It is always positive to learn about a new treatment for epilepsy, and the potential benefits of CBD oil for seizures in adults and children are exciting. However, we are still learning about how CBD affects people with epilepsy, so until we know more it should not be seen as a replacement for standard treatments.
The medical use of marijuana has gained considerable interest in the press in the last two decades. Three reasons for this are (a) the appeal of being a “natural” alternative treatment; (b) the discovery of a complex cell-signaling system responsive to cannabis, the endocannabinoid system; and (c) prominent public cases, such as Charlotte Figi in the United States.
Although it looks promising, cannabidiol is difficult to study in the US because marijuana is still classified as a schedule 1 drug.
While THC works primarily by binding directly to the body's endocannabinoid receptors, CBD produces profound anti-inflammatory, anti-pain, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, and anti-spasm effects by indirectly stimulating these same receptors through inhibition of the enzyme that metabolizes and destroys anandamide, a cannabinoid-like compound produced naturally in the body.
New evidence suggests that a chemical derived from marijuana may be an effective treatment for patients with drug-resistant forms of epilepsy.
How one molecule from the cannabis plant came to be seen as a therapeutic cure-all.
Epidiolex, a mostly purified plant-based cannabidiol oil, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2018 to treat seizures in people with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, two rare forms of childhood-onset epilepsy. In 2020, Epidiolex was approved to treat seizures caused by tuberous sclerosis complex, a rare genetic disease that causes benign tumors to grow in the brain—which can lead to seizures—and other areas. The drug is a liquid that's administered orally with a special syringe.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that cannabis oil may help some of these people control their seizures and potentially save their lives. A small number of studies have shown that adding cannabis oil to existing medication may be effective in devastating, hard-to-treat epilepsy in children and adolescents.
The increased nationwide support for legal medical cannabis is helping marijuana be seen more widely as a medicine and is spurring the development of strains that treat diseases like epilepsy, which require a broader selection of individualized strains to help every patient gain normalcy back into their life.
The off-label use of cannabis sativa plant in treating seizures is known since ancient times. The active ingredients of this plant are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), the latter considered safer and more effective in treating seizures, and with less adverse psychotropic effects.
For the first time, scientists have demonstrated that a component of cannabis reduces seizures in children with a rare form of epilepsy, marking a significant step in efforts to use marijuana and its derivatives to treat serious medical conditions.
The group taking the cannabidiol had an average 5.9 seizures per month after treatment, compared to 12.4 average seizures a month previously, an approximately 50% reduction, and this finding was statistically significant.
Release of the brain’s equivalent of THC, marijuana’s active component, reduces seizure activity but leads to post-seizure oxygen deprivation in the brain, Stanford scientists and their collaborators have shown.
Tussles about what works are common in medicine. And parents at their wits’ end sometimes turn to unwise, ineffective options. But cannabis is known to help with some forms of epilepsy: a treatment licensed for two forms of the condition contains the non-psychoactive compound cannabidiol.
When conventional treatments do not work to control seizures, as is the case for roughly 30% of people with epilepsy, it is not unreasonable to consider CBD oil. However, this should only be considered after a thorough evaluation at a specialized epilepsy center to look at whether all possible treatments (including FDA-approved new and add-on medicines, dietary therapy, devices, and surgery) have been reasonably tried.
It's the first large randomized clinical trial of CBD to help treat seizures.
PEOPLE HAVE BEEN growing and smoking marijuana for thousands of years, but it wasn’t until 1964 that anyone knew why it got you high. That year, the Israeli chemist Raphael Mechoulam isolated tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC, and went on to do groundbreaking studies on how and why marijuana affects the brain. But all along, he had his eye on another of cannabis’ chemical components, one that he had discovered a year before: cannabidiol, or CBD.
Cannabidiol comes from marijuana plants. It doesn't cause highs but it may treat life-threatening epilepsy. Shouldn't it be legal?
Because synthetic cannabinoids are not detectable on commercial drug screens it is important that neurologists and emergency department physicians consider Spice inhalation in their differential diagnosis of a first generalized seizure.
Epilepsy is the third most common neurological disorder, following Alzheimer's and strokes. Its connection to cannabis began as early as 1800 B.C.E., where there was strong evidence from Sumerian and Akkadian clay tablets suggesting cannabis to treat seizures. In the 10th century, Persian physician Ali ibn al-'Abbas al-Majusi prescribed hemp leaf juice snorted through the nose to treat epilepsy. Then, in 1890, Sir John Russell Reynolds, Queen Victoria’s physician, recommended cannabis for a variety of medical issues including epilepsy.
EPIDIOLEX is a prescription medicine that is used to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, Dravet syndrome, or tuberous sclerosis complex…