Can CBD oil be used to treat epilepsy?

In 2018, Epidiolex became the first plant-derived CBD drug that was approved by the FDA. This approval came about after multiple studies confirmed the efficacy of CBD in treating epilepsy. Since then, interest in CBD products has significantly increased. Many studies are being conducted to find out if CBD can be used to treat other health conditions. Currently, there is anecdotal evidence that CBD can be used to treat chronic pain, depression, anxiety and various neurological diseases. In this piece, we’re going to take a deeper look at how CBD oils and other related products can help in treating epileptic seizures. We’re going to discuss the mechanisms that make this possible as well as the specific types of epilepsy that CBD can treat. Epilepsy and the Endogenous Cannabinoid System According to a 2017 report by the Journal of Epilepsy Research, there is a strong link between the pathophysiology of epilepsy and the signalling pathways within our endogenous cannabinoid system. The endogenous cannabinoid system, also known as the endocannabinoid system, regulates various aspects of our physiology and cognition. The report suggests that when one suffers from epileptic seizures, the endocannabinoid system is altered in various ways. Clinical studies have found that by adjusting the endocannabinoid system via external modulation, the occurrence of seizures can be mitigated or even prevented. The cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant can help with this modulation. Cannabinoids are the namesake of the endogenous cannabinoids system as they are the chemical compounds that led to the system’s discovery. THC and CBD  As per that same 2017 study, THC is said to have variable anticonvulsant properties. This essentially means that it can potentially have a positive effect on those who suffer from epilepsy. However, THC also comes with a range of unwanted side effects. Those who take THC products will experience a “high” and might develop a tolerance for the substance. For these reasons, the study found THC to be unsuitable for treating epileptic seizures. CBD, on the other hand, appears to be more reliable in terms of its anticonvulsant properties. It is also believed that the CBD compound possesses anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective qualities. Perhaps, the main difference between THC and CBD is their relationship with certain endocannabinoid receptors. THC has a strong relationship with the receptors that are connected to our brain and the rest of our central nervous system. Conversely, CBD only has a moderate affinity for these receptors. Due to this, CBD has no adverse psychoactive effects and is therefore more suitable for medical use. Clinical observations have also suggested that CBD might be getting its anticonvulsant properties via other mechanisms in the body. CBD’s involvement in transmembrane receptors, ion channels, and neurotransmitter transporters might be the reason for its anti-seizure qualities. CBD for Different Types of Epilepsy  Various clinical trials have shown that Epidiolex is effective in treating Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two rare forms of epilepsy. In one study, the researchers gave a group of participants with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome 20 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of Epidiolex per day. They also gave another group of participants placebo. The study found that 44% of those who took Epidiolex experienced fewer seizures. Only 22% of those in the placebo group had the same experience. Similarly, in one clinical trial, the researchers gave Epidiolex and placebo to two separate groups with Dravet syndrome. They found that those who took Epidiolex experienced a 39% decrease in seizures. In contrast, only a 17% decrease was found in the placebo group. Indeed, there is strong evidence that CBD is effective in treating epileptic seizures. Since the product is becoming more popular, there is a lot of discussion about the product’s efficacy in terms of treating other health conditions. However, we’re still at the early stages of understanding CBD. Though the anecdotal evidence is promising, there are simply not enough clinical studies on these matters to definitively conclude that CBD can treat other diseases. As such, if you have pre-existing medical conditions, we highly recommend that you consult a medical professional before using CBD oil or other products.

Can CBD oil be used to treat epilepsy?

In 2018, Epidiolex became the first plant-derived CBD drug that was approved by the FDA. This approval came about after multiple studies confirmed the efficacy of CBD in treating epilepsy. Since then, interest in CBD products has significantly increased. Many studies are being conducted to find out if CBD can be used to treat other health conditions. Currently, there is anecdotal evidence that CBD can be used to treat chronic pain, depression, anxiety and various neurological diseases.

In this piece, we’re going to take a deeper look at how CBD oils and other related products can help in treating epileptic seizures. We’re going to discuss the mechanisms that make this possible as well as the specific types of epilepsy that CBD can treat.

Epilepsy and the Endogenous Cannabinoid System

According to a 2017 report by the Journal of Epilepsy Research, there is a strong link between the pathophysiology of epilepsy and the signalling pathways within our endogenous cannabinoid system. The endogenous cannabinoid system, also known as the endocannabinoid system, regulates various aspects of our physiology and cognition.

The report suggests that when one suffers from epileptic seizures, the endocannabinoid system is altered in various ways. Clinical studies have found that by adjusting the endocannabinoid system via external modulation, the occurrence of seizures can be mitigated or even prevented.

The cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant can help with this modulation. Cannabinoids are the namesake of the endogenous cannabinoids system as they are the chemical compounds that led to the system’s discovery.

THC and CBD 

As per that same 2017 study, THC is said to have variable anticonvulsant properties. This essentially means that it can potentially have a positive effect on those who suffer from epilepsy. However, THC also comes with a range of unwanted side effects. Those who take THC products will experience a “high” and might develop a tolerance for the substance. For these reasons, the study found THC to be unsuitable for treating epileptic seizures.

CBD, on the other hand, appears to be more reliable in terms of its anticonvulsant properties. It is also believed that the CBD compound possesses anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective qualities.

Perhaps, the main difference between THC and CBD is their relationship with certain endocannabinoid receptors. THC has a strong relationship with the receptors that are connected to our brain and the rest of our central nervous system. Conversely, CBD only has a moderate affinity for these receptors. Due to this, CBD has no adverse psychoactive effects and is therefore more suitable for medical use.

Clinical observations have also suggested that CBD might be getting its anticonvulsant properties via other mechanisms in the body. CBD’s involvement in transmembrane receptors, ion channels, and neurotransmitter transporters might be the reason for its anti-seizure qualities.

CBD for Different Types of Epilepsy 

Various clinical trials have shown that Epidiolex is effective in treating Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two rare forms of epilepsy.

In one study, the researchers gave a group of participants with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome 20 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of Epidiolex per day. They also gave another group of participants placebo. The study found that 44% of those who took Epidiolex experienced fewer seizures. Only 22% of those in the placebo group had the same experience.

Similarly, in one clinical trial, the researchers gave Epidiolex and placebo to two separate groups with Dravet syndrome. They found that those who took Epidiolex experienced a 39% decrease in seizures. In contrast, only a 17% decrease was found in the placebo group.

Indeed, there is strong evidence that CBD is effective in treating epileptic seizures. Since the product is becoming more popular, there is a lot of discussion about the product’s efficacy in terms of treating other health conditions. However, we’re still at the early stages of understanding CBD. Though the anecdotal evidence is promising, there are simply not enough clinical studies on these matters to definitively conclude that CBD can treat other diseases. As such, if you have pre-existing medical conditions, we highly recommend that you consult a medical professional before using CBD oil or other products.