Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures, which are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. While there are many medications available to treat epilepsy and seizures, these drugs often have side effects and may not be effective for all patients. In recent years, there has been growing interest in the use of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants, as a potential treatment for epilepsy and seizures. In this article, we will explore the benefits of CBD for epilepsy and seizures.
What is CBD?
CBD is a cannabinoid compound found in cannabis plants. It is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in the plant, and is one of the most abundant. Unlike THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis, CBD does not produce a “high” or alter a person’s state of mind. This is one of the reasons why CBD has become popular as a natural alternative to traditional medications for various health conditions.
CBD works by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is responsible for regulating various physiological and cognitive processes, including appetite, pain sensation, mood, and immune function. The ECS consists of two main types of receptors, CB1 and CB2, which are found throughout the body.
CB1 receptors are mainly located in the brain and central nervous system, and are responsible for regulating appetite, pain, mood, and memory. CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are primarily found in immune cells and tissues throughout the body, and are involved in regulating immune function and inflammation.
CBD and Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures. Seizures are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain, and can range in severity from brief lapses in consciousness to violent convulsions. While there are many medications available to treat epilepsy and seizures, these drugs often have side effects and may not be effective for all patients.
There is growing evidence to suggest that CBD may be beneficial for treating epilepsy and seizures. In fact, in 2018, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a CBD-based medication, Epidiolex, for the treatment of two rare and severe forms of epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
One of the ways in which CBD may be helpful for treating epilepsy is by reducing the frequency and severity of seizures. A 2018 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that treatment with Epidiolex resulted in a significant reduction in the frequency of seizures in patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
Another study published in the Journal of Epilepsy Research in 2017 found that treatment with CBD oil resulted in a significant reduction in the frequency of seizures in patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy. The study also found that CBD oil was well-tolerated by the patients and did not cause any significant side effects.
CBD and Seizures
In addition to its potential benefits for treating epilepsy, there is also evidence to suggest that CBD may be helpful for reducing the frequency and severity of seizures in other conditions.
For example, a 2015 study published in the journal Neurotherapeutics found that CBD can reduce the frequency and severity of seizures in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy. The study found that treatment with CBD resulted in a significant reduction in the frequency of seizures in 36.5% of patients, and a 50% or greater reduction in seizures in 2% of patients.