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Cannabis as a Treatment for Epilepsy


Epilepsy affects approximately three million Americans. It is the 4th most common neurological disorder and each year, 150,000 people in the United States are diagnosed. Epilepsy has been linked to congenital abnormalities, genetic predisposition, brain infections, brain cancer/tumors, and neurological disorders such as stroke or injuries to the brain.

Epilepsy Symptoms & Medication Side Effects May Be Treated With Cannabis

Abnormal brain cell activity results in recurrent and unprovoked seizures which may involve only a part of the body and brain (partial seizures) or the whole body and both brain hemispheres (generalized seizures.) Epilepsy symptoms vary and include convulsions, involuntary movements, temporary paralysis, loss of consciousness, incoordination, confusion, memory loss, mood changes, and other cognitive changes.

While medication controls epilepsy symptoms, there are often serious long-term complications. Fatigue, headache, appetite loss, vomiting, allergic reactions, and tremors are a few of the concerting side effects. Extended use of epilepsy medications can lead to cognitive issues such as irritability, increased anxiety, mood swings, aggression, paranoia, bone thinning, hair growth, liver and pancreas damage, blood clotting problems, and kidney problems.

Researchers have discovered an effective alternative epilepsy treatment in cannabinoids, particularly CBD.

  • Cannabinoids Increase Anandamide and Reduce Excitotoxicity
  • Cannabinoids Reduce Epileptiform Activities
  • CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory and a potent neuroprotective and antioxidant agent
  • CBD helps control epilepsy symptoms by influencing CB2 receptors
  • THC activates CB1 receptors to control seizures

Treatment for Epilepsy Using CBD

Ancient societies throughout history have turned to cannabis to control seizures. Due to the classification as a Schedule I substance, limited research has been completed in the United States. However, researchers in other countries continue to explore and prove the medicinal potential. Here at home, parents of children who suffer from epilepsy have seen a decrease in seizure frequency with CBD-enriched cannabis treatment. Many report being seizure-free with significant improvement in symptoms and no adverse side-effects.

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