The notion that CBD or cannabis oil can be used to treat epilepsy is not new. As far back as the 19th Century, it was listed as a cure for pediatric epilepsy. Research carried out in the 60s and 70s also showed that there appeared to be a causal link.
It’s only fairly recently that more serious studies have been carried out in countries such as the US and UK, mainly following anecdotal accounts in the media.
- Research has shown that cannabidiol has anticonvulsant effects and could be used in the treatment of conditions such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
- One of the products which has been used is Epidiolex which is 99% CBD.
- A study with 214 patients who had not responded to other treatments found that the drug reduced seizures on average by 54%.
- Another study involving children with Dravet syndrome found a 40% reduction in seizures as opposed to 19% in a placebo group.
The Use of Conventional Treatments
There are a number of antiepileptic drugs on the market and many of these can help alleviate the symptoms of seizures brought on by epilepsy. According to the evidence, however, around 30% of sufferers don’t respond to any currently available medication. In the US, CBD is available for medical use in many states and there has been a growing interest in it for treating those with medical conditions such as epilepsy.
There’s a split between the medical advice and the excitement of many CBD advocates. The former point to the fact that more research needs to be done before we can be certain of the benefits, if there are any at all. Advocates, however, point to the growing amount of anecdotal evidence which shows CBD can make a big difference. This includes the recent story of a 11 year boy who went from many seizures a day to none after using cannabidiol.
Using CBD for Seizures
There’s a good deal of evidence to suggest the major component of cannabis that helps to reduce seizures is CBD or cannabidiol. This component is the part of the plant that doesn’t give you a high and has been associated with improving a number of medical conditions in recent years including cancer.,/p>
There are many options when taking CBD. The first is to use a medical product like Epidiolex.. Finally, there are CBD oil products which can be taken orally, diluted with water, or smoked via a device such as a vape pen.
It makes good sense to discuss using CBD with your physician before trying it for the first time, though you should be prepared for a negative response depending on your location. If you are going to try it anyway, opting for a high CBD strain with very low THC is the best place to start. Begin with a small dose first to see how this works. The idea that higher doses work better is not true – CBD – is biphasic which means you can get opposite effects with different dosages.
The good news is that CBD oil seems to have few side effects compared to some other epilepsy treatments. The trouble is that it doesn’t work for everyone and a certain amount of experimentation is needed to find the right dosage. Some patients find no change at all and others have discovered that a mix of CBD and THC can make a difference for them.