CBD hit the main stream of the population when the treatment of an anticonvulsant was brought up. Epilepsy is something that is getting a lot prevalent in the drugs that are supposed to work on them are known to have many side effects that can be quite damming to its users. It is a medical condition that can be quality of life threatening and for many, any form of respite is welcome. How effective though is CBD as a treatment to Epilepsy and other anticonvulsant disorders? What is the science on this line of reasoning? Here are some facts.
The scientific evidence
The chemical pathways and interactions of CBD in comparison to a number of anticonvulsive medication and drugs were made. The results can be found here. It was found that when each of the drugs are applied at peak effect, it was found that CBD is highly effective in two ways. First, its is potent in audiogenic seizure tests as well as with maximal electroshock seizures. Apart from being a really potent by itself, it also increased the effectiveness of traditionally applied drugs. CBD works by itself as well as in combination with other drugs and is more effective with major seizures than with minor events. It can work against the potency of medication that is used for such minor incidents, namely ethosuximide, trimethadione, chlordiazepoxide, and clonazepam. While it increases the potency of drugs like phenytoin, phenobarbital , and like drugs. The full study can be found here.
Epilepsy in the US
As of 2017 there are 2.4 million people who right now have severe epilepsy in the USA and getting seizures is just a part of everyday life for these people. About a million of these patients have uncontrollable levels of seizures that affects everyday life as well as has the potential to be life threatening. People who are in the risk category of seizures are often unable to undertake regular, everyday tasks like swimming, driving, and in some cases even hold a regular job. For some, the condition is so bad that they are unable to maintain a regular lifestyle and can spiral into depression and anxiety, sometimes simply waiting for the next episode to strike.
Seizures are caused by electrical signals misfiring in the brain, abnormal discharges, and this causes convulsions in the body that can alter the senses and cause the person to lose consciousness. While there is no real way to tell how many such episodes happen a day, it can be from one or two to literally hundreds a day. They can last anywhere between a second to a few minutes. Epilepsy can also be caused by trauma to the head, viral infections in the brain as well as other chemical and hormonal imbalances in the brain. The worst part, however, is that in a hood number of cases, the actual reasons for it happening is unknown. It has to be noted, however that not all seizures are caused by epilepsy. There are a number of diseases, including certain cancers that can trigger a seizure.
CBD and convulsions
The Epilepsy Foundation strongly believes that CBD and marijuana are effective treatments for this condition. They are strong advocates for the legalization of the plant for recreational and medicinal use. The DEA, however, are quiet staunch in their stance against it. Cannabis not being available in the open market has also led to it not being studied as much as it can in the fields of epilepsy research and to run actual clinical trials. Even the study mentioned here was one that was conducted on rats only.
The treatment of convulsions using cannabidiol and cannabis is something that has been done for centuries. Medicine men of ancient cultures including Africa, China, and India are well known to make use of marijuana to treat epilepsy. While they might not have known the actual science behind it, it was used and it was effective. What they were aware of, however, are the neuroprotective properties of the plant. Till the ban of cannabis in the 1930’s doctors themselves regularly prescribed it for treating seizures and convulsions right here in the US. Called cannabis tincture, it was an effective medicine that was highly regarded. In fact its anticonvulsional properties are among its most well known. There is extensive research that has been carried out on the use of hemp tincture against epilepsy till the early 1930’s. After this period, the research took a sharp decline as it became a narcotic, controlled substance.
Almost every time a seizure is about to hit, the person is likely to experience what is called an aura or some other feeling that they have learned over time to let the patient know that they will have a convulsion. It is a state of heightened sensitivity with the sufferer seeing lights, hearing sounds as well as sometimes even experiencing strange smells. Apart from these feelings, there is also a feeling of fear and at times an inability to speak or make sense of their surroundings. People who experience seizures regularly will be able to tell that they have an aura episode and that a seizure is likely to follow in due course of time.
Treatment for Epilepsy and Convulsions
There have been more clinical trials for this condition than any other in terms of CBD. From what most of the studies show you need a High Grade CBD product with a minimum of 1500mg per bottle or 30mg per Dose.
Some Research has also shown that a higher dose could limit the number of Seizures a patient will have in the future.
If you want to know more we would recommend you read the case studies that you can find on google using the search term "Case Study CBD Epilepsy".