Doctors of Natural Medicine

Medical Marijuana For Epilepsy

In this article we hope to help you understand how medical marijuana can help you or your loved one dealing with Epilepsy. As you already know, epilepsy has no known cure . This being said, we’re here to show you in what situations medical marijuana could be helpful.

First – What is Medical Marijuana?

Medical Marijuana refers to a product that is derived from the cannabis plant. This can come from several different parts of the plant such as the dried flowers, resins and oils – and in order for it to be medical, it has to be recommended by a doctor and grown under strict medical guidelines. If you need such a recommendation and you live in the state of Colorado, please consider booking and appointment with one of our state accredited medical marijuana doctors.

Medical marijuana can be taken in several forms including directly or infused into foods, lozenges and candies. It has slowly become a popular method of alternative treatment for patients with epilepsy.

Does cannabis help with seizures?

Medical Marijuana and seizures – early evidence, lab research studies and small clinical trials have suggested that CBD can potentially control seizures. According to the epilepsy foundation, “Research on CBD has been hard to do and taken time due to federal regulations and limited access to cannabidiol,” which has made it hard for scientists to fund these types of studies. However, in recent years, patients who haven’t responded to traditional treatments have show positive outcomes with medical marijuana.

Hemp – your new friend

What is hemp? Hemp is a varietal of the cannabis sativa plant. It has been used to make many different clothings and household items. Hemp is known for its high content of CBD and low THC. For this reason, a lot of CBD is made with hemp. Now, CBD is no longer a Schedule I substance and can be studied further! 

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Fda approved Cannabinoid

Cannabis has been so effective at treating Epilepsy that the FDA has approved an active cannabinoid for the market. This cannabinoid is called Epidiolex.

epidiolex – the only CBD product

Epidiolex is a CBD based medicine approved by the FDA and is currently the only cannabinoid created to treat epilepsy. Even though CBD is now legal, we still have a long way to go with research and creating more medicine for those dealing with epilepsy.  Epidiolex has been tested and is now treating patients with epilepsy regularly.

Not all CBD is good CBD

It is important to note that not all CBD is made the same way. From batch to batch, the quality of CBD can differ greatly and the quality can as well. When choosing to buy CBD, make sure you do your research or buy your product with a trusted retailer that is is know for choosing only quality CBD products that have been tested in the lab.

the Treatment of Epilepsy with Cannabis isn’t New

This may sound shocking but marijuana has been used for centuries to treat epilepsy, we just seem to be catching on a little late. According to a paper in The Journal of the International League Against Epilepsy marijuana was used to treat a variety of conditions in ancient China as far back as 2,700 B.C. These conditions included:

  • menstrual disorders
  • gout
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • malaria
  • constipation
According the Healthline, there is also evidence that in medieval times marijuana was used to treat:
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • epilepsy
  • inflammation
  • pain
  • fever

THC’s Viability

CBD and THC are both cannabinoids. Although we have centered this article mostly on CBD, THC still is a cannabinoid. Exactly how it works for epilepsy has still yet to be determined. CBD has had more of a chance to be studied due to its upper hand in the law system, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that we should discount the possibilities of THC, especially when it comes to its interaction with CBD which is said to compound in therepeautic ways. Again, The evidence here is lacking but the anecdotal evidence does exist.

Side Effects

While the consensus for the viability of medicinal marijuana among patients with epilepsy is positive, researchers and doctors advise caution until the side effect, both short and long term, need to be better understood. In addition to this, we have yet more research to do when it comes to how marijuana interacts with medication.

Even though we know little, we do know that anti-seizure medication has been known to affect memory. Marijuana, in this instance, is no different. In addition to this, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has suggested that cannabis from a young age can lead to a “measurable drop in cognitive abilities.”

Medical Marijuana for epilepsy – Conclusion

Consult with a doctor if you are considering using medicinal marijuana as an alternative therapy. Each person reacts differently and it’s always best to proceed with caution and knowledge. 

If you are looking to get your medical marijuana card and want to talk to a doctor to see if this is right for you, consider booking an appointment with one of our qualified medical marijuana doctors.