The symptoms of epilepsy vary from one person to the next and depend on the type of seizures you have. While your seizure symptoms may not be the same as someone else, your specific symptoms tend to be the same each time with a repeated pattern during episodes.
For example, Scientific American reported on a study involving the use of a cannabis-based drug known as Epidiolex, which is a purified oil extract containing 99 percent cannabidiol, or CBD. This is a chemical found in marijuana that does not produce psychoactive effects. This form of treatment was provided to patients in addition to the existing medications they were using, and all of the patients were aware of what they were taking.
The disorder produces intense, abnormal electrical activity in the brain, which can cause seizures. This disorder can be caused by brain damage, a tumor or an infection, but in most cases, the cause is unknown. Environmental toxins and metabolic disturbances may also be to blame for some cases.
Another rare complication is called sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP). The risk is low, but some patients with epilepsy suffer sudden unexplained death. Heart or respiratory issues could be to blame, although the specific cause for SUDEP is unknown.
Children with epilepsy most commonly take cannabis products in liquid form instead of smoking it in the traditional recreational manner. These products are sometimes available in gels or patches as well. The high levels of CBD in these products help control the seizure activity while minimizing the “high” sensation. Most of these products have some THC, but they are usually limited.
Once diagnosed with epilepsy, patients typically seek treatment to help control the seizures and other symptoms. Some children may outgrow epilepsy, while others need to continue seeking treatment to control the symptoms for life. Treatment is necessary even when seizures aren’t severe. Even a mild seizure can have serious side effects if it occurs during certain activities, such as driving, so it’s important to keep the seizures under control for the safety of the patient and those around the patient.
A studied concluding in 2017 found that medical marijuana can be beneficial for treating children and adolescents with epilepsy. Dr. Shane Shucheng Wong, MD and Timothy E. Wilens, MD from Massachusetts General Hospital conducted a study that studied the effect of medicinal cannabis in the adolescent treatment of epilepsy and chemotherapy-induced nausea that included randomized controlled trials, case reports, retrospective chart reviews, and open-label trials. They found that cannabinoids far out-performed other drugs in reducing in the frequency of seizures.
While some people seem to respond well to CBD, strains that include some THC with CBD may prove effective when CBD alone doesn’t reduce seizures. Some researchers believe the two substances work together creating an entourage effect. A marijuana doctor can evaluate your medical needs to determine which strain of marijuana is best for your particular situation.
Epilepsy is a disorder of the central nervous system characterized by loss of consciousness and convulsions. The seizures caused by epilepsy are due to issues in the brain rather than temporary medical conditions, such as a high fever. Approximately 1 of every 26 Americans will have a seizure disorder at some point in life. Estimates show approximately three million Americans have epilepsy right now. Each year, another 200,000 people receive an epilepsy diagnosis.
Learn more about how medical marijuana can help treat Epilepsy at Marijuana Doctors. Find treatment options and reviews on local marijuana doctors in your area today!