CBD can be extracted from marijuana plants and it is usually turned into an oil that you swallow.
CBD oil may help to stop seizures by activating certain cells called CB1 receptors. These cells are found in the nervous systems and in parts of the brain that are related to memory. Researchers are still not exactly sure how CBD affects seizures, but it may help protect brain cells against damage or from becoming ‘over excited’.
How does CBD oil stop seizures?
If you or someone you know has Dravet Syndrome or Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and you would like to use CBD oil for seizures, talk to your epilepsy specialist about using the drug.
People have been using cannabis (also known as marijuana) to treat epilepsy for centuries. In the United States it only became legal to take marijuana products for medical reasons relatively recently. And, in 2018, a CBD oil for seizures called Epidiolex was approved by the FDA to treat certain epilepsy syndromes (CBD is a chemical found in cannabis plants).
It is possible to purchase CBD oil for seizures in adults from health food stores in most, but not all, US states (although the rules vary, and you should always check with your healthcare provider). Many companies promote the use of CBD oil for a range of conditions – from anxiety to insomnia to chronic pain – and it may be marketed as a solution to epilepsy too.
Epidiolex comes in an oral solution (liquid form), and the recommended dose is initiated based on weight.
Some other CBD products contained other compounds from the marijuana plant, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—the part that gets you “high.”
However, LGS and Dravet syndrome may be treated with medications that aren’t commonly used for most types of epilepsy. Additionally, they often require two or more anti-seizure drugs for seizures to be under control.
When used with other anti-seizure drugs, CBD can cause elevated liver enzymes, which is often a sign of liver injury.
It’s possible that CBD may raise the blood level of certain other anticonvulsants such as Topamax and Onfi (clobazam), and may result in side effects.
In fact, the FDA has issued warnings to many CBD businesses for illegal practices, including those related to the marketing of their products. In some cases, actual CBD content was negligible or less than 1 percent of what the label claimed.
CBD itself does not have abuse potential and does not produce the “high” that is typical of marijuana, so you do not need to worry about your child abusing the drug or becoming addicted to it. However, it is possible that others may misunderstand the effects of the drug, particularly because it is new and because it is derived from the same plant that marijuana is derived from.