CBD and its Effects as an Anticonvulsant
There is a lot of talk among people and parents of young children around the possible effects of cannabidiol as an anticonvulsant. Epilepsy is something that is getting a lot prevalent in the and drugs that are supposed to work on them are known to have a lot side effects that can be quite dulling to many users. It is a medical condition that can be quality of life threatening and for many, any form of respite is welcome. How effective though is CBD as is? What is the science on this line of reasoning? Here are some facts.
The scientific evidence
The chemical pathways and interactions of CBD in comparison to a number of anticonvulsive medication and drugs were made. The results can be found here. It was found that when each of the drugs are applied at peak effect, it was found that CBD is highly effective in two ways. First, its is potent in audiogenic seizure tests as well as with maximal electroshock seizures. Apart from being a really potent by itself, it also increased the effectiveness of traditionally applied drugs. CBD works by itself as well as in combination with other drugs and is more effective with major seizures than with minor events. It can work against the potency of medication that is used for such minor incidents, namely ethosuximide, trimethadione, chlordiazepoxide, and clonazepam. While it increases the potency of drugs like phenytoin, phenobarbital , and like drugs. The full study can be found here.
Epilepsy in the US
There are more than 2.4 milllion people who right now have severe epilepsy in the USA and getting seizures is just a part of everyday life for these people. About a million of these patients have unctrollable levels of seizures that affects everyday life as well as has the potential to be life threatening. People who are in the risk category of seizures are often unable to undertake regular, everyday tasks like swimming, driving, and in some cases even hold a regular job. For some, the condintion is so bad that they are unable to maintain a regular lifestyle and can spiral into depression and anxiety, sometimes simply waiting for the next episode to strike.
Seizures are caused by electrical signals misfiring in the brain, abnormal discharges, and this causes convusions in the body that can alter the senses and cause the person to lose consciousness. While there is no real way to tell how many such episodes happen a day, it can be from one or two to literally hundreds a day. They can last anywhere between a second to a few minutes. Epilepsy can also be caused by trauma to the head, viral infections in the brain as well as other chemical and hormonal imbalances in the brain. The worst part, however, is that in a hood number of cases, the actual reasons for it happening is unknown. It has to be noted, however that not all seizures are caused by epilepsy. There are a number of diseases, including certain cancers that can trigger a seizure.
CBD and convulsions
The Epilepsy Foundation strongly believes that CBD and marijuana are effective treatments for this condition. They are strong advocates for the legalization of the plant for recreational and medicinal use. The DEA, however, are quiet staunch in their stance against it. Cannabis not being available in the open market has also led to it not being studied as much as it can in the fields of epilepsy research and to run actual clinical trials. Even the study mentioned here was one that was conducted on rats only.
The treatment of convulsions using cannabidiol and cannabis is something that has been done for centuries. Medicine men of ancient cultures including Africa, China, and India are well known to make use of marijuana to treat epilepsy. Wjile they might not have known the actual science behind it, it was used and it was effective. What they were aware of, however, are the neuroprotective properties of the plant. Till the ban of cannabis in the 1930’s doctors themselves regularly prescribed it for treating seizures and convulsions right here in the US. Called cannabis tincture, it was an effective medicine that was highly regarded. In fact its anticonvulsional properties are among its most well known. There is extensive research that has been carried out on the use of hemp tincture against epilepsy till the early 1930’s. After this period, the research took a sharp decline as it became a narcotic, controlled substance.
Almost every time a seizure is about to hit, the person is likely to experience what is called an aura. It is a state of heightened sensitivity with the sufferer seeing lights, hearing sounds as well as sometimes even experiencing strange smells. Apart from these feelings, there is also a feeling of fear and at times an inability to speak or make sense of their surroundings. People who experience seizures regularly will be able to tell that they have an aura episode and that a seizure is likely to follow in due course of time.
The drugs that are right now being used to treat convulsions range from ineffective to outright dangerous and filled with side effects that you really do not want to got through. CBD and cannabis, on the other hand are quite literally side effect free in many forms. It is completely safe to use by even children.
The issue now is not whether CBD and cannabis itself is effective or not. In fact, it is highly effective and one of the best ways to treat convulsions and seizures. The issue is to create an awareness among the general populace and advocate its uses to the government, urging it to take a stand for the use of this life altering treatment to one of the most difficult conditions to live with. There are cases that can greatly benefit from the use of cannabis not as a recreational drug, but as a viable form of treatment.