CBD for Seizures: Benefits, Risks, and More
Do you or someone you care about suffer from seizures? If so, then you may have heard of cannabidiol (CBD) as a potential treatment option.
Clinical trials have found that CBD may reduce seizure frequency in patients with epilepsy. However, it is important to note that CBD can interact with other seizure medications and cause side effects such as fatigue, diarrhea, and changes in appetite.
Therefore, it is important for those considering using CBD to consult with a doctor about safety and dosage before beginning treatment.
- CBD has shown potential efficacy in reducing seizure frequency and severity, particularly in treatment-resistant epilepsy.
- CBD interacts with TRPV1 and T-type Ca2+ channels, serotonin receptors, opioid receptors, and GPR55 in the brain, which may help explain why it can stop seizures.
- Clinical trials have demonstrated that CBD can effectively reduce seizures in people with intractable epilepsy, with optimal dosages ranging from 20 mg/kg to 50 mg/kg per day.
- The FDA has approved certain forms of CBD, such as Epidiolex, for treating seizures associated with specific conditions like Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndrome.
CBD (cannabidiol) is a natural compound found in hemp and cannabis plants. Seizures are sudden changes in behavior, sensation, or consciousness brought on by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Common causes of seizures include head injuries, strokes, brain tumors, drug abuse, and alcohol withdrawal.
In this discussion, we will look at the benefits and risks of using CBD for seizure treatment and management.
What is CBD?
You may have heard of cannabidiol, or CBD, from its relationship to marijuana. CBD is a component of cannabis that does not cause a ‘high’, unlike THC. Instead, it has the potential to reduce pain and anxiety as well as treat certain medical conditions. It is often used in products nowadays due to its various medicinal properties.
CBD has been studied for its effects on seizure activity and treatment-resistant epilepsy. It has been shown to help reduce the types of seizures associated with these conditions without common side effects like drowsiness or nausea. While CBD can be derived from both hemp and marijuana plants, it is more commonly sourced from the hemp plant due to its non-psychoactive nature and fewer legal restrictions.
Overall, research suggests that CBD could be an effective treatment for seizures associated with certain medical conditions, such as epilepsy and Dravet syndrome. However, more clinical trials are necessary before healthcare professionals can widely recommend it.
What is a seizure?
A seizure is a paroxysmal, transient phenomenon characterized by abnormal, excessive, or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain. Seizures can be categorized into focal, generalized, and unknown seizures. Focal seizures are localized to one side of the brain, while generalized seizures involve both sides of the brain. Unknown seizures occur without an identifiable cause and require further testing for diagnosis. Common causes include genetic disorders such as Dravet syndrome and Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, as well as drug-resistant epilepsy. Treatment for patients with epilepsy includes adjunctive therapy that may include medications to reduce seizure frequency as well as lifestyle modifications such as diet changes and stress reduction.
|Treatment of epilepsy
|Patients with epilepsy
Common Causes of Seizures
Understanding the common causes of seizures is important in order to effectively treat them. DS (Dravet Syndrome), SWS (Syndrome Without Seizures), TSC (Tuberous Sclerosis Complex), and WS (West Syndrome) are just a few types of epilepsy that can cause seizures.
Other causes that can trigger a seizure event include:
Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is a severe form of epilepsy with multiple types of seizures.
Tuberous Sclerosis Complex: a genetic disorder causing tumors in the brain and other organs
Forms of Epilepsy: Many forms of epilepsy have been known to cause seizures.
CBD has been studied for its potential efficacy in treating seizures, with some studies showing a reduction in seizure frequency when combined with other therapies. However, further research needs to be done to determine its full effectiveness for treating seizure conditions.
Can CBD help seizures?
You may have heard of CBD as a potential treatment for seizures. We will explore the effectiveness of CBD and review clinical trials on its use. We will also assess how it is used to manage seizure disorders.
We’ll look at research that indicates whether CBD can effectively help reduce seizures in those with epilepsy and other neurological disorders.
The Effectiveness of CBD
CBD has been found to be an effective treatment for many types of seizures, with the potential to reduce seizure frequency and severity. Clinical trials have shown that CBD is beneficial for patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy, reducing the frequency of recurrent seizures in those with epilepsy syndromes. The administration of CBD as a medical therapy can also help reduce the frequency of seizures in people with certain forms of epilepsy.
reduces seizure frequency and severity.
can help treat treatment-resistant epilepsy.
Administration as a medical therapy for certain forms of epilepsy
Not all forms of epilepsy respond positively to CBD.
Limited research exists on the long-term effects of using CBD.
Possible side effects such as fatigue, nausea, or diarrhea
Clinical Trials on CBD and Seizure Disorders
Clinical trials have revealed promising results for the use of CBD in treating seizure disorders. CBD, a compound found in the cannabis plant, has shown potential as an antiepileptic drug. Clinical studies have demonstrated that CBD may reduce or eliminate seizures in some patients and provide relief from certain types of epilepsy syndromes. However, these effects are not seen in all cases, and there is still a risk of increased seizures, adverse effects, and loss of consciousness with regular use of CBD.
|Reduced or eliminated seizures
|Relief from certain types of epilepsy syndromes
|Alternatives to traditional seizure medications
|Loss of consciousness
|Biomarker for detecting seizure activity
|Unknown long-term side effects
How Does CBD Help Prevent Seizures?
You may have heard that CBD can help with seizures, but how does it work?
We’ll take a look at the science behind CBD’s anti-seizure properties so you can make an informed decision about whether or not it may be helpful for you.
Molecular Targets of Cannabidiol in Epilepsy Treatment
You can learn about the molecular targets of cannabidiol (CBD) in epilepsy treatment. CBD interacts with TRPV1 and T-type Ca2+ channels, as well as serotonin receptors, opioid receptors, and GPR55. CBD is a non-psychoactive component of hemp that has been studied for its potential to reduce seizures in people with forms of intractable epilepsy.
In animal models of epilepsy, CBD has been shown to reduce acute seizures and epileptic encephalopathy without major adverse events. CBD may provide seizure reduction by modulating these molecular targets:
- TRPV1 is an ion channel found on the surface of neurons that helps regulate pain sensitivity.
- T-type Ca2+ channels: calcium channels involved in regulating neuronal excitability
- 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A serotonin receptors: proteins located on nerve cells linked to modulation of neuronal activity
- OR: opioid receptors involved in pain relief
- GPR55: an orphan G protein-coupled receptor associated with modulating inflammation
References to Completed Clinical Trials on CBD
Recent clinical trials have demonstrated the potential of cannabidiol to reduce seizures in people with forms of intractable epilepsy. One study included 84 participants who had severe epilepsy, and it found that a starting dose of 20 mg/kg per day was beneficial for reducing seizure frequency over 12 weeks.
Animal models and additional human studies suggest that blood tests can help identify quality products and determine the correct dosage for each patient’s needs.
Is CBD approved by the FDA for seizures?
The FDA has approved certain forms of CBD for treating seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, Dravet syndrome, and tuberous sclerosis complex. The maximum dose of Epidiolex, a prescription form of CBD, can be prescribed to patients based on the severity of their condition.
Despite not being FDA-regulated, people may still use cannabis-related products to control seizures, such as dietary supplements and CBD oil made from plants.
Research is ongoing in regard to the intraperitoneal administration of cannabis or its derivatives for seizure control.
Potential Risks of Using CBD for Seizures
While there are potential benefits to using CBD for seizures, it’s important to be aware of the possible risks associated with this approach.
Possible Side Effects of CBD
Using CBD for seizures could potentially lead to a range of side effects. These include liver damage when combined with certain medications, mislabeling and contamination risks of commercially available CBD oils, increased seizure activity in some cases, and even suicidal thoughts or behaviors. These risks can be particularly complex for patients who experience excitation as a side effect of the supplement.
In addition to these potential risks, users should also be aware of possible sleepiness, drowsiness, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.
Interaction of CBD with Other Seizure Medications
Interactions between CBD and other seizure medications can affect their effectiveness. CBD, a natural cannabinoid found in hemp plants, has been studied for its potential to reduce epileptic seizures with fewer side effects than traditional antiepileptic drugs. It is known that some antiepileptic drugs can increase the metabolism of CBD, making it less effective. Conversely, CBD may also reduce the metabolism of certain antiepileptics, potentially increasing their effectiveness.
|György Buzsáki’s drug
|Positive feedback loop
|Simon Chamberland’s drug
|Dose reduction and nonconvulsive seizures
|Refractory epilepsy medication
|Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Treatment and Hemp Seed-Derived Ingredients Effectiveness Increase
You’ve heard about the potential benefits of using CBD for seizures, but it’s important to be aware of its risks too. CBD is still not FDA-approved and may interact with other medications or supplements.
It’s best to talk to your doctor before taking any kind of medication, including CBD, to make sure it’s safe for you. With proper research and consultation with a medical professional, you can decide if trying CBD for seizures is right for you.
CBD has generally been well-tolerated in clinical trials and is considered safe for use. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any CBD treatment for seizures, especially if you are taking other medications.
The dosage of CBD for seizures may vary depending on the individual and the severity of their condition. It is typically started at a low dose and gradually increased over time. It is important to follow the guidance of a healthcare professional when determining the appropriate dosage.
The time it takes for CBD to start working for seizures may vary from person to person. Some individuals may experience a reduction in seizures shortly after starting CBD treatment, while others may take longer to see an improvement.
CBD is generally well-tolerated, but some individuals may experience side effects such as fatigue, diarrhea, or changes in appetite. These side effects are usually mild and temporary. It is important to discuss any concerns or side effects with a healthcare professional.
No, CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are different compounds found in cannabis plants. While both have potential therapeutic effects, CBD is non-psychoactive and does not produce the “high” associated with THC.
Silvestro, Serena, et al. “Use of Cannabidiol in the Treatment of Epilepsy: Efficacy and Security in Clinical Trials.” Molecules, vol. 24, no. 8, 2019, https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24081459. Accessed 6 Sept. 2023. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6514832/
Gray, Royston A., and Benjamin J. Whalley. “The proposed mechanisms of action of CBD in epilepsy.” Epileptic Disorders 22 (2020): S10-S15. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1684/epd.2020.1135
Kaplan, Joshua S., et al. “Cannabidiol attenuates seizures and social deficits in a mouse model of Dravet syndrome.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114.42 (2017): 11229-11234. https://www.pnas.org/doi/full/10.1073/pnas.1711351114