Treating Epilepsy with CBD

What is Cannabis and Hemp CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is derived from marijuana. It’s one of two cannabinoids in the naturally occurring plant that binds to receptors in the human brain. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the other agent. THC induces psychoactive effects in recreational users, effects they refer to as “getting high” or “stoned.” CBD doesn’t contain THC, so its users don’t get “high.” Instead, CBD is extracted from marijuana plants for the primary purpose of treating many diseases and ailments, such as epilepsy.

While CBD derived from cannabis is not currently legal in all 50 states in America, its alternative is legal on the federal level. As its name suggests, Hemp CBD is derived from the hemp plant. Like it cannabis counterpart, it doesn’t contain psychoactive properties. Readily available in stores in most states and online, Hemp CBD comes in a variety of forms: mouth spray, drops, pills, even chocolate bars, and ranges in potency from 1 milligram (mg) to 25 mg.

Using CBD to Treat Epilepsy.

While newer studies continue to emerge, several existing studies show positive benefits of CBD on patients suffering from epilepsy. One study, which appeared in Lancet Neurology, showed a 54% decrease in seizures among subjects using CBD or CBD Vape. Another study showed a 40% decrease. While CBD isn’t currently a cure-all for epilepsy, its chemical properties can greatly reduce seizures, especially when used in conjunction with anti-seizure medication, such as Clobazam.

Unlike anti-seizure medication, however, CBD possesses mild side effects, such as sleepiness, fatigue, and diarrhea. A small percentage of users may experience worse seizures, so keep this serious, though uncommon, side effect in mind when you’re considering using CBD.

As with any medication, you should consult your doctor before using CBD and inquire on instructions for use. Commonly, patients use it one to three times daily. Depending on the kind of CBD you’re using—whether it’s a spray or a pill and depending on its potency—you might want to consider starting with minimal doses, for example once daily. If its efficacy isn’t to your satisfaction, then you should work your way up to two or even three times a day.

Its efficacy may take time to emerge, so don’t feel discouraged if you don’t experience immediate results. If you’ve taken the time to adjust the dose to your satisfaction, and you’re still not experiencing the desired effects, consult a professional who might help you find a better strategy. Keep in mind, however, that consistency is key to a successful regiment: don’t take medication sporadically. If you take it in the morning, at dinner, and before bed, for example, then try to maintain consistency every day.

CBD Strains in Marijuana

If you live in a state with legal marijuana and you don’t mind the psychoactive side effects of smoking it, then you can purchase a variety of high CBD marijuana strains. Specially cultivated with a high CBD to THC ratio, these strains were selected and engineered to magnify the properties of CBD. As with CBD derivatives, you should smoke marijuana consistently, treating it no differently than you would treat a pill or a droplet of CBD. Keep in mind, however, that this from of CBD delivery will get you “stoned,” so take it in safe surroundings and try not to operate cars or heavy equipment while under the influence.