Written by Kandi Neal:
Epilepsy is a complicated medical condition that affects millions of people in the United States. With that, comes millions of dollars spent on pharmaceuticals, including anti-seizure therapies. In today’s world of western medicine and high-cost medical intervention, patients often seek out an alternative approach, hoping for something more natural and cost-effective. The good news here is that cannabidiol or CBD, derived from the hemp plant, has yielded promising results when it comes to the treatment of epilepsy.
The most common side effect from epilepsy are seizures. Both seizure frequency and type can greatly affect the individual’s quality of life. The scary part is that most people suffering from epilepsy don’t have any solid explanation for why they have seizures. What is clear, however, is the science behind the seizure. When the nerves in the brain start to fire abnormally or part of the brain gets overstimulated, an imbalance occurs, causing surrounding cells to act in the same way, thus causing disruption leading to the seizure.
With the constant development of modern medicine, the past couple of decades have yielded over 20 different types of drugs, but data suggests that the ability to gain more control of unexpected seizures has not improved much. Considering that there aren’t any treatments available that can get to the root of the underlying cause of the seizure itself, it has been challenging to get relief to those who suffer from this condition. It’s become crystal clear that there has been a gap needing to be filled, and CBD oils for epilepsy have emerged as a front runner in terms of a safe and effective alternative.
You may be wondering how the cannabis plant comes into the picture. By design, our bodies are easily able to interact with cannabis, due to our endocannabinoid system which maintains homeostasis. There are cannabinoid receptors in the hippocampus, which is the section of the brain that deals with memory encoding and emotions. When the cells in the hippocampus undergo unusual changes, medial temporal lobe epilepsy can occur, which is one of the most common forms of epilepsy. Both human and animal studies alike have demonstrated that cannabinoids tend to shield the normal hippocampal cells, in turn making the abnormal cells less active. Finally, in the central nervous system, cannabinoid receptors are particularly dense, so it just makes sense to look at cannabis as a safe treatment to help in controlling seizures.
After many studies, clinical trials, and scientific research, a huge breakthrough occurred in June of 2018. Epidiolex was born – the first FDA approved drug that contains a substance derived from medical marijuana to assist with treatment resistant epilepsy. Created specifically to target those who suffer from Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut, participants within three double-blind, placebo controlled, clinical trials found success versus those who were given a placebo. Along with the approval of the Food and Drug Administration, limited side effects were noted, including decreased appetite and issues with sleep. “This approval serves as a reminder that advancing sound development programs that properly evaluate active ingredients contained in marijuana can lead to important medical therapies. And, the FDA is committed to this kind of careful scientific research and drug development,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. Just like any other drug that treats epilepsy, Epidiolex includes a medication guide for patients that includes pertinent information about the drug’s uses and risks.
As the research continues to grow along with the popularity of CBD products, clinical observations have produced some incredible results. One thing to keep in mind is that the dose-response of cannabis is biphasic, meaning that more might just be more and it’s important to find the appropriate dosage that suits your specific needs. In fact, it’s not uncommon for the dose to be decreased if THC is present. For more information on Epidiolex, contact an epilepsy center in your area.
Beyond the use of Epidiolex, there are plenty of over-the-counter products to try. To learn more about the best CBD oil for epilepsy, take a listen to our podcast on the subject. In the meantime, consider checking out Cannafyl™ Balance Full Spectrum CBD in Peppermint – perfect for the holidays! Beyond the many benefits of CBD oil’s ability to reduce inflammation and anxiety, it can also help to clear the mind, rid menstrual cramps, and even aid in alleviating migraine headaches.
It has become increasingly clear that there is much to celebrate when it comes to the advances CBD continues to make. At Cannafyl, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re looking for something to simply help you relax, or a product that’s a little stronger for treating something more serious, we are happy to serve your needs.
Healthline.com: A Simple Guide to the Endocannabinoid System
FDA.gov: FDA Approves First Drug Comprised of an Active Ingredient from Marijuana to Treat Rare, Severe Forms of Epilepsy