CBD & Seizures
Sadly, the current seizure medicines fail to provide relief to 30% of patients¹. This makes CBD of the utmost importance as an alternative for individuals that experience reoccurring seizures.
Research on the therapeutic value of CBD is ramping up for the management of epilepsy and epileptic seizures. Qualified clinical evidence² on the anti-seizure benefits of CBD has provided hope to those suffering from difficult-to-manage childhood seizure syndromes such as Dravets and Lennox-Gastaut.
What are seizures & what causes them
A seizure is a sudden change in a person’s regular brain activity. The symptoms of the seizures depend on the area of the brain affected, and one episode can differ from another. Seizures can last a few seconds or a few minutes. They are characterized by sudden confusion, loss of consciousness, uncontrolled muscle spasms, rapid eye movement, and more. While many seizures cause spasmodic attacks, some consist of a fixed-gaze that can easily go unnoticed.
Seizures, also known as convulsions, can be classified in a few ways³.
- Simple seizures – do not cause changes to the individual’s level of consciousness
- Complex seizures – are marked with loss of consciousness
- Generalized seizures – affect the whole body
- Partial or Focal seizures – only affect one part or one side of the body
What the Research Says About CBD for Seizures
Unfortunately, conventional drugs don’t work effectively for everyone with convulsive seizure disorders. These types of medications can also produce severe adverse side effects. This is why people suffering from seizures seek out alternatives, such as CBD.
Over the last decade, the amount of clinical research⁴ related to the effect of CBD oil on seizures increased considerably. These recent results are promising. One noteworthy study in 2015⁵ focused on children that were not helped by traditional pharmaceutical medications. These patients were given doses of CBD. More than 50% of the patients experienced a dramatic decrease in seizure frequency with minimal adverse side effects.
CBD Drug Passes FDA Testing
The reputation of medicinal CBD is about to be boosted significantly with the introduction of Epidiolex. Epidiolex is the first CBD product (99% CBD) to receive FDA drug approval in the United States⁶ for two syndromes with seizures. FDA approval means that the drug has been studied extensively in medical trials. This allowed doctors and scientists to come to a consensus that the CBD drug reduces seizures. The drug passed the final stages of clinical testing two years ago and is now providing relief to the thousands of people suffering from specific debilitating convulsive disorders. More research is still needed for additional CBD products and other specific conditions.
The Science of CBD
The effects of CBD on the recurrence of seizures is explained, in part, by its interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) inside humans. The human endocannabinoid system has receptors throughout the brain and body that help regulate many things including brain function, mood, sleep, stress, and pain. The body’s ECS reacts to cannabinoids that the human body produces naturally and can also be activated by cannabinoids produced in plants, like CBD. When someone uses CBD, the chemical will bind to receptors in the endocannabinoid system, which helps limit seizures.
How to take CBD for seizures
Determining the correct CBD amount to limit convulsions is similar to the dosing process of conventional medicine. A few factors to consider include:
- How the CBD is consumed
- Weight, gender, age
- How your body processes chemicals
If you are trying CBD, it is best to start with a low amount. Then, you can gradually increase until you feel the desired benefits of CBD. New users often begin with 15mg/day, taking half in the morning and a half in the evening. If you are not experiencing the desired benefits at that level, you can increase from there.
Daily CBD users frequently report that 25mg/day is the level that they experience their desired benefits. Higher doses have also been used in clinical research trials⁷ (up to 1500mg of CBD) with minor adverse side effects.