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CBD oil for epilepsy – Can it help with seizures?
Epilepsy can be a life-changing illness. Seizures can occur frequently and without warning, leaving some sufferers unable to live the life they once had. As interest grows in CBD for its therapeutic qualities, some have been turning to it as a treatment for epilepsy. In this article, we’ll investigate whether or not you can use CBD as a treatment for epilepsy.
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What is CBD and how does it help epilepsy?
CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is part of the hemp and cannabis plant and has been heralded in recent years for its therapeutic and medicinal benefits. People can ingest or smoke CBD and once they do it interacts with the endocannabinoid system. This may help to alleviate pain and other conditions. Recently, people in the UK have begun to take CBD oil and understand better what it is for epilepsy. But, does it work?
Can CBD help with epilepsy?
When looking at CBD and epilepsy, we need to take a close look at a drug called Epidiolex. This is the first CBD drug approved by the FDA in the US and has very recently been approved for use in the UK under the name Epidyolex.
It is made with 99% pure CBD and has shown great results in treating children with epilepsy. It is known to reduce the frequency of seizures in people with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
CBD and seizures – How does it help reduce epileptic seizures?
Seizures can happen when there is an unusual amount of electrical activity in the brain. CBD is believed to help reduce inflammation in the brain which doctors think may reduce the severity and frequency of seizures. CBD is also known to be an effective anticonvulsant.
The potential for CBD and long term epilepsy treatment
While there are positive signs showing that CBD can be used to treat epilepsy in some patients, there is less research showing the results of the long term effects of this treatment. However, even at this early stage scientists have noticed some effects:
- Increased tolerance
Some epilepsy patients become resistant to drugs over time. This can make a once effective drug useless. To combat this doctors may put a patient on a new drug in the hope that they experience a “honeymoon” period in which the new drug works. How long this lasts varies from person to person. Eventually, the patient may become resistant to the new drug as well.
In a recent test on epilepsy patients, it was discovered that a third of them developed an increased tolerance to CBD treatment over the course of seven months. Once the dosage was increased, patients who developed a tolerance began to notice the benefits again.
Studies on CBD Oil for Epilepsy
The majority of recent UK government backed studies into epilepsy investigating the relationship between CBD and epilepsy has focused on the drug – Epidiolex. The New England Journal of Medicine noted in 2018 that the frequency of drop seizures decreased in patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome when CBD treatment was added to current medication.
What to take from these studies
While CBD medication like Epidiolex has had some amazing results, it only works for certain age groups with a specific type of epilepsy. It’s also important to note that CBD does not cure epilepsy. It is hoped that further research and testing will lead to new treatments for other forms of epilepsy.
How taking CBD can affect you
As well as potentially helping people who suffer from epilepsy, CBD has been used by people all over the UK and the world.
It can treat:
- Pain and CBD
- Low appetite
Tests have shown that CBD interacts with receptors in the body that are responsible for inflammation. This has led to people with arthritis turning to CBD oils and CBD creams.
As well as interacting with the receptors responsible for inflammation, CBD also affects the receptors that deal with pain. CBD can help with pain management throughout the body, allowing some people to live pain-free.
CBD can help people who are suffering from nausea as well. It directly deals with the trigger that’s responsible for nausea. This has made CBD very popular with people who are going through chemotherapy as it can cause severe nausea.
Some traditional treatments for diseases like cancer can cause patients to not want to eat. CBD is known to stimulate appetite in some users. This can be a good way to maintain a healthy weight to help patients beat the disease that they’re fighting.
In addition to these applications, early signs from researchers have also shown that CBD can be used as a treatment option for certain types of epilepsy.
CBD has applications across a wide spectrum of diseases and illnesses. It seems that CBD can help some people with epilepsy. However, it will take some time until we are aware of the longterm benefits and risks of CBD and Epidiolex/Epidyolex.