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CBD and Epilepsy

What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder where the nerves in the brain become scrambled. This causes anything from momentary staring to violent seizures. Seizures can cause injuries. AEDs (anti-epileptic drugs) are prescribed to control seizures in patients with epilepsy. But in some cases the drugs are ineffective. This is called intractable epilepsy.

What is CBD?

CBD (cannabidiol) is a marijuana extract being researched for use in treating patients with epilepsy. This might be useful for patients whose seizures are intractable. Currently, marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 substance. It’s illegal in the United States but some states have made “medical marijuana” legal. Therefore the law varies from state to state. This problem has made CBD difficult to obtain for the research that needs to be done.

Side-Effects of pharmaceuticals

If research confirms that a CBD tincture is effective in controlling seizures, many children with intractable seizures could be helped. There are often side effects experienced from the drugs prescribed for most children and adults. Furthermore, treatments such as brain surgery, electrical implant devices and other alternatives are invasive or difficult. If the use of CBD for patients with epilepsy could eliminate those side-effects and difficult procedures, while also provide hope for those patients with intractable seizures, it would be a huge breakthrough for medical science.

Researching CBD

The latest information on the effectiveness of CBD for use in treating epilepsy is still unconfirmed though. More research needs to be done. The problem of not having marijuana or any of its components readily available for study is holding back the work. According to the CURE (Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy) website the fact that “…epilepsy, which affects more people than multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s combined—yet receives fewer federal dollars per patient than each of these” further restricts the research.

Possible Side-effects of CBD?

Concerns about side-effects from the use of CBD like reduced cognitive functions and psychiatric disorders are being looked at. That is something that will be studied in clinical trials during the research. But there are some reports stating that CBD is a non-psychoactive and well-tolerated anticonvulsant.

Hope for patients

The bottom line is that more research needs to be done. Parents in a recent survey reported that 16 of 19 of their children showed a marked reduction in the number of seizures while on the CBD therapy. This is a very small survey but the results are promising. Paul Heldman, a retired Kroger executive, has a son with epilepsy. Heldman, who wants to invest in a marijuana farm if it’s made legal in Ohio said, “Until we legalize marijuana in Ohio and throughout our country, rigorous scientific research into its applications will not be possible and thousands, perhaps millions, of people will suffer needlessly,”