Ever since cannabis became mainstream, accepted by almost everybody, it has morphed into the latest breakthrough in medical science. Cannabis therapy is the newest trend for a variety of mild to severe health problems, but for epileptics and those with other seizure disorders, marijuana may well prove essential. Folks are ditching dangerous anti-seizure medications for a safer, more effective solution.
Treating seizures is not easy. It requires a specific cocktail of chemicals not too widely available, not just over-the-counter medications that may or may not help manage it, some of which have harmful side effects or prove completely ineffective. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, Epidiolex, a concentrate of cannabidiol, or CBD, is the first FDA-approved cannabis therapy specifically for seizure disorders.
Numerous scientific papers confirm the effectiveness of CBD in treating patients with epilepsy, even in those as young as two-years-old. This is why desperate families are ordering weed delivery in droves to treat their loved ones. Research proves it such a promising anticonvulsant that several clinical trials are now underway, funded by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. These trials are still ongoing.
Epilepsy is terrible. Patients suffer horribly with recurring seizures that differ in both intensity and frequency. They occur because of disturbances to circuitry in the brain, which stimulates electrical activity, overly so. Approximately three million folks endure this condition just in the United States. According to Cure Epilepsy, that means roughly 1 in 26 people will develop epilepsy during their lives.
For the majority of sufferers, no direct cause exists for their condition, and these fits can threaten your very life. In continuing Cure Epilepsy’s data, seizures or related accidents are responsible for 34 percent of all fatalities during childhood. These are scary numbers. The need is so great, and remains unmet, for effective drugs that actually stop seizures, or at least reduce their frequency and severity.
Despite the lethality, at the very least disruptive, effects of seizures on day-to-day life, most people can find medications that help to manage their condition. However, many become immune to them, growing out of it. Seizure disorders, like epilepsy, are not the same in everybody. They are unique to the person suffering them, which is the very reason it is so difficult to create effective medicines for them.
Lately, as more and more promising stories make headline news, it is becoming increasingly clear that epileptics get much relief from it. Anecdotal evidence is everywhere if you look for it, both within the United States the world. Thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of epileptic children, are now using medical marijuana successfully, like the famous Charlotte Figi, namesake of Charlotte’s Web, the high-CBD strain so popular for children.
Figi’s story is but one of many, many more, putting the spotlight firmly on the medical potential of cannabis in treating seizure disorders safely. Despite its federally illegal status, more and more parents are risking everything to ensure their kids have access to cannabis therapy, from moving whole families to legal states or buying directly from the black market.
Researching Marijuana as Potential Treatment
Although promising, anecdotal evidence has an even more crucial role: It provides proof of the efficacy of cannabis therapy in treating a huge variety of medical conditions, young or old. Even if it may seem logical that the medical properties of marijuana, such as CBD, are responsible for these successes, the Drug and Enforcement Agency only recently allowed scientists to research its effects and efficacies.
This seemingly innocent change in stance provides a massive incentive for everybody involved in the cannabis industry to find solutions for seizure disorders, including breeders, scientists, and pharmaceutical giants. Funding is more readily available for study, as investors everywhere invest huge capital into discovering just what cannabis can achieve. In the Translational Pediatrics journal, Dr. Francis M. Filloux stated:
“Based on these preclinical studies, one would be excited about the potential therapeutic potential of the cannabinoids. However, it is undeniable that the complex regulation that surrounds this Schedule I substance has impeded the scientific investigation of their therapeutic potential.” Cannabis remains the only plant in human history requiring such rigorous clinical trials, despite a long history of its widespread use.
However, sufferers are able to access “generic” variations of cannabidiol, of which several exist and thrive outside of the reach of the federal government. To develop future CBD products, as well as synergistic cannabis cocktails for treating other specific diseases, we need the scientifically tested evidence of clinical trials, which alone can lay the foundation for these developments.
Clinical trials occur in different stages, each more rigorous and significant than the last. GW Pharmaceuticals, a company making mainstream news, recently completed Stage 3 clinical trials, before earning FDA-approval, for Epidiolex, it’s 98 percent pure CBD product now verifying the medicinal value of this miraculous cannabis. As noted by Dr. Filloux, this particular study has notable implications:
“Until the last few years, the published data was minimal and included fewer than 70 subjects. Very few of these were children. Furthermore, none of these studies would meet criteria as Class I-III clinical trials. However, this state of affairs is rapidly changing given the current climate.” With scientific interest growing every day, many studies now show clearly the effectiveness of cannabis in treating seizures.
Health Benefits of Cannabis for Seizure Disorders
You already have cannabinoids in your body, naturally occurring ones called endocannabinoids. This ubiquitous system is highly susceptible to phytocannabinoids, or those found in marijuana plants. Because of this natural compatibility at a biological level, it is evident that, as research continues, scientists will discover more and more health benefits of this miraculous plant.
If one follows continued medical studies, it is clear that cannabis therapy is the future of treating seizure disorders. Catherine Jacobson, a Canada-licensed producer and Director of Clinical Research at Tilray, explained her stance on the promise of using medical marijuana to for relieving seizures, as well as the peer-reviewed research still ongoing and so crucial to our understanding of its uses:
“A pure CBD formula was the safest way to begin trials on epilepsy patients because of its lack of psychoactive effects. The trouble with developing a single pure CBD formula is that epilepsy has never been a one-size-fits-all disorder. Of the 200,000 children living with treatment-resistant epilepsy, only a fraction has access to clinical trials investigating CBD.
“This leaves most parents and patients to acquire their own CBD-rich cannabis, which always contains some percentage of THC. It is important to learn from these cases to understand which types of epilepsies might respond to a combination product, and to inform future clinical trials. Early results from clinical studies on GW Pharma’s Epidiolex clearly show a beneficial effect of CBD on some types of seizures, but more research is needed to fully understand whether a combination THC/CBD product can reduce the seizure burden in those patients who do not respond to CBD alone.”
Nearly verbatim, these words support the findings of Dr. Edward Maa, who is Chief of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at Denver Health and Hospitals. He wrote in Epilepsia, “It is possible that CBD and THC work synergistically to suppress seizures. In fact, Ethan Russo, senior medical advisor to GW Pharma, recently reviewed the evidence for the ‘entourage effect’ of the phytocannabinoids and terpenoids, and he makes a strong case for their synergistic effects in a variety of disease states.”
Marijuana Dispensary in Santa Barbara
Little uncertainty remains regarding the effectiveness of treating seizures with cannabis, in spite of its sometimes lethal, always disruptive symptoms. Science is finally giving marijuana the credit it deserves, with Dr. Maa, Dr. Jacobsen, and others still leading the fray. You can find pure CBD products at any marijuana dispensary in Santa Barbara. You can even get weed delivery that arrives within the hour.