Research On How CBD Oil Works For Treating Seizures

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Treating seizures through conventional medicine is a life-long treatment. So, if you are suffering from epilepsy, why not try something out of the box? For example, you can use CBD oil for seizures. This article will discuss in detail how CBD oil is beneficial in treating epilepsy and the science behind it.

CBD Oil for Seizures- Historical Perspective

CBD oil is actually the oil extracted from the cannabis plant. Humans have been using cannabis plant for the treatment of different forms of epilepsy since ancient times.

Cannabis plant originated from Central Asia and was cultivated in China initially. However, it spread quickly to East Asia and European countries in the proceeding centuries.

The first recorded study of the medical use of cannabis dates back to the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung in the 2700 B.C.

The medical application of the plant can be traced in the 1800 B.C. in the Sumerian tablets.

A famous researcher, named W.B. O’ Shaughnessy gave the description of cannabis-based products for treating epilepsy 1843. 

How CBD oil Works for Treating Seizures?

As you might already know, the human body contains an endocannabinoid system comprising of different endocannabinoid compounds and receptors.

Mostly, the biological reactions of cannabinoids happen due to the interaction of the two receptors, the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and type 2 (CB2). [1]

In addition, these compounds also target other receptors in small quantities. In addition to being present in the brain, these receptors are extensively expressed in other parts of the body as well.

Latest evidence now shows that endocannabinoids play an effective role in the regulation of neuronal firing and synaptic transmission.

Following are certain research findings that link the endocannabinoid system to seizure disorders.

# 1: Seizure Disorders are Associated with Extensive Changes in the Endocannabinoid System

Recent research has shown that the composition of endocannabinoid system changes during seizures and epilepsy disorders. [2]

Anandamide is a type of cannabinoid substance naturally found in the body. Studies have shown reduced anandamide concentrations in the cerebrospinal fluid in patients with new-onset temporal lobe epilepsy

Another major change that is observed in epileptic patients is an imbalance in the expression of cannabinoid receptors in different brain regions.

An imbalance of these cannabinoid receptors, which then leads to an imbalance in the levels of glutamate and GABA, can lead to increased neuronal firing and heightened brain activity.

This can result in seizure episodes.

The crux of the matter is that the cannabinoid system plays a key role in the development of seizure disorders.

# 2: CBD For Seizures Reduces Neuronal Excitation and Reduces Nerve Stimulation

There is a lot of new research that is adding to our understanding of how CBD oil helps with seizure disorders.

Hippocampus is part of the brain that is involved in the development of seizures. Increased activity of the neurons in this area (or any other part of the brain) can lead to seizures.

Research suggests that CBD reduces the excitation of neurons in the hippocampal area. CBD achieves that in two ways.

First, it reduces the normal rate of firing of the neurons. Second, it makes the neurons less sensitive to the effects of the outside stimulus.

In addition, it also calms down the nerves by promoting the release of inhibitory neurotransmitters like GABA.

# 3: It Reduces Stress and Induces Relaxation

Stress is one of the risk factors that can trigger a seizure episode.

If you have been stressed or have been exposed to anything (like sleep deprivation) that is likely to make you stressed, it will increase the chances of you having a seizure.

CBD oil works by reducing such risk factors. It has got potent anti-inflammatory, stress relieving, and relaxation promoting effects.

A combination of these elements can reduce the chances of you having a seizure.

Some Relevant Studies

Doctor Doing Research

Luckily, researchers have conducted many studies to support the above-stated claims. Here are some studies, which prove that CBD is effective in treating epilepsy.

CBD Oil and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) and Dravet Syndrome

In a recent study, the researchers placed children with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) and Dravet Syndrome into two groups, for 12 weeks.

LGS and Dravet Syndrome are types of disorders that include intractable seizures that are refractory to ordinary anti-epileptic medication.

One of the groups received CBD medication whereas the other group was a placebo. Even the parents and physicians didn’t know whether the child was receiving the active or the placebo drug.

After 12 weeks, the researchers gave all the children the opportunity to take active medications.

The data from this study showed that the seizures reduced by 39 percent in children with CBD treatment, compared to the 16 percent in the placebo group.

The researchers stated that it was quite a stark difference. Therefore, CBD is quite beneficial in children with LGS and Dravet syndrome.

CBD For Seizures and Effects on a Large Cohort with LGS

In another study, conducted in May 2018, the researchers studied the effect of cannabidiol on seizures in the Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.

In this double-blind placebo study conducted at 30 different clinical centers, 225 patients finally enrolled.

There were three groups in total. The first group of 76 patients received 20 mg CBD. The next group of 73 patients received 10-mg while the remaining 76 were in the placebo group. During the 28-day period, the frequency of seizures among all the groups reduced.

The results showed that the addition of CBD doses of 10mg or 20mg significantly per day resulted in a greater reduction of drop seizures than the placebo.

CBD and Refractory Epilepsy

Last but not least, a study conducted in August 2018, examined the effect of CBD in the treatment of refractory epilepsy in children and adolescents. The study included 57 patients with various epileptic disorders.

These patients received CBD medications for at least 3 months. Out of the 57 patients, 26 showed a 50% reduction in the frequency of seizures.

Researchers concluded at the end of the study that CBD extracts result in a significant reduction of seizure frequency in patients with refractory epilepsy.

So, the bottom line is that CBD oil is quite effective in treating seizures. If you are stuck with conventional medicine to control epileptic seizures and you don’t know what to do, you should try out CBD oil.

What are the Benefits of Using CBD Oil For Seizures as an Adjuvant to Conventional Anti-epileptic Medication?

Conventional Medication

The idea is not to abandon your usual anti-epileptic treatment, as it is crucial for the management of seizures.

The idea here is to consider using CBD oil as an alternative and adjuvant therapy in addition to the usual anti-epileptic medication you are taking.

Remember that you should not take or abandon the use of conventional anti-epileptic medications without consulting with your doctor.

Following are the benefits of using CBD oil as an adjuvant to using your usual anti-epileptic medication.

Fewer Side Effects

CBD oil doesn’t have any severe side effects. Its minor side effects include diarrhea, tiredness, and changes in appetite. On the other hand, epileptic medications can cause unwanted side effects.

Common side effects of epileptic medications include tiredness, dizziness, blurred vision, and stomach upset.

These side effects take months to go away. In rare cases, antiepileptic drugs can also cause allergic reactions, like skin rashes.

A common antiepileptic drug named Felbamate, better known as Felbatol, causes liver failure and bone loss. Some other antiepileptic drugs, which cause bone loss, include carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, valproate, and topiramate.

Since you use CBD oil as an adjuvant to your usual anti-epileptic medication, you may need a smaller dose to achieve the same amount of effects.

However, since you are using a smaller dose, the number of side effects with be minimal as well.

A Possible Reduction in Therapy Duration

CBD oil usually has a quick and sudden effect on the body. Although anti-epileptic drugs also reach into the bloodstream within 30 minutes, only lifetime administration of antiepileptic medications keeps the seizures under control.

Epilepsy also recurs in two out of every three patients, after discontinuing the medicine.

Other seizure treatments, like surgery and brain stimulations, also have long therapy time.

On the other hand, if you combine CBD oil with the usual anti-epileptic treatments, you can achieve a possible reduction in the treatment duration

Fewer Overall Risks

Unlike CBD, oil which has minimal to no risk, epileptic treatments have a higher overall risk when completing the full course. The exact nature of the risk is associated with the type of seizure and medication used.

However, in general, traditional medicine is quite risky for pregnant women. It affects the child’s development in the womb.

Traditional Medicine also has 2% to 3% occurrence of congenital malformations, which can’t be prevented.

A study published in the Journal of Cancer stated that there is a moderate association between antiepileptic medicine and cancer. It can also cause atherosclerosis in seizure patients.

Monotherapy Is Usually Not Successful

Most of the epilepsy conditions do not respond to one type of antiepileptic drugs.

In complex seizure disorders, a combination of different treatments is effective.

These disorders may require both surgery and medications for treatment.

Doctors usually prescribe monotherapy epileptic drugs for patients newly diagnosed with epileptic disorders, because it requires life-long medication management.

If you have poor control, your doctor may prescribe multiple medications to improve control.

CBD oil can be a good adjuvant and can help you avoid using multiple anti-epileptic medications, which will eventually increase the risk of side effects.

No Effects on Internal Organs

Oral ingestion of CBD oil has no effect on the internal organs of the body. However, traditional medicine effects the internal organs of the body.

It can cause problems blood count and liver or other internal organs. It can also cause hypersensitivity syndrome, which leads to confusion and liver injury.

Reduced Risk of Suicide

People taking antiepileptic medicine are more prone to suicide and suicidal thoughts, in comparison to the general population.

Research conducted by the Food and Drug Administration authority (FDA) also demonstrated a higher risk of suicide in seizure patients.

Therefore, they issued a warning for all the seizure medications.

The main precursor behind these suicidal thoughts is the depression and the thoughts of helplessness, caused by the excessive intake of antiepileptic drugs. 

So, the bottom line is that CBD oil is a good adjuvant in addition to traditional medicine for seizures.

How to Use CBD Oil for Seizures?

Doctors Explanation

Unlike medical marijuana, CBD products are legal in all the 50 U.S. States. Due to this increasing demand, CBD is available in different forms in the markets.

Here are some common intake methods of CBD for controlling different seizure disorders

Vaping CBD

If you suffer from seizures, one way to get CBD oil into your system is through vaping. It is a lung-friendly way of inhaling CBD oil. Its effect is also quick as the inhaled CBD goes directly into your system.

You can use the CBD vaporizer pen for vaping. It is easy to use. All you have to do is to charge its battery and inhale it using a mouthpiece. It is another benefit of helping you reduce your addiction to cigarette smoking.

Holding CBD Oil For Seizures oil under your Tongue

Holding CBD oil under your tongue is another effective method as the oil goes through the mucous membrane in the mouth, which absorbs all the active compounds in CBD oil.

You can put the oil under your tongue and hold it for 60 seconds. However, you should consume it in small doses, as some tinctures are highly concentrated.

You can use this method while someone is having an active seizure spell as well. However, beware as not to give too much, and if you are not confident, it is better to wait until the episode passes.

Taking CBD Capsules

While the previous two methods for intake of CBD oil have a quick effect, CBD capsules offer slow but long-term effects. Its effect is just like any other capsule.

However, the exact dosage depends upon the concentration of the capsule. The only problem with capsules is that they take longer to take effect because the body takes longer to breakdown the capsule.

Chew CBD Edibles

There isn’t a more enjoyable way to fulfill your daily CBD needs than by chewing CBD edibles. These are the food products containing CBD. Through this method, CBD directly enters the bloodstream where the compounds promote balance.

Some common CBD edibles available in the market include Cordial Organics Celebrate Bitters, Lord Jones CBD Gumdrops, Pearl butter, Satori Dark Chocolate, Sunday Scaries Gummies, and Luce Farms Vermont Hemp Honey.

Mix CBD with Your Daily Foods or Drinks

If you are looking for a seamless method of using CBD oil, you should blend it in your favorite food or drinks. Not only is this method quite easy, but you will also never miss the daily requirements.

The fatty acids in food act as carriers, which helps in fast processing. You can add CBD liquids in different foods, like ice creams, smoothies, salads, oatmeal, and coffee.

Swallowing CBD Oil

The most common method of consuming CBD is simply swallowing CBD oil. It passes through the digestive system into the liver and delivers the active compounds into the bloodstream.

To take CBD oil, simply take the daily dosage with a spoon. You should hold it in the tongue for some time before swallowing.

Rub CBD on the Skin

If the person suffering from seizures refuses to intake CBD orally, he can simply rub the CBD products on his skin. When applied to the skin, the CBD doesn’t go into the bloodstream. It just interacts with the cells near the surface. However, its effect is the same as oral ingestion. It also soothes the skin, and the person feels relaxed.

How Much CBD Oil Should You Take for Seizures?

The dose may vary from one person to another. You should start at a lower dose and gradually increase the dose of the CBD oil until you see the desired effects.

Generally, the usual dose of CBD oil for epilepsy and seizure disorders is 200-300 mg per day.

Conclusion

Conclusion About CBD For Seizures

To sum up, CBD oil for seizures is an excellent adjuvant that can be effectively used for the management of epilepsy and other seizure disorders.

Seizures can be defined as the uncontrolled or abnormal activity of the body parts — a seizure results from abnormal brain activity.

Your brain contains thousands of neurons that communicate with each other through electrical impulses.

When there is some disruption in the electrical activity, it can lead to uncontrolled or uncoordinated activity of body parts- called seizures.

However, you should keep in mind that it is not a substitute for anti-epileptic medication. You should not start to discontinue your anti-epileptic medication without consulting with your doctor first.

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References

  1. Emilio Perucca. Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Epilepsy: Hard Evidence at Last? J Epilepsy Res. 2017 Dec; 7(2): 61–76.
  2. Friedman D, Sirven JI. Historical perspective on the medical use of cannabis for epilepsy: ancient times to the 1980s. Epilepsy Behav. 2017;70(Pt B):298–301.
  3. Russo EB. Cannabis and epilepsy: an ancient treatment returns to the fore. Epilepsy Behav. 2017;70(Pt B):292–7.
  4. Reddy DS, Golub VM. The pharmacological basis of cannabis therapy for epilepsy. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2016;357:45–55
  5. Hofmann ME, Frazier CJ. Marijuana, endocannabinoids, and epilepsy: potential and challenges for improved therapeutic intervention. Exp Neurol. 2013;244:43–50
  6. Friedman D, Devinsky O. Cannabinoids in the treatment of epilepsy. N Engl J Med. 2015;373:1048–58

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