The application of marijuana in medicine has been received with a lot of controversies. Whereas there is a group of people who are in support of its use for its medicinal purposes, there are others who are vehemently against it. That is why it remains illegal in some states and some countries. However, the fact remains that marijuana has been used for centuries to help people with medical problems.
As the years went by, more uses of marijuana have been discovered. Today, there has been a lot of scientific research on the properties of marijuana and how it is applied in medicine. It has been used to help people with cancer to reduce pain and increase their appetite. Find it in any legal dispensary for medical marijuana. One area which is now widely talked about is how marijuana treats epilepsy.
Marijuana in treatment of epilepsy
Epilepsy is a neurological condition which causes one to have seizures. During this, one is likely to convulse and become unconscious. It is a condition which can affect one’s life. Unfortunately, there has not been a cure for this condition. Some of the treatments methods which are available also might not help some people with types of epilepsy that are resistant to drugs.
The use of marijuana in epilepsy has been there for a long time. In fact, the Epilepsy Foundation is advocating for the use of marijuana by people who have epilepsy. Marijuana is believed to have neuroprotective properties which help those with epilepsy. Research which has been conducted by various doctors indicate that those who are using cannabis experience fewer seizures.
What components in marijuana makes it possible to be used in treating epilepsy?
The two main components in marijuana are the cannabidiol (CBD) and the Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The difference between these two compounds is that whereas THC is psychoactive and can make one feel “high,” CBD does not have this effect. For medical purposes, it is mostly cannabidiol which is usually used to help patients. This is no different for the case of epilepsy.
The CBD has been determined to have anti-seizure properties. Therefore, when a person with epilepsy uses products such as essential oils which have CBD, they will experience fewer seizures. It has proved to be helpful especially with people who have complex epilepsy. There are some forms of epilepsy such as Lennox-Gaustaut syndrome and the Dravet syndrome which does not respond to regular medication. These two commonly affect adults and children respectively.
CBD is used to make an oil known as Epidiolex which is used by patients with epilepsy. With the small group of people who were being studied as they tried this oil, they indicated a reduction of seizures by up to 40 %.
The increased popularity of using marijuana for epilepsy came about in 2013. Charlotte Figi, who was then eight years, had the Dravet syndrome. Her symptoms were not responding to the regular epilepsy medication. Her parents later resorted to using marijuana in an attempt to help her. To their surprise, it was able to reduce the number of seizures which she was experiencing significantly.
As a result, there have been calls for more research on how marijuana treats epilepsy. If the rules on the legality of the use of medical marijuana are relaxed, then more study can efficiently be conducted.
When should one use marijuana to treat epilepsy?
If in a situation where one is not getting any better after trying the regular medication, one should consider seeking medical marijuana. If there is a chance that it might help one to get better, why not? However, access might not be easy as it is not legal in all states.
As already stated, the two severe forms of epilepsy might be hard to treat. If one is found to be having these kinds of epilepsy, they can use medical marijuana. Through the small number of people who have been studied after using marijuana, most of them experienced fewer seizures after. This is thanks to the anti-seizure properties in CBD.
Are there any side effects of medical marijuana in treating epilepsy?
There are some side effects which one might experience as they use medical marijuana. However, they are not adverse. They include nausea, feeling sleepy, decreased appetite levels and diarrhea.
To conclude, more studies and research needs on this subject to be conducted. That way, they will be able to uncover more information in all possible benefits of marijuana treating epilepsy.