Can CBD Help Treat Epilepsy?

Can CBD Help Treat Epilepsy?

It seems that CBD may play a role in the treatment of various diseases . Scientists have started to study the therapeutic benefits of CBD for epilepsy. But, what are the benefits of CBD? Can it really cure epilepsy? We explain this to you.

The definition of cannabinoids

The three letters “CBD” come from the word cannabidiol. It is one of the main active ingredients in the cannabis plant. Thanks to its therapeutic effects, some scientists and doctors hope that it could help treat a variety of diseases.

chemical formula cbd

Unlike THC, CBD is not a psychoactive substance . It also does not have an intoxicating effect. In addition, according to a report from the World Health Organization (WHO) , CBD is not dangerous for health ; it is harmless.

The THC and CBD interact both with the system endocannabinoid that is distributed throughout the body and also has a significant influence on our nervous system. Although THC interacts directly with receptors in the same system, it does not bind CBD very much. CBD can also influence messenger substances such as serotonin and adenosine.

What are the side effects of CBD?

Various studies and reports have shown that CBD is not a dangerous substance. However, there can be minor side effects . These include fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, and loss of appetite.

However, you shouldn’t be consuming CBD if you are taking other drugs that are also broken down in the liver. This is because there may be interactions between the drug and CBD . CBD inhibits the breakdown of omeparzol . It is therefore recommended to consult a doctor or pharmacist beforehand.

In addition, the interactions of cannabidiol with already known antiepileptics have not yet been sufficiently researched.

What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diseases. In France, around 500,000 people suffer from this disease . It is characterized by epileptic seizures, which occur due to short-term dysfunctions of the brain.

celebral dysfunction
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The cause of the disease is partly unknown , but the trigger could be an injury or a disorder (such as a brain injury, brain tumor, stroke, or infection).

There are many types of epilepsy: focal seizures, Rolando epilepsy , Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, West syndrome, seizures, etc. The specific symptoms depend on the type and severity of the disease. They range from a brief absence to cramps and stiffness of the body. Then the body can also start to contract uncontrollably.

epileptic crisis
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Some patients also lose consciousness during a tonic-clonic seizure . In particularly severe cases, the patient undergoes several consecutive attacks without regaining full consciousness. In this case, an emergency doctor must be called immediately.

The effects of CBD against epilepsy

Scientists suspect that CBD may have a calming effect on the severity and frequency of epileptic seizures .

Theories have already been developed on how CBD works. It is assumed, for example, that CBD affects the hippocampus and therefore may help reduce epilepsy. It is important to know that the hippocampus is an information center and that if it is disturbed, epilepsy can occur.

Then a combination of THC and CBD with simultaneous administration can be helpful. Indeed, it triggers an entourage effect. However, products with a higher THC concentration can only be obtained with a medical prescription.

Current studies on CBD and epilepsy

Scientists are now conducting studies on the effects of CBD on animals. However, studies in humans are still very poor. Indeed, cannabis has only been the subject of extensive research since the 1970s due to its difficult social status.

For this reason, the empirical values ​​are mainly based on animal studies or on applications in individual cases. However, some studies have already been carried out on humans, we present one to you.

There was a study on CBD involving 171 volunteers aged 2 to 55 years old . In this study, volunteers received 20 mg of cannabidiol (the drug Epidiolex) per kilogram; in addition to their usual medication.

The researchers noticed that the rate of seizures with convulsions in the group who consumed CBD decreased from 71.4 to 31.4 falls per month. In the placebo group, however, there was a reduction in the number of falls per month from 74.7 to 56.3 .

Other types of epileptic seizures could also be significantly reduced: the risk reduction was 41.2% for patients who took CBD and 13.7% for patients on placebo . However, 62% of people treated with CBD also reported side effects during the study. However, these were “only” minor side effects such as diarrhea and drowsiness.

In a second phase, subjects received 200 to 300 mg of cannabidiol per day. Seven of the eight people with epilepsy who used CBD improved their condition, while the placebo patients showed little improvement.

Thus, positive effects have been observed thanks to CBD in epilepsy patients. However, there have also been studies that did not yield significant results. For example, a blinded , placebo-controlled study of 18 patients with Hutington’s disease showed no real effects. However, there were no unwanted side effects.

Which CBD oil for epilepsy?

It is quite difficult to make an explicit recommendation. Most of the studies have not been done with CBD oil, but with drugs that have been mixed with CBD.

cannabis oil
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When buying a CBD product , you need to make sure you are getting a high quality product. Despite the complicated situation of epilepsy, CBD oil could help. At least, it might help relieve the symptoms of a seizure.

Then, to take advantage of the entourage effect, it is necessary to consume a full spectrum extracted oil. However, it should be noted that the THC content should not be greater than 0.2% . Because otherwise a doctor’s prescription is needed.

What about hemp oil?

Since most hemp oils are only produced from hemp seeds and do not contain the valuable ingredients of a cannabis oil (like CBD), it is best not to use them in this case. Many users also use hemp oil to dissolve CBD crystals , one of the purest products in CBD.

artisanal production cbd

How to dose CBD to treat epilepsy?

The same goes for epilepsy: the ideal dosage of CBD does not exist. People are just too different for that. Each organism can react differently, which is why we recommend that you choose your own strength.

Of course, you can also talk to other CBD users and ask them what they think about it. However, keep in mind that your friend’s dose may not be the right dose for you.

Some manufacturers also give dosage recommendations, so that we can orient ourselves on them. In principle, you should of course start with a lower dose and work your way up. After all, you can adjust the dosage at any time.

Are there any experience reports of CBD oils for epilepsy?

In different forums, you can find reviews from people sharing their experiences with CBD products. There are no real tests and comparisons yet – other than a few scientific studies, of course.

Overall, however, it can be said that products with very low THC and CBD content are preferred because CBD is not psychoactive and, according to a WHO report, does not lead to physical dependence. .

Some users swear by CBD now. Of course, there are also from time to time cases where the desired effect did not occur. Side effects cannot be excluded either. The main side effects of CBD are diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, or dry mouth. Here is an interesting study on the subject.

We look forward to new studies and experiences on CBD!

Can I also give CBD to my child with epilepsy?

CBD is safe for children . Some parents have had very good experiences giving CBD to their children with epilepsy. In one study , 85% of parents surveyed (with a sample of 117 parents) said their children had fewer seizures during treatment .

cbd against epilepsy for children
Photo: © Oasis Verte

However, 30% of respondents also said that side effects occurred during treatment. This was, for example, an increase in appetite. However, there were also positive side effects like improved sleep and attention.

CBD is considered harmless, however, there has not yet been any research into the effects of CBD on the brain and long-term growth of children. We therefore recommend that you talk to your doctor.

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