Epilepsy is caused by the misfiring of the hippocampus that is located deep in the temporal lobe of the brain. For normal cases, this neurological condition can be managed with pharmaceutical drugs. But for some severe and drug-resistant forms, the hippocampus is surgically removed. Studies have shown that cannabidiol (CBD) extracted from the hemp plant is useful for treating the symptoms of epilepsy, i.e. seizures, due to its anticonvulsant properties. The purpose of this primer is to investigate whether CBD oil is useful for treating epilepsy.
What Is CBD Oil?
High-grade hemp CBD oil is the most widely used cannabidiol product used for medical purposes. It is versatile, i.e. it can be consumed directly or in the form of pills and capsules; the latter is more preferred because the dosage is fixed per serving, and there is no risk of overdosing. Also, its THC content is less than 0.3% so that it does not produce any psychotropic effects, and hence it is suitable for medical use like treating the symptoms of epilepsy. This is because cannabidiol produces its therapeutic effects by positively influencing the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that regulates homeostasis.
Does CBD Oil Treat Epilepsy?
The most widely studied therapeutic effect of CBD is its anticonvulsant effect, which is useful for treating seizures due to epilepsy. Seizures are caused due to the excessive firing of neurons because of overstimulation. Studies have shown that the threshold for this is partly mediated by the ECS through its receptors; apparently, CBD affects this threshold. So, high-grade hemp CBD oil is useful for reducing the severity and frequency of seizures. Apart from this, it has no adverse side effects when compared to pharmaceutical antiepileptic drugs. Furthermore, some evidence suggests that CBD oil dosage can be reduced when it is used in combination with THC.
Standardized control studies have shown that CBD is useful for reducing and managing seizures in Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome in children. The FDA has approved the use of CBD derived drug Epidiolex for these two conditions in cases where the disease does not respond to conventional medicines. Besides, cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), i.e. the raw form of CBD has an anticonvulsant effect because its affinity for serotonin receptors 5-HT1A is greater than that of CBD.
The other advantage of using high-grade hemp CBD oil for treating epilepsy is that it reduces stress and anxiety. This helps people to calm down and relax which is very much required for those suffering from epilepsy. You must know that strong emotions are one of the triggers for epileptic seizures. Before using CBD oil for treating epilepsy, you must consult with the physician.