Can CBD help epilepsy? CBD (cannabidiol) which is a component of the marijuana plant. Has been getting a lot of attention recently due to the medical properties it possesses. Especially for it’s treatment in epilepsy, which has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June 2018. However, only epidiolex is the prescribed form of CBD available.
CBD is 1 of 113 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant and accounts for up to 40% of the plants extract. What does CBD oil stand for? CBD oil stands for cannabidiol. It’s a natural occurring substance that’s used in products like oils and edibles to impart a feeling of relaxation and calm. Unlike it’s cousin, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the active ingredient. CBD and THC are the main cannabinoids in the hemp plant.
What is epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a condition that affects the brain and causes frequent seizures. Temporary bursts of electrical activity in the brain is what causes a seizure. It can start at any age but usually starts in childhood or adults over 60.
Symptoms of epilepsy?
Symptoms of seizures affect different people in different ways. Depending on which part of the brain’s affected.
Possible symptoms include:
- Uncontrollable jerking and shaking, called a “fit”
- Losing awareness and staring blankly into space
- Becoming stiff
- Strange sensations, such as a “rising” feeling in the tummy, unusual smells or tastes, and a tingling feeling in your arms and/or legs
Also, sometimes you might pass out and not remember what happened.
Causes of epilepsy
When the electrical signals in the brain become scrambled that causes a seizure, and sometimes sudden bursts of electrical activity, which also cause a seizure. It’s not exactly clear why this happens in most cases. 1 in 3 people with epilepsy have a family member with it, therefore it could partly be caused by your genes affecting how your brain works.
Damage to the brain can occasionally cause epilepsy, such as:
- A stroke
- A brain tumour
- A severe head injury
- Drug abuse
- Alcohol misuse
- A brain infection
- A lack of oxygen during birth
Can CBD help epilepsy?
Although epidiolex (a plant-based formulation of CBD) is the only approved drug to use for certain types of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. However, epidiolex has many side effects, such as:
- Upper respiratory tract infection/rhinitis
- Generalized fatigue
- Sleeping fatigue
- Sleeping difficulties
- Decreased appetite
- Status epilepticus
However, in the studies these were common in the first two weeks but diminished after time. Also, these studies included at least one other anti-seizure drug. Therefore, the side effects probably came from the mix.
So, can CBD help epilepsy. CBD can help to manage seizures. Due to CBD having antiseizure and neuroprotective properties, CBD can control your brain to derease the amount of seizures or decrease the severity of them.
Cannabidiol works by entering the body and connecting to receptors. These receptors named CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptor plays the role in helping with health and disease, cardiovascular and motor control and are primarily located on nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Whereas CB2 receptors helps with the immune system by managing pain and inflammation. CB2 receptors are mainly found on white blood cells, in the tonsils and in the spleen.
The receptors work through something called the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a molecular system responsible for regulating and balancing many processes in the body, including immune response, communication between cells, appetite and metabolism, memory and more. It is through this system of receptors and metabolic enzymes that cannabinoids interact with the human body and trigger beneficial effects. Due to the endocannabinoid system only recently been discovered, it’s importance is still not fully known.