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Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders

February 3, 2020

Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders

Epilepsy is a neurological condition which affects the nervous system.  It is also known as a seizure disorder.  Anti epilepsy drugs are the primary treatment option for seizure disorders.  When patients experiencing seizure disorders fail to have their seizures controlled by at least two rounds of anti epilepsy drugs they are considered to have drug resistant or refractory epilepsy.  Considering more than thirty percent of epilepsies do not respond to currently available drug treatments over twenty million people worldwide have drug resistant epilepsies. This is one of the main reasons that medical marijuana has become a leading candidate to treat patients with epilepsy.

Epilepsy is usually diagnosed after a person has had at least two seizures that were not caused by some known medical condition.  Seizures seen in epilepsy are caused by disturbances in the electrical activity of the brain.  Seizures in epilepsy may be related to a brain injury or a family condition, however most often the cause is unknown.

The anti epilepsy effects of cannabinoids have been studied for at least the last four decades.  Several studies that have been conducted during this time on CBDhave shown to deliver a range of anticonvulsant effects with few known adverse results.  The mechanism by which cannabinoids inhibit seizures is still not entirely understood.  It will likely take more time to decipher why cannabinoids help those affected by seizure disorders.

The earliest descriptions of cannabis use to treat seizure disorders comes from medieval Arabic texts.  Persian medical writer al-Majusi wrote in the tenth century that the juice of the hemp leaf could be poured into the nose to prevent seizures.  al-Badri claimed that the son of a local leader was cured of his epileptic seizures with cannabis resin in the 15th century.  The personal physician of Queen Victoria wrote, “There are many cases of so-called epilepsy in adults… in which Indian hemp is the most useful agent with which I am acquainted… and fits may be stopped at once by a full dose of hemp.”  One of the most famous instances of a patient being treated with a cannabis derivative is a young girl named Charlotte Figi.  Charlotte had suffered from hundreds of seizures per week but the CBD oil put them to an almost immediate stop.  Her case was so widely reported that upon its release many parents of children similar to Charlotte moved to Colorado so that they would be able to treat their children in a similar manner.  The specific strain of high CBD cannabis would later be renamed in her honor, Charlotte’s Web.

Strains that have been shown to be useful in treating seizure disorders include, Charlotte’s Web (Hybrid), Green Crack (Sativa), Cannatonic (Indica/Hybrid), White Widow (Hybrid), and Grape Ape (Indica).  This is only a brief list and there are many other strains that may help alleviate seizure disorders.  Many of Ohio’s dispensaries carry a wide array of products that may change with the season or the popularity of the strain.

The following information is presented for educational purposes only. Summit Releaf distributes this information to provide an understanding of the potential benefits of medical marijuana for patients living with one of the approved Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program qualifying conditions for an Ohio marijuana card. Links to third party websites do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations by Summit Releaf and none should be inferred.

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