Much of the move towards legalization in the US today may be because of its potential to help prevent epileptic seizures. Probably one of the most popular stories today is that of Charlotte Figi, who saw a drastic reduction of her epileptic seizures brought on by Dravet Syndrome after being administered a CBD oil derived from “Charlotte’s Web” – a strain developed by the Stanley Brothers. Jason David of Jayden’s Journey also had a critical role to play in the development of Charlotte’s Web and the move towards medical marijuana for use on people with epilepsy.
Though there is no definite proof for the efficacy of cannabis for epilepsy, the signs so far are promising. Epilepsy was also one of the first conditions the medical use of cannabis was tested for in the 70s – prohibition restricted further studies. Ever since Charlotte’s story, however, the research into this area has heated up, with GW Pharmaceuticals looking at creating Epidiolex for rare forms of epilepsy. Several volunteers have reported positive experiences with CBD. However, whether Epidiolex is any better than any of the other amazing whole plant extracts on offer at the best dispensaries is up for debate. GW Pharms merely has more money and legal clout to lobby government with, making the medications they develop are “more acceptable”.
At the moment, there is lots of anecdotal and empirical evidence suggesting that cannabis could be immensely useful for epilepsy treatment, with several parents reporting a drop in seizures after cannabidiol-enriched cannabis. There are lots of complexities regarding how the endocannabinoid signalling affects epilepsy, but signs so far are showing that,yes, cannabis may indeed be useful for some types of rare epilepsy.
However, there is one major issue, and that is the quality of CBD oil. CBD oil derived from hemp is usually of bad quality, due to the fact that industrial hemp is used to make it – hemp that contains heavy metals, pesticides and other things that are essentially poisonous to the human body. This type of CBD oil may increase the likelihood of getting seizures. For high-quality, effective epilepsy medication, a medical marijuana card and whole extract oils from well-grown female marijuana plants are likely both the best and safest option.
- CBD may have anticonvulsant effects
- CBD may have antiepileptic effects
- Cannabinoids may help treat neuronal hyperexcitability
- May not work for every form of epilepsy, and some reports have suggested that CBD may not be suitable for all epileptics (and may in some cases may make seizures worse)
- No definite evidence for the efficacy of cannabis for epilepsy as of yet