By Dr. François Halle, Cannabinoid Specialist
As the fourth most common neurological disorder, epilepsy is characterized by unpredictable seizures whose degree and control vary from person to person. In recent years, medical cannabis has shown to be effective in the reduction of the frequency and intensity of these seizures. Below, I have compiled a brief overview of research findings that support the use of medical cannabis in the treatment of symptoms associated with epilepsy.
Medical Cannabis and Epilepsy
It is very well documented that through its modulating effect on the release and the decreased re-uptake of Gamma Amino Butyric Acid (GABA) inhibition, the principal non psycho-active component of cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD) has demonstrated the ability to reduce or even eliminate intractable seizures this decreasing the risk of status epilepticus (Blair, Deshpande & DeLorenzo, 2015), (Rosenberg, Tsien, Whalley & Devinsky, 2015), (Szaflarski & Bebin, 2014) and (Devinsky, et al., 2014). Current trends in the medical use of cannabinoids and seizure treatment have shown that high CBD cannabis based oils are effective in the treatment of severe pediatric epilepsy disorders like Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes (Porter & Jacobson, 2013). It was also reported in a qualitative study that CBD significantly improves sleep (53%), alertness (71%), and mood (63%) in children under 13 years old suffering with seizure disorders (Hussain, et al., 2015). The cannabinoid CBN and its derivatives have shown to significantly prolonging inter-seizure periods latency in mice (Usami, et al., 1998). It was previously reported that the use of CBN and CBC containing products could assist in the treatment of epilepsy and other seizure disorders (Yoshida, et al., 1995).
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