Epilepsy is a chronic mental condition that causes recurrent seizures. Seizures occur due to an uncalled rush of electrical activities inside the human brain. Epilepsy affects around 60 million people globally and can be developed by anyone regardless of age or gender. However, it is noted that men are slightly more prone to developing epilepsy than women.
Epilepsy is characterized by two types of seizures, generalized and partial seizures. In a generalized seizure, the whole brain gets affected as opposed to a partial seizure that targets just one part of the brain.
When an epileptic seizure has a mild intensity then it can be hard to recognize it and it can last for a few moments. Strong seizures, on the other hand, can create uncontrollable and violent muscle twitches and spasms.
A strong epileptic seizure can be very physically damaging to the sufferer and can be mentally scarring for the people witnessing it. Sufferers often cannot recall the seizure ever happening and usually wake up feeling confused and perplexed.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for epilepsy. However, the symptoms and the intensity of the seizures can be minimized with medication.
What is CBD?
CBD is one of the many compounds found in the cannabis plant. CBD or cannabinoid is a non-psychotropic plant which is known to have a multitude of health benefits. There are a lot of controversies circling the use of CBD oil, some people assume that since it’s derived from a marijuana plant that it will have a euphoric effect on the user. This is not true, THC is a compound found in cannabis which is responsible for the psychoactive effect on the user. CBD, on the other hand, does not contain any such properties.
CBD has been legalized in several parts of the world but it is still under debate in many nations owing to its controversy.
CBD oil is derived from extracting CBD from cannabis and mixing with coconut oil or seed hemp oil which acts as a diluter. CBD oil is a wondrous compound that helps in relieving stress, sleep-related disorders and improves one’s quality of life.
How can CBD Help Seizures?
In epileptic seizures, doctors prescribe anticonvulsants that help in mitigating the symptoms of epilepsy. However, these anticonvulsants come with an array of negative side effects. Medical marijuana or CBD, on the other hand, has anticonvulsant properties and since it’s a plant-based compound it doesn’t have the usual negative side effects of anticonvulsants.
These anticonvulsant properties of CBD work by targeting different chemicals in the brain. These chemicals are calcium and sodium ion channels, receptor agonists and glutamate receptor. It may also affect the neurotransmitters which are responsible for sending out messages to the brain. It can also work by attaching itself to the neurons to alter the activity of the cells.
Studies on CBD for Seizures and Epilepsy
Research and studies from a few years ago suggest that CBD could be potentially useful in minimizing the occurrence and intensity of epileptic seizures.
In a study conducted a few years ago a bunch of people with an average age of 11 years were put on Epidolex which is 99% CBD. The result showed a drop of an average of 54% in the occurrence of epileptic seizures.
A study conducted in Dravet suggested a reduction of epileptic seizure by approximately 40% as compared to 17% on a group who was put on placebo. These results definitely give a concrete evidence of the effect of CBD on epilepsy.
What Disorders Can Be Treated?
CBD is a wondrous compound that can treat and relieve a ton of medical ailments. It can fix several sleeping problems like insomnia, REM disorders and can contribute to an overall quality sleep. It can also be very helpful for mental disorders like depression and schizophrenia.
CBD oil, as already discussed before, is excellent for epileptic seizure disorder with it natural anticonvulsant properties. It can not only reduce the intensity of strong seizure but also reduce the frequency of occurrence of these seizures.
Why Use CBD Instead of Pharmaceutical Drugs?
As mentioned before, patients with epilepsy are prescribed with a couple of anticonvulsants. These anticonvulsants include phenobarbital, primidone, ethosuximide etc.
However, these anticonvulsants are relatively ineffective and they come with a huge list of bad side effects. In a way, patients get more trouble than what they had come with before. These negative side effects can be mild like a headache, nausea but they can be as severe as depression, impotency, slurring of speech, liver failure etc.
Majorly on the basis of these two downsides of anticonvulsants people have been exploring more approaches to treat the symptoms of epilepsy.
Keeping in mind that about 30% of the patients suffering from epilepsy are innately resistant to anticonvulsants, CBD oil poses to be a very effective alternative to anticonvulsant.
Since the usage of CBD is completely harmless you don’t even have to worry about the side effects and the habit formation which happens with most pharmaceutical drugs.
CBD Dosage for Seizures
Our initial suggestions to all those who are starting afresh with CBD oil is that you must consult your doctor or a general physician before consuming it. Take special note in case you are already on some medication.
Having said that, CBD oil is completely safe and harmless to your body but for starters, you can begin with 7ml. You can increase the dosage with 1 ml and repeat every 12 hours in case you don’t see any visible changes. An oil composition with 2:1 ratio of CBD and THC works best for patients with epilepsy.