Medical Marijuana May Help Ease Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a common disease that causes one to have seizures. An epileptic seizure is a disturbance in electrical activity in the brain. Not all seizures, though, are due to epilepsy, and patients are usually not diagnosed until they experienced their first or second epileptic seizure. This disease can show up in many ways and have many different effects on the body.

The main sign of epilepsy is of course seizures, but if someone is experiencing frequent fainting spells or extremely low blood sugar, they may have epilepsy as well. Medically, refractory epilepsy is a form of epilepsy that cannot be controlled by medication. This causes a lot of discomfort and fear in patients, large percentage of which are children.

Out of the 150,000 people in America who are diagnosed with epilepsy, 30 % experience what are called generalized seizures. Some seizures cause one to stare blankly, losing all function in the brain until the seizure is over. Others can result in loss of consciousness, violent shaking and stiffening of the body. Some even loose control of their bladder and can bite off their tongue.

What are the medicinal compounds in marijuana?

The two medicinal compounds in marijuana are THC and CBD. The scientific name for THC is delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol. This is the part of marijuana that gives one a body and head high; the effects typically appear when one smokes or orally consumes marijuana.

The scientific name for CBD is cannabidiol. This portion of the plant is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not cause a head high, but shows more of an effect on the body. CBD oil can be extracted from medicinal marijuana, and there are strains that are predominantly rich in CBD.

What is the connection between medical marijuana and epilepsy?

New findings suggest that CBD-rich strains of marijuana and the consumption of CBD oil may have a positive effect on seizures caused by epilepsy. There are conflicting studies for and against this theory, but there have been mothers in states where medical marijuana is legal administering the drug to their children and reporting positive results.

Marijuana has also been tested out on animals and some of the studies have proven that it may be very effective against seizures. This brings many people hope due to the fact that the current pharmaceuticals on the market to treat epilepsy have severe long-term side effects. Though there are also long-term side effects that come from using medical marijuana, when compared side by side, they pale in comparison.