This is because of research that supports its effectiveness in improving the quality of life for people suffering from epilepsy and other seizure disorders.
According to Epilepsy.ca, approximately 42 Canadians learn that they have epilepsy every day. Almost 0.6% of Canadians suffer from epilepsy.
Pharmaceutical groups have been conducting clinical trials to strengthen the case for using weed as part of a treatment path for seizures.
Cannabis oil is a form of cannabis which combines extracts from the marijuana plant with a carrier oil. It is not taken by smoking, but usually orally or under the tongue. There are also cannabis oils that can be used with a vaporizer.
Non-epileptic seizures are caused by diseases such as cerebral palsy, meningitis and eclampsia.
So do oils made from cannabis help with seizures?
They can, but the key is consulting with a licensed practitioner who can help you identify the dosage and strain that is right for your unique patient needs.
Marijuana Oil for Seizures
The most common symptoms of seizures include:
- twitching or shaking of the body
- loss of consciousness
- speech impairment
- tightening of muscles, usually for just a few seconds
A lot of patients suffering from seizures are reported to have found relief after using weed for seizures either on its own or as part of a treatment path with other prescription drugs.
It is known to have less side effects compared to other treatment methods. Common prescription drug treatments for seizures can cause side effects such as acne, weight fluctuations, hair loss, nausea, headaches, insomnia, depression, double vision, loss of memory, slurred speech and gum dysplasia.
The reason some patients opt to use cannabis oil for seizures instead of the traditional dry bud form is that it is held to be safer than smoking.
Smoking may release substances that have been linked with cancer in tobacco users, but cannabis oils are either taken in food, orally or through vaping which is understood to mitigate these risks.
Marijuana oils are also believed to have greater dosage accuracy than dried cannabis flower because of the standardized processes licensed producers use to create these concentrates.
CBD Oil For Seizures In Adults
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound found in cannabis that is valued for its medicinal properties. Next to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is the second most dominant cannabinoid found in marijuana.
Most studies looking at the effects of cannabis on seizures have moved away from THC and focused on isolating the outcomes of CBD.
The use of cannabidiol for epilepsy has been backed by various studies.
In a 1980 study, eight healthy volunteers were given 3mg/kg of CBD daily for 30 days. Eight other volunteers were given equal numbers of identical capsules with glucose as placebo in this double-blind study.
Amazingly, four of the eight patients who received CBD daily did not experience a convulsive crisis at all during the thirty day period. Three additional patients from the group who did receive CBD also showed some improvement, and just one remained unaffected (Cunha et al. 1980).
Another 2012 in vivo study observed the effects of different dosages of CBD on two rodent seizure models.
Dosages of 1, 10 and 100 mg/kg were administered and the seizure activity was evaluated using the severity scaled suited to the model organism.
The researchers observed that all three doses of CBD effectively lowered the number of animals who experienced severe seizures.
In one of the rodent seizure models called the “penicillin model of partial seizure,” dosages above 10 mg/kg considerably diminished the rate of mortality from seizures. In all models, occurrences of severe tonic-clonic seizures, also known as grand mal seizures, were reduced in the animal subjects.
The researchers concluded that the outcome of the study suggested that CBD could be an important therapeutic option for human epilepsy (Jones et al. 2012).
There are other medically significant compounds in marijuana for treating epilepsy besides CBD. The cannabinoids CBDV (Cannabidivarin) and THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin), as well as the terpene linalool are compounds in cannabis that have been researched for their anti-convulsant effects (Morano et al. 2016; Hill et al. 2010; Elisabetsky et al. 1999)
CBD Oil For Kids
Many believe that more research is needed when it comes to using marijuana oil for seizures on kids who suffer from epilepsy and other conditions.
But anecdotally, some parents have found to be effective treating epilepsy in their children.
A report by CNN in August 2013 shed more light on marijuana and seizures in children. The parents of a young girl with seizures resorted to medical marijuana after other treatment options failed.
To reduce the risks associated with THC and adolescent brain development, doctors found her a type of medical marijuana that is low in THC but high in CBD.
According to witnesses, the child’s seizures became less and less frequent and her health improved.
The connection between cannabis oil and seizures still needs to be explored, especially when it comes to treating minors. At this time, it is understood that most frontline paediatricians in Canada will not prescribe cannabis oil to minors.
More research is needed to verify the anecdotal reports of CBD’s positive effects on childhood seizures. Before experimenting with administering CBD oil to children, it is advisable that parents discuss their options with an experienced health care practitioner.
THC/CBD Oil Dosage For Seizures
Reportedly, cannabis has been used successfully by plenty of people as a therapy for treatment-resistant epilepsy.
More scientific evidence and clinical trials will help support this treatment path. Many patients report experiencing less intense seizures that occur less frequently after using medical cannabis.
It is, however, important to understand that individual bodies have different interactions with the cannabinoids. With that in mind, it is not possible to have standard dosage for all patients.
Patients who report improvements after using medical marijuana will take varying dosages depending on their prescriptions.
Some have recommended that patients take between 15-20 mg of CBD, taken up to twice a day. Dosages should not exceed 10 mg THC. If it’s a patient’s first experience with cannabinoid therapy, a practitioner may start at a dose of 5 mg THC or lower since this is the threshold before psychoactivity is experienced.
Following these common dosages, an oil with 60 mg CBD per milliliter and low amounts of THC could be dosed at 0.25 milliliters twice daily.
Again, this does not mean that these dosages will work for everyone. Please also note that this dose will likely be too high for a child. It is necessary to get the opinion of a health care practitioner who has expertise in cannabis-based medicine before proceeding.
The use of CBD oil for seizures in adults has been adopted by people all over the world.
Many patients of epilepsy and seizures have reported that it has helped them live better lives by reducing their seizures.
Keep in mind that cannabis oil can also come with higher THC to CBD ratios. Since most of the research on cannabis and epilepsy focuses on CBD, doctors will normally recommend patients forgo high THC strains.
We recommend seeking the advise of a licensed health care practitioner before attempting to use marijuana oil for seizures.
- Cunha, Jomar M., E. A. Carlini, Aparecido E. Pereira, Oswaldo L. Ramos, Camilo Pimentel, Rubens Gagliardi, W. L. Sanvito, N. Lander, and R. Mechoulam. “Chronic administration of cannabidiol to healthy volunteers and epileptic patients.” Pharmacology 21, no. 3 (1980): 175-185.
- Hill, Andrew J., Samantha E. Weston, Nicholas A. Jones, Imogen Smith, Sarah A. Bevan, Elizabeth M. Williamson, Gary J. Stephens, Claire M. Williams, and Benjamin J. Whalley. “Δ9‐Tetrahydrocannabivarin suppresses in vitro epileptiform and in vivo seizure activity in adult rats.” Epilepsia 51, no. 8 (2010): 1522-1532.
- Jones, Nicholas A., Sarah E. Glyn, Satoshi Akiyama, Thomas DM Hill, Andrew J. Hill, Samantha E. Weston, Matthew DA Burnett et al. “Cannabidiol exerts anti-convulsant effects in animal models of temporal lobe and partial seizures.” Seizure 21, no. 5 (2012): 344-352.
- Morano, Alessandra, Pierangelo Cifelli, Paolo Nencini, Letizia Antonilli, Jinane Fattouch, Gabriele Ruffolo, Cristina Roseti et al. “Cannabis in epilepsy: From clinical practice to basic research focusing on the possible role of cannabidivarin.” Epilepsia open 1, no. 3-4 (2016): 145-151.
- Elisabetsky, E., LF Silva Brum, and D. O. Souza. “Anticonvulsant properties of linalool in glutamate-related seizure models.” Phytomedicine 6, no. 2 (1999): 107-113.
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