Cannabis and Epilepsy: Here’s How Patients Find Relief

Cannabis and Epilepsy can be a very controversial subject therefore it is important that we educated ourselves on how it actually can work.

Epilepsy plagues so many—1 in 26 Americans will develop it at some point in their lifetime—but now there’s hope for many Americans thanks to cannabis.

Marijuana’s potential as a treatment for epilepsy first really broke onto the scene in 2013 when news hit that Charlotte Figi, an eight-year-old suffering from a rare form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome that is treatment-resistant, experienced a dramatic reduction in seizures following the use of medical marijuana.

Now, a recent cannabis study provides further hope for epilepsy patients seeking relief.

Cannabis and Epilepsy: The Devinsky Study


In late 2015, Orrin Devnisky of New York University Langone Medical Center teamed up with multiple peers from neighboring centers to publish the results of their “cannabis-based drug for treatment-resistant epilepsy” study. The study is the largest of its kind thus far and was published in The Lancet Neurology.

Within the study, 162 patients were introduced to 99 percent cannabidiol (CBD) across 12 weeks. CBD is a non-psychoactive marijuana chemical. In this case, all patients were aware what they were being treated with, and CBD was used to augment existing medications.

The results? CBD reduced seizures at the same rate of existing drugs (median 36.5%) and approximately two percent of all patients became seizure-free.

CBD is particularly notable here because unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD provides no high or risk of mental impairment or addiction. Instead, it may even offer antipsychotic properties on top of its potential anticonvulsant nature.

Adverse effects from the cannabis treatment were minimal. While 79 percent of all patients reported suffering from fatigue, diarrhea, and drowsiness, only 3 percent of these respondents felt the need to leave the study.

Cannabis and Epilepsy: Study Concerns

Two Yale University neurologists unconnected to the study—Lawrence Hirsch and Kamil Detyniecki—note that the placebo effect may have been a factor in the Devinsky study.

Additionally, the two note that because cannabis was used to augment existing drug treatments, the possibility of drug interactions cannot be ruled out. CBD is a liver enzyme inhibitor, so its presence may have caused the other drugs to become more concentrated in the body. This greater concentration may have led to the reduction in seizures and not necessarily the cannabis/CBD itself.

Cannabis and Epilepsy: Conclusion

In short, it seems that much more research is necessary before the full efficacy (and the reason behind that efficacy) of cannabis/CBD in epilepsy patients is known. However, the outlook remains bright.

“I think, based on the evidence that we have, if a child has tried multiple standard drugs and the epilepsy is still severe and impairing quality of life, then the risks of trying CBD are low to modest at best,” said Devinksy. “[But] I do feel it is critical for us as a scientific community to get [more] data.”

Comments for Cannabis and Epilepsy: Here’s How Patients Find Relief

UP NEXT

img

Using Marijuana During Pregnancy: Is It Safe?

Using marijuana during pregnancy is a taboo topic, even in the medical marijuana community. Many people use cannabis for morning sickness - but is it safe?
img

Cannabis Clubs: Now Coming to Colorado

There are all sorts of niched clubs out there, cigar clubs to beach clubs. Now, cannabis clubs are coming to town, specifically to Colorado.
img

Cannabis 101: Understanding the plant that is changing the world

Are you new to cannabis? Here is everything you need to know about cannabis 101. We cover everything from different strains to consuming methods.
img

How Terpene Oils Affect You and Your Weed

Many factors can make a strain special, the most important being terpenes. These natural terpene oils give buds their smell, taste and health benefits.
img

5 Industries Changing Thanks to Cannabis

The cannabis industry is impacting the world by disrupting the tech, entertainment and healthcare industries which are undergoing major changes in 2017.
img

The CARERS Act Makes a Comeback in Congress

The CARERS Act is the only hope medical marijuana has for legality. Thankfully, the new Congressional session may be putting it into effect.
img

How to Get a Medical Card in Oregon

Oregon has one of the leading medical marijuana programs in the country. Here is everything potential patients need to know to get a medical card in Oregon.
img

Federal Cannabis Laws: This Is What You Need To Know

Do you consume marijuana? Whether you smoke it for recreational use or ingest it for medical purposes, it is important you know the federal cannabis laws.
img

Stop Smoking Weed Everyday: Benefits Of A Weed Detox

Actionable guide to help stop smoking weed or quitting smoking weed all together. We give you our pro-tips in this quick guide to weed detox.
img

Older Women and Medical Marijuana: A New Growth Industry

Older women and medical marijuana are becoming more popular as seniors are using cannabis for pain relief. This is what they say about the industry.
img

Does CBD Show up in a Drug Test?

Many employers requires drug testing and this can be very problematic for medical marijuana users, and we ask ourselves does cbd show up in a drug test?
img

Companion Planting: An Innovative Way To Support Your Cannabis Garden

What's companion planting? We got the scoop. In this Society Kush article we will explore everything about the new phenomena.
img

5 Fast Facts About Weed in Mexico

We all know that a lot of drugs comes from Mexico to United States. But what do you really know about weed in Mexico? Here is what you need to know.
img

The “Tesla of Cannabis” Greenhouse Technology

Cannabis greenhouses are becoming more and more popular as cannabis becomes recreational. More interesting is the technology around it. We got the details.
img

The science behind combining cannabis and sex

Scientific studies tell us what we've known for thousands of years: cannabis and sex is a fantastic combination. Here's why.

Connect with Society Kush

Get some dope in your inbox. Sign up for our Newsletter!