The Science Behind CBD and Epilepsy: Understanding How it Works
Epilepsy is a debilitating neurological disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. Despite the availability of several treatment options, many individuals with epilepsy continue to experience seizures and other symptoms.
Recently, CBD has emerged as a potential therapeutic option for managing epilepsy, and we have even seen Epidiolex, a CBD-based medicine, officially approved to treat certain forms of epilepsy (Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome).
In this article, we will explore the science behind CBD and epilepsy, including how it works and its potential benefits.
What is epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that silently affects many. It causes recurrent seizures, which can be triggered by various factors.
Although the exact cause of epilepsy is unknown, it is believed to be related to abnormal brain activity. The symptoms of epilepsy can range from mild to severe and may include convulsions, loss of consciousness, and muscle spasms.
Cannabidiol (CBD), a compound found in cannabis plants, has been studied for its potential role in treating epilepsy. CBD does not produce the adverse effects associated with THC (another compound found in cannabis) and has shown promise as an effective treatment option for certain types of seizures.
Clinical trials have demonstrated that CBD may reduce seizure frequency in some patients with epilepsy without producing significant side effects. Although, it’s important to note that more research is needed to guarantee CBD as an effective treatment for epilepsy.
Epilepsy Causes and Symptoms
Symptoms of epilepsy depend on the type of seizure and can include convulsions or shaking movements, loss of consciousness or awareness, staring spells without response to stimuli, confusion or disorientation after a seizure episode.
Although traditional medications have been used for treating epilepsy symptoms effectively, over time, their adverse effects often outweigh their benefits in many patients.
Causes of Epilepsy include:
- Traumatic brain injury
Types of seizures associated with Epilepsy:
- Generalized seizures
- Focal seizures
- Absence seizures
Symptoms of Epilepsy:
- Convulsions or shaking movements
- Loss of consciousness and awareness
- Staring spells without response to stimuli
- Confusion or disorientation after a seizure episode
How is Epilepsy treated?
Current treatment options for epilepsy include anti-seizure medications, surgery, and brain stimulation therapies.
However, while traditional treatments have been used for epilepsy, with mostly great results, they can also have limitations such as adverse effects and inadequate seizure control. This has increased interest in using CBD Oil, a non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis plants, which may be able to treat epilepsy.
Clinical trials have shown that CBD may be effective in reducing seizures in some individuals with certain types of epilepsy. Although, more studies are needed to further solidify CBD’s effectiveness in treating symptoms of epilepsy.
What is CBD?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, CBD does not produce psychoactive effects or make you feel high. Instead, it is believed to have therapeutic properties and has been studied as a potential treatment for various medical conditions.
One of the conditions that CBD has shown promise in treating is epilepsy. CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system and may help reduce seizure activity in people living with epilepsy.
CBD and its effects on the body
CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in our body, which is responsible for regulating various physiological processes. This interaction potentially helps to reduce seizure activity and improve overall brain function in people with epilepsy.
Besides this, CBD also potentially act as a potent anti-inflammatory agent that reduces inflammation by targeting specific receptors involved in the inflammatory response.
Another key benefit of CBD is its role as a neuroprotectant, which may help to prevent seizures and protect against further damage to the brain tissue.
By understanding how CBD works within our bodies, we can better appreciate its potential therapeutic benefits for managing epilepsy symptoms and improving the quality of life for those living with this condition. However, more research is needed on this subject.
Research studies on CBD and Epilepsy
Research studies have found that CBD can significantly reduce the frequency and intensity of seizures in some patients. However, it is important to note that not all types of epilepsy respond equally well to CBD treatment.
Furthermore, the emerging use of Epidolex, the first plant-derived, purified pharmaceutical-grade CBD medication, was approved by the FDA in 2018 for seizures related to certain forms of epilepsy. Further showcasing CBD’s potential effectiveness in treating symptoms of epilepsy.
Different types of epilepsy may require different dosages or combinations of medications, including CBD, for optimal seizure control.
Additionally, while CBD is generally considered safe for most people, there are potential side effects associated with its use in epilepsy treatment. Also possible interactions with existing medication that people may already be on can cause fatigue, nausea, and changes in appetite or weight.
Overall, research studies on CBD and epilepsy suggest that it may be a promising alternative therapy option for those who do not respond well to traditional medications or experience significant side effects from them.
However, more research is needed to fully understand its effectiveness and safety profiles for different types of epileptic conditions.
CBD Dosage Explained
Factors affecting CBD dosage for different individuals include their body weight, severity of the condition and individual response to the treatment.
When using CBD, it’s important to start low and slow with CBD. If it’s your first time using CBD, choose our 5% CBD Oil. If you’re unsure of how much to take, check out our CBD Calculator to find your personalised dosage.
Furthermore, regular consultation with a medical professional can help ensure the effective use of CBD oil as part of your epilepsy treatment plan.
How CBD Works
CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in our bodies, which is responsible for regulating many bodily functions such as mood, appetite, and sleep. The cannabinoids found in CBD bind to receptors in the endocannabinoid system, specifically CB1 and CB2 receptors.
CBD’s effect on the brain has been extensively studied when it comes to epilepsy treatment.
Research suggests that CBD works by increasing GABA neurotransmitters while decreasing glutamate neurotransmitters in the brain. This helps to regulate electrical activity in the brain which can lead to a reduction of seizures experienced by epileptic patients.
However, further research is still needed to fully understand how CBD affects the complex mechanisms involved in epilepsy and other neurological disorders.
CBD and Brain Activity
The brain’s activity is largely controlled by neurotransmitters – small molecules that act as messengers between neurons. In epilepsy, an imbalance of these chemicals can trigger seizures.
CBD has been found to affect the levels of various neurotransmitters in the brain, thereby potentially reducing seizure frequency in some epileptic patients.
Overall, while more research is needed to fully understand how exactly CBD affects brain activity and reduces seizures, current studies suggest it may be a viable treatment option for those with epilepsy.
Are there any contraindications for taking CBD to treat Epilepsy?
As with any medication, there are potential contraindications to taking CBD to treat epilepsy. While CBD is generally considered safe and well tolerated, it can interact with certain medications and cause adverse effects in some individuals.
One potential contraindication is the use of CBD in combination with other anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). It is important to speak with a healthcare provider before starting CBD and to monitor for any potential interactions or adverse effects.
CBD may also interact with other medications, including blood thinners and certain antidepressants. In addition, it is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women to use CBD without consulting a healthcare provider.
Individuals with liver disease or a history of liver problems should also use CBD with caution, as it can potentially affect liver function.
Overall, while CBD has shown promise in treating epilepsy, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider before use and to monitor for any potential adverse effects or interactions with other medications.
CBD and Epilepsy: The Roundup
In conclusion, while CBD shows promise in treating epilepsy, it is important to consider the potential risks and benefits before using CBD. It is essential to speak with a healthcare provider before use to ensure it is safe and appropriate for your individual needs.
Additionally, monitoring for any potential adverse effects or interactions with other medications is crucial. As research on CBD continues, we may gain a better understanding of its long-term implications for epilepsy and other conditions.