Marijuana as an Effective Treatment for Epilepsy: The Science | cannabisMD

Marijuana as an Effective Treatment for Epilepsy: The Science

Marijuana as an Effective Treatment for Epilepsy

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Cannabinoids are a group of chemicals found in the marijuana plant (cannabis sativa). Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the main constituents of cannabinoids. CBD has the ability as an anti inflammatory, while THC is said to have psychoactive effects on it’s users. It is said that marijuana may have a role to play in the treatment of epilepsy. This paper focuses on a 45 year old man with cerebral palsy and epilepsy who showed improvements when he smoked cannabis.

Here is the full scientific article if you wish to download it.

Main Points

  • Marijuana has anticonsulvant properties
  • Marijuana may reduce seizure frequency

Marijuana has anticonsulvant properties

Marijuana use for seizures can have a range of biological effects on it’s users and this can vary among epilepsy models, duration of therapy, CBD/THC content,species and dosages. It has been widely documented that marijuana has anticonsulvant effects. These effects were first seen in 1947 when marijuana extracts were studied. The results of this study varied and the efficacy of THC was established as it was able to protect against amygdala-kindled seizures. THC was not able to fight photogenic seizures in Senegalese baboons.

Marijuana may reduce seizure frequency

Marijuana is very common in people with epilepsy. In a study with 300 people in New Mexico with epilepsy, 98 people had a psotive response to the drug. It was reported that 29 % of 42 people under the age of 30 used marijuana and none were having seizures. In a canadian study, 68% of 136 people over 18 said marijuana use has improved seizure severity, and 54% reported reduced seizure frequency. This data suggests that marijuana has passed its anecdotal phase and that it can be beneficial in the treatment of epilepsy, however more studies are needed to examine the actual potential role for marijuana in the treatment for epilepsy.

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