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Seizures and Medicinal Cannabis

Seizures are bursts of electrical activity that move through the brain often causing muscles to stiffen, twitch or spasm, or states of unawareness.

There are various types of seizures, some of which can be single occurrences due to standalone issues such as injury or a reaction to medication. 

If someone suffers from repeated or recurring seizures, they have a condition known as epilepsy. Generally, there are two main types of seizures that people experience: focal onset or generalised onset:

Focal Onset:

Focal onset seizures begin in one area of the brain and can spread across to other areas. Depending on how the electrical activity spreads, the seizure can have symptoms ranging from 'phasing out' to severe uncontrolled shaking/jerking.

Generalised onset:

Seizures that effect both sides of the brain, generalised onset seizures are usually identified during childhood.

What are the symptoms of Seizures?

Seizures have many physical symptoms, including:

  • Staring
  • Jerking movements of the arms and legs
  • Stiffening of the body
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Breathing problems or stopping breathing
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Falling suddenly for no apparent reason, especially when associated with loss of consciousness.

Factors that may increase your risk of having seizures:

  • Age. The onset of epilepsy is most common in children and older adults
  • Family history
  • Head injuries
  • Stroke and other vascular diseases
  • Dementia
  • Brain infections
  • Seizures in childhood

How can medicinal cannabis help with Seizures?

According to evidence from lab studies, reports and clinical trials, cannabidiol can potentially help control seizures, with the only PBS subsidised cannabis medication being used to treat anti epileptic medication resistant sufferers of epilepsy. 

When combined with other therapies, evidence suggests that medicinal cannabis is one of the most effective treatments for some childhood epilepsy cases, drastically improving quality of life in epileptic children and young adults under 25. 

Some of the cannabis products that have shown to be beneficial treatments to Seizures sufferers include:

  • Nabiximols
  • Dronbinol
  • THC:CBD extracts
  • CBD extracts
  • Cannabis Sativa
  • Cannabis Indica

They can be consumed as an oil, vape liquid, sprays and wafers.

If you or a loved one are suffering from Seizures and are considering medicinal cannabis as a potential treatment, please speak to your GP or to one of our SAS accredited doctors here.