Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) are one of the most debilitating epileptic disorders. They primarily start during childhood and affect between 0.1 to 0.3 people per 100,000. These disorders are characterized by cognitive function impairment, sleep disturbances, developmental delays, and frequent and prolonged seizures. Recently, the FDA approved Epidiolex, a CBD oral solution, for the treatment of Dravet syndrome and LGS. Here’s how it works for each of them.
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Medical Marijuana Treatment for LGS
This epileptic condition typically strikes from ages three to five. It’s characterized by seizures, moderate to severe cognitive disorders, poor sleep, and anxiety and depression. In most people who get diagnosed with LGS, the cause is known. However, in 20 to 30% of reported cases, the origin remains unclear. Some of the known causes of this condition are:
- Brain infections (rubella, meningitis, etc.)
- External injury or trauma
- Cerebral abnormalities
- Hypoxic-ischemic injury
- Premature birth/low birth weight
- Inadequate oxygen during birth
Marijuana can help treat LGS. The body’s endocannabinoid system plays a significant role in ensuring balance and reducing seizure activity. Cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant regulate seizure threshold and intensity. This inhibits the release of neurotransmitters, thus causing an overall reduction in neuronal excitability.
What Are the Best Medical Marijuana Strains for LGS Patients?
When it comes to medical marijuana treatment for LGS, the ideal strategy is to tackle each of the condition’s symptoms. This implies using a strain that controls the symptoms that a patient could be experiencing at that moment. For instance, if you experience seizures, the best medical marijuana strains are O.A.T, Grapefruit Kush, and Kushberry.
A decrease in appetite can be addressed using the Pure Kush, Maui Bubble Gift, or Platinum Purple Kush strains. Godfather OG, Tahoe OG Kush, Purple Urkle, and Granddaddy Purple are the best strains for poor sleep. LGS patients who battle anxiety and depression as a symptom of the disorder should consider the Pineapple Express, Harlequin, and Pineapple Express marijuana strains.
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Medical Marijuana Treatment for Dravet Syndrome
Dravet syndrome is a severe and rare form of epilepsy that primarily develops among children. Unlike other epileptic disorders that can be effectively treated using antiepileptic drugs, it’s difficult to treat this condition. Nevertheless, studies indicate that medical marijuana can significantly reduce the symptoms of Dravet syndrome. Besides, it helps with comorbidities and improves patients’ life expectancy.
What Are the Symptoms of Dravet Syndrome?
Typically, the symptoms of this disorder appear during the first year of a child’s life. They include:
- Motor seizures
- Febrile illnesses
- Gal mal seizures
- Developmental disorders
- Unconsciousness in severe cases
The seizures are often triggered by stimuli, such as a rapid rise in body temperature resulting from a warm bath or a febrile infection. They mostly occur between the third and sixth month of a child’s life and can last for up to 20 minutes.
How Medical Cannabis Helps With Dravet Syndrome
Cannabis is effective in treating epileptic disorders, including Dravet syndrome. The cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant not only reduce but also attenuate the frequency of epileptic seizures. CBD-rich marijuana medications help to alleviate Dravet syndrome symptoms in more than 84% of patients. Likewise, the products stop seizures altogether in 11% of kids who are under medication.
Medical cannabis products such as Epidiolex help to regulate the endocannabinoid system by producing an anti-seizure effect. The natural cannabinoids in the marijuana plant interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (primarily CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors) to dampen the frequency and intensity of seizures.
Best Medical Marijuana Strains for Dravet Syndrome
Charlotte’s Web has been proven to be the safest and most effective medical marijuana strain for kids with Dravet syndrome. It helps to treat common symptoms of the disorder, including epilepsy. The strain is rich in CBD but has a low THC concentration, making it ideal for treating seizures without making patients feel high.
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Is Medical Marijuana Safe for Long-Term Use by Kids?
Although medical marijuana can effectively treat disorders such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, doubts still exist regarding the safety of medical marijuana use by kids. Just like it’s the case in adults, there aren’t any adverse effects of long-term use among kids.
You only need to ensure that your kid uses the right strains, uses it in the proper dosages, and uses the right consumption methods. For instance, when they ingest marijuana in a beverage or food form, they are likely to experience some adverse side effects.
Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome are rare and catastrophic epileptic disorders that can adversely affect your kid’s development. Medical cannabis can help treat these disorders and ensure that the young one grows happily and healthily.
If your child has been diagnosed with any of these conditions, do not suffer alone. Contact MMJ Doctor today to acquire medical marijuana and get your child started on the best treatment available.