Since long, scientists have been struggling to find out some alternative medicines that are safe and could replace some of the existing conventional formulations. One of the main reasons for this endeavor is, most of the conventional medicines result in side effects. They create additional multifarious health problems irrespective of whether the patient recovered from the disease for which he had taken the medicines, or not.
In the realm of plants & herbs, cannabis is best known for its property that gets us “High” while we smoke recreationally or Vape medically. But in its kitty, there also exists a species with the compound that minds only health & health, nothing else. It’s CBD.
On this day, media channels were rejoiced to break the news that the FDA gave its assent to Epidiolex, the first CBD oil infused oral formulation that the drug authority found useful in the treatment of severe conditions of epilepsy-related 2-critical seizures. That way, cannabis proved that it’s much beyond just a euphoric drug and is extensively beneficial in therapeutic use.
Due to its unique medicinal properties, the use of CBD oil & extracts of cannabidiol has increased many folds during the recent years.
Epilepsy, by & large, is a neurological disorder resulting out of dysfunction of our Central Nervous System. It’s a condition that causes recurrent seizures at irregular intervals, time & again due to abnormal electrical discharges from the brain.
Such conditions occur due to illnesses of the brain & inflammation of neurons-the brain cells, injuries, overdose or side effects of strong medicines, etc. Epilepsy could also be due to abnormal development & growth of the brain and prenatal abnormalities.
An epilepsy patient may have severe seizures, unusual behavior and loss of consciousness during the attack. While under an attack of seizures, the patient may have stony eyes, trembling of the hands, legs and neck. In fact, entire body of the patient looks like shivering, jerking and collapsing. The patient has absolutely no control over it. Sometimes, the mouth stays open & spits the froth.
Epilepsy is one of several life-threatening diseases that affect the people crossing barriers of age. In America, approximately, 5,000 people die of epilepsy every year. This includes sudden deaths (SUDEP) that occur immediately after an epilepsy attack, but the reasons have not cropped up yet and remain shrouded under a mystery.
Besides direct deaths due to epilepsy, this neurological disorder also causes deaths in other ways. The suicide rate is higher by about 22 % in the patients having epilepsy conditions than others. Epilepsy patients are always prone to accidents, sometimes fatal.
CBD Oil & Seizures
The story of using CBD for seizures relates to Charlotte, the little girl who had got a first life-threatening attack of seizures when she was hardly 3-months old. At the age of 5, the doctors attending upon her raised their hands and told her parents that there is nothing left with them to help the little girl. When all conventional medicines had failed, CBD worked, and she fully recovered from the worst type of seizures attacks.
Cannabis enjoys a time-tested and scientifically proven record of its beneficial effects on the brain. Scientists have been able to discover about 70 chemical compounds in the cannabis, known as cannabinoids. These include THC & CBD. Most of these have the same structure as endogenous cannabinoids in our body have. As such, cannabinoids in the cannabis and the body, both work the same way.
While THC is widely popular as a psychoactive substance, the CBD not. Medicinal properties of THC had been recognized long ago, but in the case of CBD, it took years. It’s only during the last decade when the scientists found that CBD could be more useful in the treatment of brain-related disorders because it does not have euphoric effects. CBD has some exceptional medicinal properties that promise to deliver the results in the treatment of seizures, beyond expectations.
The possession or use of cannabis or marijuana in any form is illegal and a completely prohibited substance at the Federal level. Despite this fact, the FDA, recognizing the potentials of the CBD, has granted their approval to cannabidiol infused medicine, “Epidiolex”. This is an oral solution, a first phytocannabinoid derived medicine. This CBD infused drug has been approved for “seizures associated with Lennox- Gastaut Syndrome or Dravet Syndrome, two rare, severe childhood-onset epilepsies.
A research report in the Journal of Epilepsy Research, published online in the PMC, US National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health reads;
“THC has psychoactive properties exerted through its binding of the cannabinoid receptor (CBR) whereas CBD is a CBR antagonist. The inhibition of epilepsy by CBD may therefore be caused by various mechanisms, although the detailed mechanisms of CBD actions have not yet been well defined. In most studies, trial doses of CBD were 2–5 mg/kg/day. Several such studies have shown that CBD does have efficacy for treatment of epilepsy.”
Strains Useful in Seizures
There are over 700 species of hybrid and organic cannabis. Marijuana strains with higher content of CBD are more effective in the treatment of seizures.
ACDC is one of the cannabis species that has the least THC content and the highest CBD. Its has CBD as high as 24-25 and THC as low as only 0.5- 1%. As such, this strain is mainly used for medicinal purpose or treatment of such conditions where the CBD is effective and THC has no role to play.
Carson is one of the latest hybrid cannabis strains that matches ACDC in terms of the CBD content which is as high as 23%. It has THC up to 3 %. The strain could be useful in the treatment of epilepsy & seizures.
3. Charlotte’s Web
It’s an Indica- Sativa 60:40 strain. It was one of the strains that were first used for the treatment of epilepsy & seizures. Like ACDC, Charlotte’s Web has a high CBD content of about 17% and THC as low as only 1%.
4. Harle – Tsu
Harle – Tsu is an Indica- Sativa 60 : 40 strain that contains CBD as high as 22% and THC as low as 1%. Its prominent property is, it sends us into a relaxing position and alleviates the pain, if any. Its CBD content is useful for the treatment of epilepsy.
5. Ringo’s Gift
It’s a Sativa – Indica 60 : 40 strain. This strain also has CBD content as much as 15% and THC as low as 1%. Besides useful in the treatment of epilepsy & seizure, Ringo’s Gift is also useful in other critical conditions like tremors, anxiety, inflammation & spasms etc.
As of now, it’s well-established that CBD Oil is highly effective in the treatment of seizures and other neurological disorders. In the next few years, we hope to see this natural extract as a new alternative medicine completely replacing the salt based conventional medicines.
There are are over 700 varieties of cannabis. Selecting a right strain is not simple because their medicinal properties vary from strain to strain.