For decades, researchers have been studying the effects that medical marijuana has on patients suffering with epilepsy. Primarily, these studies have focused on the use of cannabidiol (CBD) rather than Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD and THC are the two main components of marijuana:
- THC is the substance in the cannabis plant that gets you ‘high’.
- CBD, however, is completely non-intoxicating. This means that it does not give the high sensation that is usually associated with cannabis products.
The studies that have been conducted using CBD oil over the last several decades have primarily focused on the two kinds of childhood epilepsy that can otherwise be treatment resistant. These are Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndrome, and many of the clinical trials have reported that 40-60% of patients experienced (roughly 50%) a significant reduction in both the frequency and severity of their seizures.
Some studies also recorded patients that reported a higher reduction in seizures (50%-90%), as well as some that experienced several days without a seizure. When studies have tested CBD oil against a placebo for those that experience either Lennox-Gastaut or Dravet syndrome, the patients that were using CBD also experienced a drop in the frequency of their seizures.
Generally, CBD is administered as an oil that is taken orally, which is the preferred method when treating epileptic patients due to the rapid absorption when placed under the tongue, allowing for the effects to take place almost immediately.
While there is much more research to be done, and there is no way to completely erase epilepsy, the results of medical cannabis have been promising when it comes to reducing the symptoms of this condition. A reduction in the severity and frequency of seizures can greatly improve a patient’s quality of life, however it is important to remember that there are side effects that may be experienced with any treatment, and that you must always consult your medical professional.
If you suffer from epilepsy and would like to discuss your treatment options when it comes to plant based medicine, book an online consultation with one of our qualified doctors here.