seizures that range in frequency and intensity. What causes it remains largely a mystery, but there appear to be several potential culprits. Genetics is a primary cause, but brain trauma and injury are also known causes of this issue among many sufferers.

Once a doctor diagnoses you with epilepsy, he or she will prescribe medication designed to stabilize receptors deep within the brain. Epileptic seizures happen because of disturbances in the brain’s circuitry, which causes a type of “electrical overload” that triggers an involuntary response. This leads to uncontrollable seizures and, in extreme cases, even convulsions.

Seizures themselves cause various degrees of brain damage, but there are other dangers too. People die during seizures from accidents. You could fall into the pool, for example, or down the stairs during an episode, even crash your car. There are different types of epilepsy, including Doose Syndrome, Dravet Syndrome, Cortial Dysplasia, and Infantile Spasms.

THC or CBD Extract?

Cannabis plants contain over 100 different cannabinoids, of which CBD and THC are the most famous. This recognition is because they are the most used of all them. THC is the psychoactive molecule responsible for the “high” associated with marijuana, but CBD is not. This makes CBD the choice for those who do not want to feel stoned, as well as for children and even pets suffering seizures.

Medicinally, pure CBD oil and CBD extract is preferable. They promise an effective result and without any worrisome side effects. Using cannabis to treat health conditions, from mild to severe, relies heavily on highly concentrated CBD extract as opposed to THC. This is especially true for epilepsy, although some patients do report benefits from consuming THC, as well.

What Science Says

Epilepsy drugs do not work forever. Most people become resistant to them after prolonged use. Because of this, the intensity and frequency of their seizures actually starts to increase over time. For patients with epilepsy, finding an alternative treatment, such as CBD, becomes essential to preserving their quality of life and preventing further damage.

Over the last few years, scientists have been analyzing the effects of high-CBD extract on epileptic patients in a number of clinical trials. Results have been very promising. Even news outlets, such as CNN, report on its success, with the most notable case in the media being that of 10-year old Charlotte Figi. A sufferer of Dravet syndrome, Figi successfully used CBD to reduce her seizures dramatically.

The journal Lancet Neurology published the results of the biggest study to date on the effects of CBD on epilepsy. Led by Professor Orrin Devinsky and colleagues, the research team analyzed 162 patients taking high-CBD extract for three months to document their progress. The study found 39.5 percent of participants having fewer seizures, with two percent declared seizure-free at the end of it.

Scientists and doctors, even patients, have long been debating the efficacy of cannabis for epilepsy. However, few studies existed, with little research done on this association. Orrin’s report was the first comprehensive investigation into the subject, and the first with results to go mainstream. His data, as well as results from smaller studies, prove beyond doubt that epileptics can benefit hugely from CBD.

Despite this, much research still needs doing. It is still ongoing. The consensus is an optimistic one, with most considering cannabis a breakthrough treatment for epilepsy and other neurological issues in the future. Legalizing marijuana both medically and recreationally is paving the way for detailed analysis into the effects of cannabis on the brain, and whether it is reliable in providing permanent cures for patients.

CBD and the Future of Epilepsy Treatment

Given the vast anecdotal evidence available and the studies already conducted, it is clear that there is an association between using pure CBD oil and a reduction in both severity and frequency of epileptic seizures. So effective is CBD at helping patients that experts believe it the go-to solution for treatment in the future, especially for those who no longer respond to conventional prescription drug therapy.

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