Medical cannabis has become a popular alternative for treating different ailments. Some use it for depression and anxiety, while others for managing pain. However, unlike other chronic conditions where over-the-counter medication can be used, epilepsy requires various chemicals that are mostly unavailable at local stores.
For many epileptic sufferers, they turn to cannabis, mainly because of its cannabidiol or CBD chemical constituent. Marijuana has demonstrated its potential in treating the illness, which caused some clinical trials approved by the FDA to be soon on the move.
What Causes Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is when there are recurring seizures that vary in effect and intensity. These seizures are due to disturbances in the circuits of the brain where storms of electrical activity are created. About one in every 26 Americans will have an epileptic seizure in their lifetime. According to statistics, two-thirds of the people diagnosed with the disease have no origin for epilepsy.
Perhaps the most disturbing fact is that almost 35% of childhood deaths are caused by epilepsy or those accidents that happen during the attack. For this reason alone, many families are looking for a way to stop and treat the seizures from occurring.
The disorder can be disruptive to a person’s way of life and may result in death. There are also some patients, however, who acquire medication or treatment and there are others who grow out of it. Although it is not a recent knowledge, cannabis and epilepsy have been associated with each other with success stories that focus on children.
Using Weed to Combat Epilepsy
Some specific cannabis varieties are known to help people with epilepsy, such as Charlotte’s Web, which is a strain named after Charlotte Figi who is an eight-year-old with the Dravet syndrome. It is a rare type of epilepsy, but Charlotte said cannabis allowed her to live her life almost normally because the plant significantly reduced her seizures.
Charlotte’s Web has high CBD content and less than 0.3% THC, which is famous for treating not just epilepsy but also other medical conditions, such as insomnia, inflammation, stress, and pain.
How It Works
CBD is naturally found in our bodies, and it binds to the brain receptors to fight health problems, including pain. Therefore, CBD helps block the pain signals as they are being transmitted to the brain. However, this component does not just bind to the pain receptors because it also works on other systems in the brain to protect against inflammation and other diseases.
Unlike THC, CBD does not produce that “high” feeling that people know about using pot. It is because CBD does not create psychoactive effects but may be valuable to those who suffer from epileptic seizures.
Medical trials still have a long way to go when it comes to testing whether or not cannabis is indeed effective against epilepsy. For some experts, the best way to start with the trials is to use a cannabis plant with pure CBD formula because patients will not experience any psychoactivity. However, the problem with this approach is that some patients respond better when there is a little bit of THC in the weed.
Epilepsy is a common disease, and it is expected that medical experts will continue to look for a cure. It may not be surprising to find cannabis as one of the approved treatments for the disease.