“Epilepsy and Marijuana Treatment”

Epilepsy is a debilitating health disorder that can adversely affect a person’s quality of life Despite the numerous treatment options available, researchers are finding natural solutions to cope with epileptic seizures. Medical marijuana has recently gained a lot of buzz as a viable treatment option for several ailments. It contains medicinal chemical compounds like THC and CBD that have healing attributes. However, more introspection can help in analyzing their impact on epileptic seizures. Also, you must note that cannabis use is regulated in some US states. Thus, getting a medical marijuana card is essential for utilizing medical cannabis.

This article delves into explaining how you can use medical marijuana to manage epileptic seizures.

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What are epileptic seizures?

Epileptic seizures happen when the brain has sudden bursts of uncontrolled activity, leading to different symptoms depending on which part of the brain is affected. They can vary in strength from mild to severe and last a few seconds to several minutes.

During a seizure, a person may experience various symptoms, such as convulsions, muscle spasms, loss of consciousness, changes in sensation, and altered mental states. Some seizures only affect a specific part of the body or cause unusual sensations, such as smelling odors that are not there or seeing flashes of light.

What are the possible causes?

Various factors, including genetic factors, brain injuries, infections, tumors, and certain medical conditions, can cause epileptic seizures. The frequency and severity of seizures can vary among individuals. Some people with epilepsy may experience seizures only occasionally. In contrast, others may have frequent attacks impacting their daily lives.

What are the symptoms? 

The symptoms of epileptic seizures vary depending on the type of seizure and the affected area of the brain. Here are some of the most common symptoms:   

Convulsions and muscle spasms are often the most noticeable symptoms of a seizure, with the person’s body shaking or jerking uncontrollably.     

Unconsciousness: Some seizures can cause a person to lose consciousness or awareness.  

Sensory changes: Seizures can cause unusual sensations, such as strange noises or flashing lights.

Changes in mood or behavior: Seizures can cause changes in a person’s mood or behavior, such as sudden aggression, confusion, or fear. 

It is crucial to note that medical support is necessary to rule out your health issue. If you have any unusual symptoms, it is necessary to approach a doctor. Also, owing to robust research and clinical trials, patients can consider medical marijuana as a complementary therapy to conventional medications.

Conventional Treatment

There are a variety of conventional treatment options available for patients with ES. They include:

Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs)are the most commonly used drugs for managing seizures. They work by altering the body’s chemical level. Although they may not entirely cure seizures, they can prevent them from occurring.

Surgery: If AEDs seem ineffective, you can opt for surgery at your doctor’s discretion. It involves removing a part of your brain without any severe effects.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation: Another method involves placing a small electrical device under the chest’s skin. The device has wires connecting with the vagus nerve in the neck, sending electrical pulses to help regulate brain activity and potentially reduce seizure frequency.

Role of medical marijuana for epileptic seizures

Epilepsy patients may benefit from using marijuana to manage their symptoms. Marijuana cannabinoids, THC and CBD can bind to receptors in the brain and reduce pain signals, making it a compelling alternative drug for multiple health conditions.

CBD, in particular, has anti-inflammatory and protective effects on various signaling systems in the brain. However, seeking medical intervention is necessary for safe cannabis use.

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CBD for Seizures-Fact or Fiction?

CBD-rich products may help reduce seizure frequency in some individuals. They may also ease continual pain, disrupted sleep cycles, anxiety, depression, spasticity, and dystonia. CBD also has neuroprotective properties and may ease inflammation and anxiety. Research indicates the positive effects of CBD use on epilepsy, making it a promising alternative treatment option. Marijuana can also help reduce the side effects of medicines taken during epilepsy seizures, such as headaches, dizziness, pain, and depression.

Use of Epidiolex

The approval of Epidiolex, a CBD-based oral solution, provides stronger evidence for the potential of CBD in managing epilepsy and related conditions. However, proper guidance from a doctor is crucial in developing a marijuana medication plan for epilepsy management. Also, more research is needed to better understand the role of medical marijuana in seizure control.

Safety Considerations

Despite the numerous benefits of cannabis compounds, this drug must be used after approaching an MMJ expert. Self-medication is not recommended, as it can have potential side effects. Moreover, possible drug interactions with established epilepsy medications must be considered. Thus, getting a marijuana card through a doctor’s recommendation and guidance is essential.

Conclusion

With the rising demand for natural modes of treatment in modern healthcare, marijuana can be considered for managing epilepsy. However, the accessibility of cannabis products is limited to regulated dispensaries. Therefore, seeking guidance from medical marijuana doctors must be prioritized.

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