Cannabis and Epilepsy - Can Medical Marijuana Help Control Seizures?
Since medical marijuana was legalized in Missouri in 2018, over 165,000 residents of the Show-Me-State have received their medical marijuana card and use cannabis to improve the quality of their life. Medical marijuana is used to treat hundreds of medical issues, and one of the conditions that medical marijuana can be effective in treating is epileptic seizures.
What Is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a neurological condition that causes unprovoked, recurring seizures. A seizure is an episode that occurs when the brain experiences a sudden, abnormal rush of electrical activity. Stronger seizures may cause spasms and uncontrollable muscle twitches, and a person may experience confusion and a loss of consciousness. A person who suffers from a seizure might not even know anything has happened and may have no memory of the episode afterwards.
Typically, a doctor will diagnose a patient with epilepsy if they have two or more seizures without an identifiable cause. At the moment, there is no cure for epilepsy, but patients may be able to manage the condition with medications and other strategies. For many patients, medical marijuana is proving to be an effective tool in controlling their seizures.
According to the Epilepsy Foundation, one in twenty-six people will develop epilepsy at some point. There are currently 3.4 million Americans living with active cases of epilepsy. The number continues to grow by about 150,000 per year.
Can Medical Marijuana Help Control Seizures?
While the research is still ongoing, the early data is encouraging. Studies show that cannabis can be an effective tool for some patients who suffer from epilepsy. Dr. Anup Patel, a contributor for Brain & Life Magazine, explains a theory on how cannabis can help some patients control their seizures.
Patel postulates that the CBD found in medical marijuana “may slow the sending of messages to the brain, change calcium levels in the brain that affect signals between cells, or reduce inflammation in the brain.”
Perhaps the most inspiring news for those suffering from epilepsy can be found in the firsthand accounts of epilepsy patients who are using cannabis to control their seizures.
Charlotte Figi’s Seizures Were Reduced by Over 99% Thanks to Medical Marijuana
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent, was once avidly against medical marijuana. But after conducting his own research, he did a complete 180 and is now enthusiastically in support of cannabis treatments for many conditions, including epilepsy.
One of Gupta’s patients, Charlotte Figi, was having over 300 seizures per week and was taking seven separate medications by the age of 3. Gupta began using cannabis to treat Charlotte’s condition, and her seizure rate dropped down to just 2 or 3 per month.
Sam Vogelstein Went From 100 Seizures per Day to Living a Normal Life
In a piece for Wired, Fred Vogelstein wrote about his experience being a father to an epileptic child. He describes his son’s seizures “Sam doesn’t have grand mal seizures, the type most people imagine when they think of epilepsy: collapsing and twitching on the ground. Instead, he partially loses consciousness for five-to-20-second bursts.”
He goes on to explain that when his son’s seizures are uncontrolled, they can happen between 10 and 20 times per hour, which means he was having a seizure every three to six minutes and sometimes more than 100 every day.
Needless to say, Fred was desperate to help his son. The condition had made it difficult for him to have a simple conversation or to participate in school. Sports were an impossible dream. And the only medications that helped at-all had side effects that were wreaking havoc on his body.
Since using high-concentrates of CBD, the non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in marijuana, his son’s seizures have reduced significantly to the point that he is able to live the normal life of a 12 year-old child, with no side effects.
Cannabis May Reduce Dependency on Other Epilepsy Medications
A recent study conducted in Britain focused on children who suffer from severe epilepsy and discovered that medical marijuana reduced seizures in a staggering 90% of cases. Perhaps the most exciting news other than the lowered frequency of epileptic episodes was how cannabis may help patients reduce their dependency on other medications - some which could have negative side effects.
In the study, the children were given small quantities of cannabis, in a marijuana treatment called microdosing. This means that the children weren’t given enough THC to get high, but did receive enough to help their conditions, reducing the monthly instances of seizures by 86 percent.
Even more impressive - most of these young patients were able to reduce the number of additional medications they were taking, dropping the average number of other prescriptions needed from seven down to about one.
People of All Ages Suffer From Epilepsy
Although the studies above specifically reference children, epilepsy can affect people of any age. As you get older, your risk of developing this condition increases. Senior citizens are the age group most affected by the condition.
If you are someone who must take several medications to control your seizures, it’s worth considering whether or not cannabis could help you maintain more control or have seizures less-frequently.
Natural Relief Is Available for Missouri Patients
If you are ready to experience the natural relief that cannabis provides, you’ll need a Missouri medical card. And we can help with that! Our medical team is standing by to take you through a quick and easy evaluation to see if you qualify. Schedule an appointment with a marijuana physician online by CLICKING HERE, or give us a call at (877) 303-3117 to talk to a patient support representative.
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
At Missouri Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (877) 303-3117, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
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