CBD, a major component of the cannabis plant has been proven to possess anti-seizure, anti-convulsant, and neuroprotective properties.
According to current research and clinical studies, CBD Oil could help control the frequency of seizures in treatment-resistant epilepsy.
On June 25th, 2018, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Epidiolex, a drug made from CBD for treating seizures in two rare and severe forms of child-onset epilepsy.
Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.
In 2020, Epidiolex was also approved for treating seizures in people with Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC).
As such, there has been a growing increase in the use of CBD Oil to help reduce seizures and treat epilepsy in both children and adults.
In this blog post, we share with you all you need to know about CBD oil and its effects on seizures and epilepsy.
Let’s get started…
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD Oil is gotten when the chemical compound cannabidiol (CBD) found in the cannabis plant, is combined with a carrier oil like hemp seed oil.
Unlike THC (the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant) CBD is non-psychoactive and won’t get you high, which makes it safe for children and adults to consume.
Cannabis extracts like CBD oil have been around for a couple of years.
Although sold as nutritional supplements, the growing demand for CBD Oil has skyrocketed because of CBD’s amazing health benefits.
However, there isn’t enough data to back some of these health claims.
Limiting factors like government laws and restrictions surrounding cannabis played a huge role.
The game-changer for the CBD industry came when the bill legalizing the cultivation of industrial hemp was passed into law.
Opening the doors for research and clinical studies to be done on CBD to reveal more of its medicinal uses.
CBD Oil and Seizures: How Does It Work?
Our bodies are made up of an endocannabinoid system, that works with the help of endocannabinoid receptors.
There are two main endocannabinoid receptors; the CB1 and CB2 receptors found in the nervous and immune systems respectively.
CBD and other phytocannabinoids got from the cannabis plant interact with these receptors.
The endocannabinoid receptors are cell signalling and help to produce desirable effects in the body.
Researchers claim the processes by which CBD brings about its anti-seizure and anti-convulsant effects are not fully known.
Although CBD does not have direct effects on the endocannabinoid receptors, studies show it possesses a low affinity for them.
However, CBD carries out its activities by interacting and influencing other target receptors in the body.
Dr. Orrin Devinsky, a professor of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and director of NYU Langone’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, made some remarkable comments, on the mechanism of CBD for seizures and epilepsy.
According to Dr. Devinsky, when specific receptors in the body like the GPR55 receptors are stimulated and lose their inhibition, seizures can occur.
From what is known; CBD interacts with the GPR55, TRPV1, and ENT‐1 receptors found in the body.
This implies that the action of CBD which brings about its anti-seizure, anti-convulsant, and neuroprotective properties may be a result of interacting with these receptors.
In essence, CBD oil affects the nervous system and brings about reduced seizures in ways different from how other anti-epileptic medications operate.
CBD Oil for Seizures and Epilepsy: Clinical Studies
The studies below include patients and animal subjects; diagnosed with Dravet syndrome, genetically based epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and treatment-resistant epilepsy.
When taking CBD oil to help with seizure control and epilepsy, patients normally use it alongside anti-epileptic treatment and medications.
This makes it difficult to determine if the reduction in the frequency of seizures, is a direct effect of CBD or a combined effect with anti-epileptic medications.
In this session, we reveal current clinical studies that support the use of CBD oil for seizure control and epilepsy treatment.
CBD Improved Daily Seizure Activities in Patients with Drug-Resistant Epilepsy:
This clinical trial was carried out, to test the safety and efficacy of CBD in drug-resistant epilepsy.
61 participants between the ages of 1-17 years, took part in this study.
They were administered CBD in oral solutions at different doses (10, 20 & 40mg/kg/day) for 10 days.
The participants who took part in the study saw significant improvements in their daily seizure activities.
Although this improvement seemed to be dependent on the dose of CBD administered, the final results show that there was an improvement in all doses of CBD given to the patients.
Side effects were experienced by 5% of patients who took medium doses of CBD and 9.5% in those who took higher doses.
This study shows CBD is well tolerated in children, supports its effectiveness for seizure control and epilepsy treatment.
CBD Reduced Severity of Pilocarpine-Induced SE in Animal Models:
In this particular study, animal subjects were given CBD as well as placebo treatment, to test its efficacy on pilocarpine-induced SE.
Pilocarpine-induced Status Epilepticus is a model of epilepsy that involves severe generalized seizures.
CBD was administered through the veins of animal subjects, one hour before the onset of this induced epilepsy.
This helped to determine the effects of CBD on the maximum severity of seizures experienced by animals.
CBD was found to have more positive effects compared to the placebo treatment.
At the end of this study, CBD was proven to be effective in reducing the maximum severity of seizures experienced by animal subjects.
CBD Reduced Seizure Frequency in Patients with Lennox Gastaut Syndrome:
A study was carried out among 171 people between the ages of 2 and 55 years, diagnosed with Lennox Gastaut Syndrome.
Before the screening, everyone who took part in the study had to be on a stable dose of one or more anti-epileptic medication for at least 4 weeks.
After which the participants were divided into two groups.
85 of them were given placebo treatment while the other 86 received a dose of 20mg/kg/day of CBD for 14 weeks.
Both participants on CBD and placebo treatment experienced mild side effects like diarrhoea, loss of appetite, and drowsiness.
After 14 weeks of treatment, there was a 43.9% decrease in the monthly frequency of seizures in the CBD group.
There was also a 50% decrease in the overall frequency of seizures in some of the participants.
While this effect was only seen in 44% of the patients who took CBD, 24% of those on placebo treatment had similar effects.
However, this study shows that long-term use of CBD in patients with Lennox Gastaut syndrome leads to a significant reduction in seizure frequency.
CBD Reduced Long Term Seizure Burden in Animal Models:
In this study, researchers set out to determine the long term effects of CBD treatment on seizure burden in animals with chronic epilepsy.
Animal subjects were divided into two groups; a CBD group and a placebo treatment group to compare the ratio of seizure burden.
The ratio of seizure burden (animals with severe seizure) was greater in the placebo treatment group than those treated with CBD.
70% of the animals who were treated with CBD, saw significant improvements in the severity of their chronic epilepsy.
While those on placebo treatment, only saw 10% improvement.
Unlike animal subjects placed on placebo treatment, those given CBD did not record any increase in seizure burden over time.
This study shows that CBD treatment on chronic epilepsy can help to reduce seizure burdens over an extended period.
CBD Oil and Epilepsy: Are There Any Side Effects?
Yes, there a possible side effects one may experience while taking CBD Oil, Epidiolex, or other CBD Infused products.
When taking CBD oil for the first time, one may or may not experience some of these side effects.
Generally, there are mild effects one may experience like drowsiness, fatigue, changes in weight, and appetite.
These mild effects usually go away with time, however, in some cases, there may be severe side effects.
From our findings, a lot of the severe side effects caused by taking CBD oil may be a result of mislabelled products, drug interactions, or underlying medical conditions.
However, we always encourage speaking with your healthcare provider for proper medical advice.
For more information you can read our guide on the side effects and drug interactions of CBD Oil.
What Brand Of CBD Oil Do do We Recommend?
One of the reasons people experience severe side effects when taking CBD Oil is as a result of using mislabelled products from shady manufacturers.
There are over 1000 brands of CBD products in the marketplace, which makes it tough choosing a reputable brand.
On our blog, we highlighted a study that revealed over 69% of CBD products out there are wrongly labelled.
This means in every 100 brands of CBD products you come across, only roughly 31 products are properly labelled.
Now you don’t have to get all worried and stressed out about finding the right CBD oil brand to trust.
Because we’ve done the heavy lifting for you.
Rest assured, we’ve got you covered and made sure you’d be getting 100% value for your money.
You can learn more through our guide to choosing the right CBD oil brand for you.
Final Thoughts on CBD Oil for Seizures and Epilepsy:
From current research, clinical studies, and personal testimonies, we can see that CBD shows promising potentials for seizure control and epilepsy treatment.
There is still a lot more for us to learn and discover about the cannabis plant and the wonderful benefits of the cannabinoids found within.
With ongoing clinical trials and research, we can only hope that one day the mechanism behind CBD’s anti-seizure and anti-epileptic effects would be fully understood.
Notwithstanding, we always advise speaking with your healthcare provider and seeking proper medical advice before taking CBD.
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