Studies have suggested that 1 in 26 Americans will have epilepsy in their lifetime. In 2015, about 3.4 million people (470,000 children and 3 million adults) were reported to have active epilepsy in the United States. This is a record amount that the nation has not seen before. This number increased from 2010 where the figure of adults with epilepsy was 2.3 million.
Epilepsy is a brain disorder that results in seizures. Doctors and scientists have recently become aware that epilepsy could run in a person’s genes. Otherwise, it can be brought on by events such as a brain tumor, a stroke, central nervous system infections, or head injuries. Although many people are familiar with epilepsy, it can be hard to understand, even for those that may have the disorder.
Research is looking into the use of cannabiniods which includes CBD (cannabidiol), THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and medical marijuana to treat epilepsy. Since epilepsy involves complications within the brain, safety must be considered. Although pharmaceutical drugs may work, some parents do not feel comfortable giving their children strong drugs that may include negative side effects such as a loss of appetite, fatigue and changes in mood.
Early studies within America have actually focused on how save Epidiolex (a specific drug made from cannabidiol) could be for those with epilepsy. It was documented that out of a group of people, 54% felt a decrease in the amount of seizures that they would usually experience. However, there were people that noted of side effects resulting in decreased appetite, tiredness and diarrhoea.
Although tests are proving likely that CBD and medical cannabis may have a positive effect on the amount of seizures an epileptic person may have, there are still not enough funded studies that have been trialed. Until research can fully prove the benefits of CBD, it is always vital to go through your options with a doctor.