Marijuana and Epilepsy

Wondering what the correlation between marijuana and epilepsy is? We have got you covered on all the facts and figures you need to know and to stay safe!

Can a plant introduced into America United States by early settlers offer relief to people suffering from epilepsy in the present? Marijuana (Cannabis indica) is a plant that has been growing throughout the United States since the early 17th century. The plant was brought by the colonists from Europe to make hemp. The use of hemp as a medicinal plant was documented in a reference manual from 1850, titled “United States Pharmacopeia”.

According to a paper published that was published in The Journal of the International League against EpilepsyTrusted Source (Epilepsia) the use of marijuana has been used for treating various conditions in the past of China up to 2,700 B.C. It was used to treat:

menstrual disorders


rheumatoid arthritis



There is evidence that it was used in the medieval era to treat:






The fever

Marijuana was designated as a member as an “schedule 1” drug class in the U.S. in 1970. This means that determining the safety and effectiveness of marijuana is as a drug is a challenge for scientists. Read further to know more about the relation between marijuana and epilepsy.

claims and Findings

A lot of people with epilepsy believe that cannabis can reduce their seizures, but there’s no scientific evidence to support this. Researchers need to apply for an authorization by the Drug Enforcement Administration in order to conduct research on marijuana. They require permission to the supply held by the National Institute for Drug Abuse. This has slowed research.

However, there has been a handful of research studies carried out within the U.S. since 1970. Others studies, some in progress were conducted all over the globe.

The research shows that the most widely-known active component in marijuana, THC, the most well-known active ingredient in marijuana, (THC) is only one of the substances with medicinal properties. Anotherone, called cannabidiol (CBD) is not able to create an “high” associated with marijuana. It is now being recognized as one of the top marijuana therapeutic chemicals.

Based on these studies, there are numerous research projects currently underway across the US as well as other countries seeking to determine whether a formulation of CBD can aid in controlling seizures.

How does it work

They both THC and CBD are part of a class of compounds known as cannabinoids. They are able to bind with receptors in the brain and work against the pain that is associated with diseases such as HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis. Through binding to receptors, they stop communication of signals for pain. CBD can bind to more than pain receptors. It is believed to affect other signaling mechanisms within the brain. It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory properties.

How CBD works in epilepsy isn’t understood fully. There have been a few studies that have demonstrated the benefits of the use of CBD. Research on mice that were published within EpilepsiaTrusted Source have revealed mixed results. Some studies found that CBD helped with seizures, some did not. This could be due how the drug was administered, as certain methods work better than others.

The concept of using cannabis-derived compounds to treat epilepsy is beginning to gain popular. Researchers need to confirm its efficacy and address the issue of strength and the best way to administer it. The potency of CBD can differ between plants. The inhalation of the drug as opposed to eating CBD can affect the strength, as well. Read further to know more about the relation between marijuana and epilepsy.

Side effects

Although there is growing acceptance among epileptics that medicinal marijuana is highly effective However, research suggests that the potential side effects need to be more thoroughly known. There is no way to know what CBD could interact with other drugs.

As with many anti-seizure drugs marijuana has also been found to impact memory. It could result in missed doses, which could cause seizures to return. An analysis published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that use of cannabis by children can cause an evident decline in cognitive ability.

Other side effects could depend on the way in which the medication is used. Smoking it can be a danger to lung, but eating it wouldn’t.

Speak to your doctor If you suffer with epileptic seizures and not responding to conventional treatment. They can discuss your choices and offer information on medical marijuana for those who live in a state that permits medical marijuana.

There are other options available if your state does not have a provision in its for medical marijuana in the law. Your physician can discuss the latest research information with you and help decide if a study of new methods treatments or therapies could be a good fit for you.

Seizures and epilepsy in sleep

Some people’s sleep is interrupted not with dreams, but seizures. There is a possibility of having seizures with any type of epilepsy during are asleep. With certain forms of epilepsy, seizures can only occur when you the night.

The cells of your brain communicate with your nerves, muscles, and other parts of your brain by electrical signals. Sometimes the signals can go off-track and send too many or not enough messages. When this occurs, the result is seizures. If you experience two or more seizures that occur at minimum 24 hours apart and they were not caused by any other medical condition then you could have epilepsy.

There are various types of epilepsy. And the condition is very common. Around 2.9 millions AmericansTrusted Source suffer from epilepsy. It can be diagnosed anytime. However, new cases are more likely to be found in children younger than 10 years of age and in adults older than 55 years old.

In epilepsy, there’s a myriad of different types of seizures. However, they are generally classified into two categories that are generalized seizures and partial seizures. Read further to know more about the relation between marijuana and epilepsy.

Generalized seizures

A generalized seizure occurs when electrical abnormalities occur across all regions of the brain cortex. It is the upper layer of your brain that is associated with thought, movement reasoning, memory, and thought. In this category are:

Tonic-clonic seizures. Also called grand mal seizures, they are characterized by the body becoming stiffer as well as jerking movements. They are typically, losing consciousness.

Absence seizures. Previously called petit mal, the seizures are characterised by short periods of staring at eyes, blinking them, and tiny movements of the arms and hands. Read further to know more about the relation between marijuana and epilepsy.

Partial seizures

Partial seizures, also known as localized or focal seizures, are restricted to one hemisphere in the brain. If they happen you might be conscious but not be aware that a seizure is taking place. Partially seizures can alter your the way you behave, your consciousness, and the ability to respond. They may also cause involuntary movement. Read further to know more about the relation between marijuana and epilepsy.

The seizures can occur when you sleep

According to a report in The Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry If more than 90% of your seizures occur when you are asleep, you may suffer from nighttime seizures. The article also stated that 7.5 or 45 percent those who suffer from epilepsy have seizures most often during the night.

Patients with seizures that are nocturnal only can have seizures during the daytime. A study in 2007 found that approximately one third of people who suffer from sleep-only seizures may suffer seizures even after seizure-free several years.

It is believed that sleep-related seizures can be triggered by fluctuations in electrical activities of the brain during specific stages of waking and sleeping. The majority of seizures that occur at night occur in stages 1 and 2 which are periods of more relaxed sleep. Nocturnal seizures can also happen after waking. Generalized and focal seizures can happen during sleep.

Nocturnal seizures are a result of different types of epilepsy which include:

juvenile myoclonic epilepsy

tonic-clonic seizures upon waking

benign rolandic, sometimes referred to as benign focal epilepsy from childhood

Epilepticus and electrical status during sleep

Landau-Kleffner syndrome

frontal onset seizures

Nocturnal seizures disrupt sleep. They can also impact the ability to concentrate and perform at school or work. They are often associated with the risk of Sudden unintentional death Epilepsy which is a very rare cause of deaths in patients with epilepsy. Insufficient sleep is one of the most frequent causes of seizures. Other triggers include stress , and fever.

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By Cary Grant

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