Does Marijuana Help Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions people suffer from, and it’s defined by recurrent seizures that occur because of a sudden jolt of electrical activity taking place in the brain. When this happens, it leads to a disruption in the messaging between brain cells.

There has been a lot of research in recent years on the condition, but also more specifically marijuana and epilepsy.

It’s not just epilepsy where researchers are looking for possible benefits that can come from the use of medical marijuana. The concept of medical marijuana is becoming more mainstream, and researchers are finding more possible therapeutic uses for it.

So, what about marijuana and epilepsy? Does marijuana help epilepsy?

Marijuana and Epilepsy | Does Marijuana Help Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions people suffer from, and it’s defined by recurrent seizures that occur because of a sudden jolt of electrical activity taking place in the brain. When this happens, it leads to a disruption in the messaging between brain cells. There has been a lot of research in recent years on the condition, but also more specifically marijuana and epilepsy.

It’s not just epilepsy where researchers are looking for possible benefits that can come from the use of medical marijuana. The concept of medical marijuana is becoming more mainstream, and researchers are finding more possible therapeutic uses for it.

So, what about marijuana and epilepsy? Does marijuana help epilepsy?

Does marijuana help epilepsy, and what should you know about marijuana and epilepsy?

There are certain cannabinoids, which are compounds found in cannabis that are possibly useful for medical reasons. The two primary cannabinoids that are studied are THC and cannabidiol or CBD. There is some evidence showing that cannabis can be helpful to control seizures. In particular, when looking at marijuana and epilepsy, it’s actually the CBD that may be valuable as a way to control seizures. CBD is not psychoactive, meaning that if it is used, it doesn’t cause people to feel high.

There are currently studies being done in the U.S. on a drug called Epidolex, which is derived from CBD. Epidolex is a primarily oil-based CBD extract, and the FDA has provided permission to some epilepsy centers to use the drug for a limited number of patients.

In a current study of Epidolex, it was shown that seizures decreased by 54% on average with this treatment, including in participants whose seizures were previously unresponsive to other treatments.

While the positive links between marijuana and epilepsy or more specifically CBD are promising, there are side effects of marijuana.

If someone attempts to self-medicate their epilepsy with marijuana, they don’t know what they’re getting, and there’s no consistency in ingredients or dosing. There are so many different strains of marijuana that can yield very different results.

There are also drug interactions with marijuana and other substances that people with epilepsy might take such as VPA which is a commonly relied-upon anti-seizure medicine. The combination of marijuana and VPA may cause liver issues.

There are also legal issues to contend with when it comes to marijuana and epilepsy. For example, while many states do allow cannabis to be dispensed for medical purposes, there may be contradictions with federal laws and there are legality issues about transporting cannabis across state lines or having these items shipped to you.

Despite the possible side effects of using marijuana as a treatment for epilepsy, the Epilepsy Foundation’s official statement on marijuana and epilepsy is that they support the lifting of federal barriers blocking research on cannabis and CBD. They also support access to these possible therapies when people haven’t seen results from other epilepsy treatment options.

So, does marijuana help epilepsy? Marijuana may help epilepsy, but it can be more complicated than simply smoking weed and having the symptoms of epilepsy go away. There are certain cannabis compounds, namely CBD, that may help people with epilepsy but there are side effects to consider. The Epilepsy Foundation does support more research and support for marijuana and epilepsy, however.

Despite the possible positive relationship between marijuana and epilepsy, you should never try to self-medicate, and you should always speak to your physician about the best options to control the symptoms of epilepsy.

Does Marijuana Help Epilepsy?
How Would You Rate This Page?
Does Marijuana Help Epilepsy? was last modified: September 10th, 2018 by The Recovery Village