CBD oil treatment for seizures: Basics
CBD is a cannabinoid found at high levels in industrial hemp. It is a natural stimulator of the endocannabinoid system. CBD is known to help modulate anxiety and pain levels.
CBD derived from industrial hemp is generally recognized as legal and non-prosecutable under the 2018 Farm Bill in all 50 states and territories of the United States of America.
CBD oil disclaimers (please read, this is important)
General Medical Disclaimer: NCSM and its employees and partners do not represent the medical establishment and our information is not a replacement for your doctor’s advice.
Food and Drug Administration Disclaimer: Use of CBD products with the exception of Epidiolex and Sativex have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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Drug Screening Disclaimer: While most CBD products claim to have little to no THC, it is theoretically possible to fail a drug test for THC. This can happen because some CBD products have been tested to have far more THC than represented on the label. Also, CBD is similar in structure to THC.
The Facts About epilepsy
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by seizures featuring brief to long periods of intense shaking or black-out like absence of consciousness. Seizures can be accompanied by an aura which come right before or changes in emotion or stereotypical movements.
The usual treatment for seizures is anti-convulsant medications including gabapentin, lamotrigine, and benzodiazepines.
Can CBD Oil Be Used To Treat epilepsy? How it works?
CBD has been used to treat epilepsy in products such as Epidiolex and Sativex, approved by the FDA. Non-prescription CBD can be used in the US to improve the stress associated with epileptic conditions but cannot be legally used to treat epilepsy due to restrictions imposed by the FDA at the bidding of drug companies. In this way, companies are able to patent naturally occurring ingredients and prevent people from obtaining natural medical treatment from the earth which belongs to us all.
CBD oil not containing marijuana can be used in many countries to treat symptoms of epilepsy. 200 to 300 mg per day is recommended by the Mayo Clinic. Check the laws your own country and jurisdiction before purchasing. CBD has no psychoactive effect.
How much cbd oil to take for seizures
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Figure 2. cbd hemp oil dosage for epilepsy
As you can see by the chart from Mayo, CBD dosing can be used for epilepsy and also be used for chronic pain and sleep disorders. It is also used for migraine headaches. For schizophrenia, up to 1.3 grams of CBD is tolerated by some individuals so there is a wide variability of dosage which can be experimented with. In order to cost-effectively get a large dosage, you will have to get CBD isolate from a reputable vendor. For seizures, they suggest 200 to 300 mg. Studies have used up to 20 mg per kilogram of bodyweight.
CBD oil works by various mechanisms. The most obvious is by binding to endocannabinoid receptors. However, scientific studies have only found low binding ability at CB1 and CB2 receptors. Cannabidiol may be an indirect antagonist at these receptors. It also acts as an antagonist at GPR55 receptors. This receptor now has orphan status but is expected to be named a cannabinoid receptor. Cannabidiol appears to increase the density of CB1 cannabinoid receptors, another possible mechanism. There are also several receptors at which cannabidiol acts as an inverse agonist: GRP 12, GRP 6, GRP 3 (G-coupled protein receptors). These receptors have the structure of cannabinoid receptors and may host the endogenous cannabinoids. Cannabidiol also affects the serotonin 5HT1A receptor where it acts as a partial agonist, producing antidepressant effects. PPARy receptors, where it acts as an agonist may also be part of its effects, producing an alteration in calcium release. Cannabidiol inhibits Fatty Acid Amid Hydrolase as well, by which it may increase levels of the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide. By binding to the various receptors, cannabidiol also affects monoamines and opioid receptors, without producing dependence and withdrawal. Cannabidiol also works on vanilloid receptors associated with the taste of vanilla and menthol, as well as response to cool temperatures. These receptors can affect gene expression that provides anti-inflammatory effect such as when you put ice on swelling tissues.
Further Scientific Findings On CBD And seizures. What Research Says?
There is evidence of anti-seizure activity for CBD going back as far as 1977, when it was found to inhibit seizures in rats (Consroe & Wolkin, 1977).
A 2011 study found effects of cannabidiol in temporal lob and partial seizures in animals (Jones, et al., 2011).
A 2017 study in the journal of Pediatric Neurology found cannabidiol induced a greater than 50% seizure reduction in a small sample of study subjects.
A 2017 study in The New England Journal of Medicine found a significant decrease in seizures from Dravet Syndrome (Devinsky, et al., 2017). Dravet Syndrome is a childhood seizure disorder which carries a high mortality rate. That makes it imperative that sufferers get effective treatment.
A small study done in 2017 of patients with seizures related to brain tumors was published in the journal Neurocase. In a study of 4 critically ill patients, 3 experienced seizure symptom improvement.
A 2018 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine studied drop seizures in Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. Administration of 10mg to 20 mg per kilogram of bodyweight produced up to a 42 % drop in seizure frequency (Devinsky, et al., 2018).
A 2018 study in Epilepsy and Behavior studied treatment-resistant seizures. This study found that Epidiolex, a prescription form of CBD, reduced seizure frequency and severity in adults and children with treatment-resistant epilepsy (Szaflarski, et al., 2018).
A review of studies in the Journal of Neurology (2017) showed cannabidiol as a promising treatment for seizures in febrile infection related epilepsy syndrome (Pickrell & Robertson, 2017).
Pros and cons of the usual epilepsy treatment and CBD
|Treatment||PROS||CONS||Advantage of CBD|
|Anti convulsant: Carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine||Can reduce seizure frequency, severity, anxiety and sleep issues.||Can reduce white blood cell counts||CBD isn’t known to cause agranulocytosis. Can be added to carbamazepine treatment|
|Anti convulsant: Phenytoin||Can reduce severity and frequency of seizures. Can be effective when benzodiazepines don’t work.||Can rarely cause liver problems and toxic epidermal necrolysis||Not known to cause TEN. Has a benign side effect profile. Can be used in conjunction with phenytoin.|
|Sodium valproate||Reduces seizures. Causes less sedation and addiction than benzodiazepines. Can improve mood and sleep. Related to Valerian root.||Can cause liver problems. Requires liver monitoring.||Not known to cause liver problems and requires no liver monitoring. Can be used with sodium valproate.|
|Lamotrigine||Reduces seizures, mood instability, and anxiety.||Binds to melanin receptors and can cause Steve Johnson’s, Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, and Drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS syndrome)||Not known to bind to melanin receptors or cause Steve Johnson’s, Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, and Drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS syndrome). Can be used with lamotrigine.|
|Benzodiazepines: Clonazepam, Xanax||Reduces and controls seizures. Also reduces anxiety.||Can produce dependence and withdrawal.||Not known to produce dependence or withdrawal.|
|Levetiracetam||Reduces seizure activity.||Can cause Steven’s Johnson Syndrome. Can induce psychosis and suicide.||Not known to cause SJS, psychosis, or suicide. Can be used with levetiracetam.|
|Phenobarbital||Oldest anti-convulsant still in use. Reduces seizure activity.||Can cause overdose, dependence, and withdrawal syndrome.||Not known to cause addiction, dependence, or withdrawal syndrome. Can be used with phenobarbital.|
Reviews of CBD oil for Epilepsy from Social Media
This Facebook exchange is about the use of CBD oil for a child with a seizure disorder which is controlled but who also has anxiety and ADHD-like symptoms. In the US, CBD oil companies can market CBD for treating of normal anxiety, but not for a condition owned by drug companies like Generalized Anxiety Disorder. While CBD cannot legally be owned by drug companies, the specific formulation of Epidiolex, can and is owned by drug companies. Soon, they will buy up the rights to all effective natural substances if we are not careful. These ingredients come from the earth, and even in modified form, cannot be owned by any person, anymore than water and air, which is also being bought up and protected by police forces. We have to fight the powers that be.
This reddit user says CBD brought his seizures to nearly zero and he was so impressed he left a lucrative job to sell CBD. Although, such a person has a financial incentive to make such claims, these kind of claims are somewhat credible with CBD since it has in fact been scientifically validated as a treatment for seizures.
This facebook user claims a client of Hempworx CBD oil has a child who has been free of seizures from vaccine-induced epilepsy. Again, this comment has the taint of commercial interest yet is still in line with scientific findings.
This highly credible comment was posted by a reddit user who claims CBD has helped tremendously with both epilepsy and anxiety, which is again in line with scientific findings. However, the user feels like he is building a tolerance to the effect. He is using CBD oil which contains other cannabinoids but not THC. He is thinking about using something which includes THC as this may theoretically reverse the building tolerance to the cannabidiol. This is a reasonable approach as the full-spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes in marijuana and hemp appear to work in concert to build therapeutic effect.
Risks. Does CBD have any side effects?
CBD is without significant side effects. From personal experience I can say it can cause some tiredness, dry mouth, and dry eyes. You could even get dry hands. Although these are similar to anti-cholinergic side effects, there is not clear evidence that CBD antagonizes the effects of cholinergic neuromuscular transmission. So, the mechanism by which it causes this dryness is not clearly elucidated.
CBD can inhibit drug metabolism by its effect on the liver. This is not dangerous in and of itself. However, it can cause levels of other drugs which rely on hepatic metabolism to rise to dangerous levels or sink to dangerous levels. Other drugs can also cause CBD levels to rise or lower. If levels go too low, seizure control could be lost. It is therefore important, if you take CBD for seizures to confer with your doctor to make sure it is not affecting or being affected in a dangerous way by the other drugs you are taking.
There is some evidence that cannabidiol can reduce fertility in males. It may be useful to reduce or eliminate cannabidiol intake when trying to conceive a child (Zimmerman, Zimmerman, & Raj, 1999).
CDB oil dose for epilepsy considerations
Dosage for epilepsy is up to 300 mg for non-medical stress associated with epilepsy, and in studies up to 20 mg per kilogram of bodyweight for medical epilepsy treated with Epidolex. Doses of CBD above 300 mg are inadvisable without a doctor’s monitoring.
Can children with seizures be treated with CBD?
CBD can be a safe option for children with seizures. When CBD was first popularized, it was found to be effective in childhood seizures referred to as Dravet Syndrome. News stories of this finding led to a big push for the legalization of CBD and of medical marijuana. The 2018 Farm Bill saw the legalization of industrial hemp and therewith of CBD in all of the United States. However, even in the case of CBD, you should check your local laws and practices in order to remain on the right side of the law. Laws, we forget, are just human constructions. Rules we agree to follow or be punished. Therefore, if a law is not to be enforced, it’s fine to break the law. But if the law is still on the books, it will sometimes be reactivated, especially to target a specific person or group which has been maligned for a reason unrelated to the law. For example, Al Capone was a mass murderer, but he was convicted of tax avoidance. So, be watchful of law changes purchasing CBD, but for now, you will certainly not be prosecuted for using it.
Things to Consider Before Buying CBD Oil for Seizures
When purchasing CBD oil, you need to be aware that the FDA found in 2016 that only 2 of 24 CBD products contained the stated levels of CBD or THC. In some cases, the THC level was too high and beyond the legal limit. In most cases, there simply was not enough CBD in the product. Many in the industry claims everyone cleaned up their act after this finding but this is not proven. Therefore, check NCSM info sources to find CBD products that work. We recommend buying CBD isolate or products labeled 25% CBD to be absolutely certain, however, full-spectrum CBD oil is best if and only if, you get it from a reputable source like Plus CBD which we have had the honor of sampling and reviewing. CBD Distillery also seems like a good company though young. Elixinol seems like a good company and is one of the oldest CBD companies we have reviewed, having started before the CBD and medical marijuana craze in the United States.
How do you use CBD oil for seizures?
Once you have calculated how many mg of cbd oil for epilepsy (up to 20 mg per kilogram of bodyweight when using prescription Epidiolex) or up to 300 mg for non-medical symptoms, administering a cbd oil mg dosage for seizures is very easy. In the following video, you can see CBD rapidly dispatching with a seizure in a child. All you have to do is put a dosage under the tongue and perhaps some under the gums of the upper lips, rub it in, let it linger for 30 to 60 seconds and swallow. If being administered during a seizure, sublingual and under the upper gums seems to be affective since you do not know if the person having the seizure will swallow or not. In conclusion, science and anecdotal reports indicate that CBD indeed has benefits for seizures.
Consroe, P., & Wolkin, A. (1977). Cannabidiol–antiepileptic drug comparisons and interactions in experimentally induced seizures in rats. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 201(1), 26-32. Retrieved 1 17, 2019, from https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/850145
Devinsky, O., Ad, P., Jh, C., Villanueva, Ec, W., M, P., . . . Sm, Z. (2018). Effect of Cannabidiol on Drop Seizures in the Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. The New England Journal of Medicine, 378(20), 1888-1897. Retrieved 1 17, 2019, from https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29768152
Devinsky, O., Cross, J. H., Laux, L., Marsh, E. D., Miller, I., Nabbout, R., . . . Wright, S. (2017). Trial of Cannabidiol for Drug-Resistant Seizures in the Dravet Syndrome. The New England Journal of Medicine, 376(21), 2011-2020. Retrieved 1 17, 2019, from https://nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmoa1611618
Jones, N. A., Glyn, S. E., Akiyama, S., Akiyama, S., Hill, T., Hill, A. J., . . . Williams, C. M. (2011). Cannabidiol exerts anti-convulsant effects in animal models of temporal lobe and partial seizures. Seizure-european Journal of Epilepsy, 21(5), 344-352. Retrieved 1 17, 2019, from https://sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/s105913111200057x
Pickrell, W. O., & Robertson, N. (2017). Cannabidiol as a treatment for epilepsy. Journal of Neurology, 264(12), 2506-2508. Retrieved 1 17, 2019, from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00415-017-8663-0
Szaflarski, J. P., Bebin, E., Cutter, G., DeWolfe, J., Dure, L. S., Gaston, T. E., . . . Hoef, L. W. (2018). Cannabidiol improves frequency and severity of seizures and reduces adverse events in an open-label add-on prospective study. Epilepsy & Behavior, 87, 131-136. Retrieved 1 17, 2019, from https://sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/s1525505018304736
Zimmerman, A. M., Zimmerman, S., & Raj, A. Y. (1999). EFFECTS OF CANNABINOIDS ON SPERMATOGENESIS IN MICE. Retrieved 1 17, 2019, from https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/978-1-59259-710-9_35.pdf
- 1 CBD oil treatment for seizures: Basics
- 2 The Facts About epilepsy
- 3 Can CBD Oil Be Used To Treat epilepsy? How it works?
- 4 How much cbd oil to take for seizures
- 5 Further Scientific Findings On CBD And seizures. What Research Says?
- 6 Pros and cons of the usual epilepsy treatment and CBD
- 7 Reviews of CBD oil for Epilepsy from Social Media
- 8 Risks. Does CBD have any side effects?
- 9 Can children with seizures be treated with CBD?
- 10 Things to Consider Before Buying CBD Oil for Seizures
- 11 How do you use CBD oil for seizures?
- 12 Bibliography