According to the World Health Organization, more than 50 million people globally suffer from epilepsy, making it one of the world’s most common neurological conditions. It’s a chronic disorder that causes recurrent seizures, and involves changes in nerve cells in the brain. In some cases seizures are triggered by outside factor, like stress, flashing lights, or a specific time of day. In order to be diagnosed with epilepsy, a person must have had at least two seizures not caused by another condition, like low blood sugar or withdrawal.
The most common type of epilepsy is called idiopathic epilepsy, and there’s no known cause, but genetics play a significant role. Secondary epilepsy is caused by head injury, brain tumors, brain damage before or during birth, stroke, or infection. Both types of epilepsy have high treatment success rates: With the right medication, up to 70 percent of people with epilepsy can live without seizures. This is important, because the risk of premature death for people diagnosed with epilepsy is two to three times higher than for the general population.
Research shows cannabis, and especially CBD, may also be another valid option. In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Epidiolex, an oral CBD solution to treat two forms of epilepsy, as it was shown to reduce the frequency of seizures. As we amass more research about treating epilepsy with cannabis and CBD, cannabisMD will continue to bring you all the information you need to know.