In the 70’s, medical marijuana was categorized as a ‘schedule 1’ drug in the U.S. under the Controlled Substance Act. The state did not recommend Schedule 1 drugs for any medical use. The argument behind this is that these drugs may put individuals at a higher risk of becoming addicted to the substance. For that reason, it has been a struggle for experts to study marijuana and seizures and the safety and effectiveness of using cannabis as a medical drug. Either way, cannabis has been used for centuries to combat various health ailments. Some of them include menstrual disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, seizures, and many others.
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What Are the Claims and Findings of the Effect of Medical Marijuana on Seizures?
There are various types of seizures caused by diverse conditions like epilepsy. While cannabis users report a reduction of seizure’s intervals, there is limited scientific evidence to support the statement. Furthermore, most Schedule 1 drugs and especially stimulants, cause different types of seizure attacks. This raises contradictions on how marijuana can reduce seizure symptoms instead of worsening them. There is some new research coming up on the effect of marijuana on seizure patients. A study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine states that CBD or cannabidiol might be the breakthrough to seizures healing. The research, termed as the most rigorous cannabis scientific study, gave hopeful results. However, it may require more time and analysis to declare marijuana as a proven drug for seizures.
Based on the strict restrictions on cannabis use and handling, it is not easy to develop a definitive solution. One of the main challenges is that researchers have to get a Drug Enforcement Administration license before studying cannabis. That allows them to get access to marijuana samples at the National Institute for Drug Abuse. Despite the constraints faced, they have been a couple of marijuana studies in the U.S from 1970. In all the tasks, scientists revealed the most active ingredients in marijuana. CBD emerges as one of the leading cannabis compounds in handling various ailments. It can be derived from both marijuana and hemp plants. Hemp refers to cannabis that has 0.3% or less THC. It is not easy to distinguish cannabis and hemp as there is no definite difference recorded between them. The only noticeable disparity is that since the hemp has minimal THC, it is less likely to cause intoxication.
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THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is another popular active ingredient that has medicinal benefits. It is the cannabis compound that has a psychoactive element and makes the user feel high. Nonetheless, its chemical makeup has similar characteristics to its equivalent, CBD. Regular use of THC imitates the role of a natural chemical produced in the brain known as anandamide. Studies state that anandamide plays a significant role in making and flouting temporary connections linking nerve cells. As a result, it alters how the brain communicates through neurons. Also referred to as the nerve cells, neurons are the elementary units of the nervous system and the brain. Their primary role is to receive sensory inputs, sending mobility commands to muscles, and converting and relaying electrical signals in the human body. For that reason, seizure patients or those experiencing issues with nerves may benefit significantly by taking a limited amount of THC.
In June 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permitted Epidiolex for seizure patients. This cannabis extracted drug came in handy in supporting two very hard to treat forms of epilepsy; Dravet syndrome and Lennox Gastaut syndrome. Various organizations continue conducting marijuana and seizure studies under the watchful eye of the law.
With several states legalizing the use of medical marijuana, it may result in fewer restraints from the federal government on extensive marijuana and seizures analysis.
Medical Marijuana and Seizures; What Are the Side Effects?
With limited information about the right marijuana dosage, it is advisable to approach the issue with caution. Additionally, it is not well documented how CBD reacts with other types of medications. Note that most anti-seizure drugs affect the patient’s memory. Medical Marijuana use has depicted similar symptoms. That explains that after regular use, patients may forget to take CBD or use the correct prescribed amount, and probably leading to seizures recurrence. Another study stated that CBD use in children results in a severe reduction of cognitive abilities. All in all, various side effects may occur depending on the usage. While smoking may pose a risk to your lungs, consuming through the mouth has minimal reactions.
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The Last Shot
CBD poses as a viable alternative, especially with patients whose seizure attacks worsen with conventional medicine. Remember that you should not feel left out if your state still restricts the use of medical marijuana.
Talk to a specialist about marijuana and seizures and get the newest analysis. As a result, you may decide if it is really essential to try out current cannabis treatments available. Book your consultation with a licensed marijuana medical doctor here!