More than 3 million Americans suffer from some sort of epilepsy. The condition can run the gamut of severity, allowing some patients to live normal lives while seriously disabling others. Current medical paradigms consist of a pharmaceutical cocktail to treat epilepsy. However, there may be another option. Medical marijuana appears to help alleviate certain forms of epilepsy, and may offer patients relief. In this post, we’ll explore how cannabis may assist epilepsy patients with help from a marijuana dispensary in Oklahoma City.
The Connection Between Cannabis and Epilepsy According to a Marijuana Dispensary in Oklahoma City
More than any other condition, the American medical community has recognized epilepsy’s connection with cannabis. Interestingly, even the FDA has acknowledged cannabis’ effectiveness at treating certain forms of epilepsy. That’s in stark contrast to other possible health benefits cannabis possesses. Below, we’ll dive into that connection in more detail.
What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is an umbrella term for several disorders. The one thing they all have in common is that they trigger seizures. During a seizure, unusual electrical activity in the brain can lead to motor problems, alterations in consciousness, and phantom sensations.
If someone experiences more than two seizures in a 24-hour span, they have epilepsy. Epilepsy may also affect a patient’s motor skills and cognitive development.
CBD and Epilepsy
The key to unlocking medical marjuana’s epilepsy-fighting potential is CBD. CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of the main active ingredients in cannabis. It’s a member of a chemical family that develops naturally in marijuana plants, called cannabinoids. Out of more than 100 cannabinoids, CBD is the second-most abundant after THC.
While many associate cannabis with its psychoactive high, that’s not CBD’s area of expertise. In fact, CBD is non-psychoactive. In other words, it won’t make you feel high. That’s one of THC’s features. Instead, the compound appears to offer several other possible benefits, including reducing inflammation, easing pain, and improving sleep.
Another noted benefit of CBD is a potential ability to soothe seizures. Studies show that CBD demonstrates significant ability to reduce the number of seizures that a patient suffers. In addition, CBD appears to “play nicely” with other anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). In other words, patients appear to be able to take CBD without having the compound interact with their current epilepsy medications.
The medical community formally recognized CBD’s abilities in 2018. That year, the FDA approved a new CBD-based drug called Epidiolex. This drug is an effective treatment for two severe forms of epilepsy. But getting to today’s mainstream acceptance wasn’t easy.
While researchers have espoused CBD’s benefits for decades, the debate really started to heat up in 2013. That year, CNN profiled a 7-year-old girl named Charlotte Figi.
Charlotte suffered from epilepsy since experiencing her first seizure at 3 months old. By 5 years old, she was confined to a wheelchair. In 2012, Charlotte’s parents began treating her epilepsy with CBD and noticed miraculous results. First, her number of seizures plummeted, from 300 per week to a few each month. Eventually, Charlotte could walk and talk, and even ride a tandem bike with her mother.
Her story sparked national interest and helped spur on the FDA’s recognition of CBD as an anti-seizure agent. Charlotte even received the honor of having a strain of cannabis named after her, the high-CBD and low-THC “Charlotte’s Web.” You can find it in stores nationwide today.
Find the Right Cannabis Products for You at This Marijuana Dispensary in Oklahoma
If you or someone you love suffers from epilepsy, medical cannabis may be an option. Talk to a physician to see if they recommend medical cannabis for your situation. If they do, stop by this marijuana dispensary in Oklahoma City to fill your order and take control of your healthcare.