Treatment-refractory epilepsy is the name given to the types of epilepsy that are difficult to treat. Recently medical cannabis and its extracts have gained huge amounts of media coverage as it’s claimed to have a therapeutic effect on this type of epilepsy.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a role in seizures. This is a regulatory system found in the body of most animals, including humans. It is believed that this system is responsible for regulating mood, pain and skin health as well as a number of other core bodily functions.
The chemicals which are found in cannabis are known as cannabinoids. The human body actually produces these chemicals in the ECS naturally. This is why the chemicals found in cannabis, such as cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can work to support the EC, and why scientists believe that they could help to reduce seizures.
There are many different strains of cannabis. Some of these strains have been specifically bred and designed by producers in order to fulfill different roles. For example, a number of strains have been bred to contain very low levels of THC, so that they do not cause any psychoactive effects for the user.
These are the strains which are most commonly recommended for medical use as they can be used on a daily basis to treat a wide range of illnesses, without any “high” effects. They are also believed to be more beneficial to the mental health of users and significantly less likely to cause anxiety or paranoia.
For epilepsy patients who wish to use medical cannabis for their condition, it is recommended that they treat themselves with CBD isolate in oil form. This eliminates THC from the equation and maximizes the health benefits while minimizing the potential risks.
This is a complex new area of epilepsy treatment and patients should be under no illusions as to the fact that it remains experimental. Research needs to explore in more depth the effects of different strains and doses of cannabis on the various forms of epilepsy before any conclusive recommendations or statements can be made.
Here is the full scientific article if you wish to download it.