Cannabis for Epilepsy: What’s True and What’s Not?

Doctor holding a marijuana leaf concept

Many studies are dedicated to the medical benefits of cannabis, and one of the most scrutinised illnesses is epilepsy. The uncontrollable movements, seizures, loss of consciousness and other severe symptoms prevent patients from living life to the fullest. Many turn to cannabis because it is known to alleviate these symptoms.

There are many misconceptions about the use of cannabis for epilepsy, though. These unfounded views may prevent people from making a sound epilepsy treatment choice. So WBUD, a trusted provider of mail-order cannabis products in Canada, rounded up myths about cannabis to help you decide on a treatment.

Myth: The Patients Will Get High

Although marijuana gained notoriety for producing intense psychoactive effects, not all cannabis products produce a high. This is because cannabis contains dozens of cannabinoids — the two major ones being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the component that delivers the psychoactive properties that affect the brain. CBD, meanwhile, delivers important medical benefits but doesn’t get you high. In fact, it’s an appealing treatment for inflammation, pain, anxiety and more.

Cannabis products that are meant for medication are often CBD-rich and contain trace amounts of THC. Take our Pure CBD Tincture, for instance. This doesn’t contain any marijuana odour and won’t deliver psychoactive effects, but it offers several medical benefits.

Myth: Cannabis Can Help All Epilepsy Patients

Scientific evidence says that cannabis can help alleviate symptoms in two rare kinds of epilepsy: Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut Syndromes. The National Health Service of the UK (NHS) says there’s currently no strong evidence that cannabis can help people with common types of epilepsy.

A 2017 study published in the journal Epilepsy Currents found that CBD helped reduce the median frequency of monthly convulsive seizures of patients with Dravet syndrome from 12.4 to 5.9. Meanwhile, researchers at the Langone Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at New York University examined the effects of cannabis oil on 225 patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. The treatment reduced the frequency of drop seizures by 40%.

Cannabis works well with anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs), too. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Epilepsy Research found that adding a daily dose of CBD to pre-existing AED treatments reduced convulsive seizures among patients with Dravet syndrome. It also reduced drop seizures among patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

Myth: Cannabis Products Are More Effective than AEDs

Although promising, researchers don’t claim that cannabis medications are more effective than AEDs. The American Epilepsy Society (AES) says that CBD medication and AEDs are similarly effective in treating patients with Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndrome, both of which are treatment-resistant forms of epilepsy. Like AEDs, cannabis medication can become less effective over time. The AES adds that CBD medication can produce side effects that are also associated with AEDs.

As with any medical case, we recommend discussing the use of CBD oil or any cannabis product with your physician. On our end, we’d be happy to answer any product inquiries.

Browse our site to find products that may help alleviate your symptoms. For more information about our cannabis products, call WBUD today.

Leave a Reply