Over recent years, there has been a lot of debate throughout the worldwide medical community about whether CBD (cannabidiol) oil is effective in treating seizures and epilepsy.
However, the fact remains that a large number of people who suffer from these problems have taken CBD oil and have found that their symptoms have been greatly reduced.
Recently in the UK, CBD oil has been legalised for medicinal use, including for the treatment of seizures and epilepsy. In fact, in April 2017 a UK doctor made history in the country by prescribing an 11-year-old epilepsy patient this cannabis-derived product in an attempt to relieve his debilitating seizures.
His prescription was made on the basis of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulation Agency (MHRA) statement that cannabidiol (CBD) can restore, correct or modify physiological functions.
What is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol is an oil derived from the cannabis plant, however unlike THC, which is the other main component of the plant, cannabidiol causes no psychoactive effects and does not produce a high.
The human body has cannabinoid receptors which play a role in the regulation of the brain’s physiological processes including pain sensation, appetite, memory and mood. CBD oil can interact with these receptors to change the patient’s perception.
The cause of epileptic seizures is damage to the body’s cannabinoid receptors, and it is believed that cannabidiol, through its interaction with them, can relieve the damage and reduce the symptoms of seizures.
At the present time, however, while the scientific community in the UK has accepted the benefits of CBD oil, in other countries its efficacy has not yet been acknowledged and it is therefore not used worldwide as a treatment for epilepsy and seizures.
The Use of Epidiolex
The drug Epidiolex is currently being trialled for use in the UK with positive results. This medication contains cannabidiol, but no THC which could cause psychoactive problems.
Trials of this drug have already been carried out in the United States which showed that the number of seizures experienced by the patients involved in the experiment had decreased by around 54%.
As it has been designed to be used in cases where the patient’s condition has previously been resistant to existing treatments, Epidiolex seems to represent a positive step forward in the treatment of epilepsy and seizures.
Does CBD Oil Have Any Side Effects?
Cannabidiol oil has very few side effects, and those that do exist are very mild, ranging from drowsiness and lack of appetite to diarrhoea. These tend to fade away rapidly.
Although THC, the other component in the cannabis plant, does have psychoactive effects and can produce a high, cannabidiol has no such effect on the body and therefore it is considered to be safe to use.
It is important to note, however, that if a patient takes CBD oil together with other types of seizure medication, their blood pressure could be considerably elevated, and therefore it is important to discuss taking CBD oil with a doctor to find out more about any possible interactions before taking the decision to start on this treatment.