Scientific Studies Show CBD Reduces Seizures
An important study documenting the effect of CBD on epilepsy was conducted in 2016. Researchers treated 74 participants with treatment-resistant epilepsy with CBD-enriched hemp oil for an average of 6 months.
The results were very positive. Among the participants, 89% experienced a reduction in seizures. There were other benefits observed among the group as well that included increased alertness, better communication skills, higher-quality sleep and sharper motor skills.
How CBD Helps Reduce Seizures
CBD works on the endocannabinoid system. Like all components of the nervous system, it sends neurotransmitters – chemical messengers with special signals and instructions – throughout the entire body.
The endocannabinoid system’s natural neurotransmitters are called endocannabinoids – these are produced naturally by the body. Humans can supplement these through plants like cannabis that provide phytocannabinoids. The most well-known of these are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
THC is widely-known for producing euphoric or “high” feelings. This cannabinoid is found in high quantities in certain strains of cannabis. Strains used for therapy typically have very low amounts of THC and high amounts of therapeutic CBD.
Cannabinoids like CBD stimulate specific receptors within the brain to produce neurotransmitters that bring feelings of well-being. Gamma-Aminobutyric acid (also known as y-aminobutyric or GABA) is a very important neurotransmitter that is believed to block impulses between nerve cells in the brain. When GABA levels are low, anxiety, mood disorders – and epilepsy – can be triggered.
Can CBD Help Epilepsy?
Scientific studies have shown that cannabidiol (CBD) can help reduce seizures associated with epilepsy – a nervous system disorder that causes intense and powerful electric surges to the brain.
Attributed to an underlying brain dysfunction, sufferers of epilepsy can experience various degrees of emotional turbulence along with altered consciousness and uncontrolled movements.
The physical manifestations of a seizure can be especially frightening, particularly for parents of children with epilepsy. Some of the movements associated with a seizure include:
- Difficulty speaking
- Loss of swallowing ability
- Visions of flashing lights
- “Out of body” sensations
- Visual hallucinations
- Loss of consciousness
Watching an individual undergo a seizure can be a terrifying experience for many people. Thankfully, CBD helps to decrease seizures dramatically, and this is being proven through scientific studies.
The GABA-Epilepsy Connection
Researchers have established a connection between GABA and epilepsy, suggesting that GABA affects brain cells in people of all ages through the suppression and stimulation of various neurons.
Cannabinoid deficiency is commonly linked with low levels of GABA, suggesting that supplementing with phytocannabinoids like CBD can help with epilepsy. While this is not a permanent “cure”, it can help lead researchers in understanding what causes natural cannabinoid deficiency. In the meantime, people from all over the world are supplementing with CBD with positive results.
Charlotte Figi: The Little Girl that Helped Kickstart the Medical Marijuana Movement
The story of Charlotte Figi is a compelling example of how CBD can help an individual stop having seizures.
At just 3 months old, Charlotte began having seizures. She was then diagnosed with Dravet’s syndrome, a serious condition that resulted in approximately 300 seizures per week and life in a wheelchair.
Desperate for solutions, her mother researched a wide variety of treatments. CBD emerged as an option, and she started giving Charlotte oil from a strain called “Hippie’s Disappointment” – named for low levels of THC.
Charlotte’s seizures were reduced from approximately 300 per week to just 2-3 per month. “Hippie’s Disappointment” was renamed to “Charlotte’s Web” and her story broke into the mainstream, giving hope to millions of people suffering from epilepsy worldwide. Along with bringing awareness of CBD to the general public, Charlotte became a symbol for the marijuana movement that helped relax laws around CBD throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, and beyond.
How to Take CBD for Epilepsy
Before administering CBD or any supplement to please consult with your holistic healthcare practitioner. Green Cuisine advises that all new customers discuss CBD with their healthcare provider(s) prior to starting any treatment.
CBD supplements are available in liquid, powder, smokeable and edible formats. For the purpose of therapeutic treatment, we recommend full spectrum CBD oil for accurate dosing.
Full spectrum CBD oil contains all of the natural compounds found in the cannabis plant while “isolated” CBD contains only CBD. These compounds include all the cannabinoids, terpenes and essential oils that work together to produce an overall therapeutic effect.