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How Epilepsy Patients Benefit from Medical Marijuana, CBD

by Faith Fidura November 13, 2018

In light of November being National Epilepsy Awareness Month, the Dispensary Permits team would like to raise awareness about the benefits of medical marijuana for those suffering from Epilepsy, in hopes of improving their quality of life.

What is Epilepsy? 

HealthAwarenessEpilepsyEpilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by unpredictable seizures and can affect people of all ages. It is a spectrum condition with a wide range of symptoms, seizure types, and control varying from person-to-person. 

To become diagnosed with epilepsy, a person must experience two unprovoked seizures (or one unprovoked seizure with the likelihood of more) that were not caused by a known medical condition such as alcohol withdrawal or low blood sugar. Seizures in epilepsy can be caused by a brain injury or family history – but typically, the true cause is often unknown.

There is currently no cure for epilepsy, but treatments may help manage symptoms and seizures. 

How can patients who are suffering from Epilepsy benefit from Medical Marijuana?

The use of marijuana to treat epilepsy and other neurological conditions has been studied for a number of years. The most well-known active ingredient in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is just one of many cannabinoids present in marijuana which have medicinal effects. Cannabidiol (CBD), is another cannabinoid present in the plant that is non-psychoactive (has no associated high) while holding the same medicinal properties. 

CBD has been shown to reduce the number of seizures epilepsy patients experience with its anticonvulsant properties. The anticonvulsant properties work on different targets in the brain such as the calcium ion channels, glutamate receptor antagonists, sodium ion channels, GATA system, and receptor agonists. In this way, the anticonvulsants regulate how ions flow into and out of neurons and as a result, they may affect and regulate the neurotransmitters responsible for sending messages in the brain.

In fact, cannabis-based treatment for seizure disorders has gained so much recognition recently that on June 25, 2018, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved EPIDIOLEX® (cannabidiol, CBD) oral solution for the treatment of seizures associated with two epilepsy syndromes - Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome - in people two years of age or older. Epidiolex represents a new medication option for children with these types of epilepsy. It is also the first ever FDA approved medication to treat seizures in Dravet syndrome. 

If you or someone you know is suffering from epilepsy and is interested in this alternative form of medication, ask your physician if you/they may qualify for Epidiolex. You can also check here to see what you can do to become a registered medical marijuana patient in your state.

Raise awareness - share this post and spread the word about the benefits of medical marijuana for those suffering from epilepsy.