Medical Marijuana for Epilepsy Management
Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder that is characterized by recurring seizures. These seizures are the result of a sudden brain activity that disrupts how the brain cells function.
Through the years, marijuana as a medicinal treatment has been a widely-studied and hotly-debated public issue. But as researchers discover more and more of its therapeutic benefits, medical marijuana is becoming more acceptable to use, especially for epilepsy management.
How Medical Marijuana May Help Patients With Epilepsy
Researchers say that medical marijuana or cannabis contains over 400 compounds. But two of these compounds — (tetrahydrocannabinol) THC and cannabidiol (CBD) — have been found to impact seizures in patients with epilepsy. Between THC and CBD, however, the latter is deemed safer because it doesn’t lead to a feeling of euphoria or a “high,” which is the most commonly known effect of marijuana, according to Penn Medicine.
A study by the American Epilepsy Society has shown that children suffering from epilepsy, who were given 98% CBD to 2% THC cannabis extract, experienced a 50 percent reduction of their epileptic episodes. Some patients also became completely seizure-free.
However, there can also be some side effects from ingesting medical marijuana to control seizures. Some patients may develop fatigue and sleeplessness, as well as more serious side effects that may require intubation.
Our medical marijuana doctor in Gainesville warns that smoking weed for epilepsy management must not be self-medicated as the amount of cannabis extract must still be regulated. It is best always to talk to a physician before taking medical marijuana to control the symptoms of epilepsy.
FDA-Approved Medical Marijuana for Epilepsy
In 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the very first epilepsy drug with an active ingredient derived from marijuana. It’s known as Epidiolex, an oral cannabidiol solution for managing two types of epilepsy for patients two years old and above — Lennox–Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
These conditions are considered severe forms of epilepsy that develop in childhood. They have symptoms like uncontrolled muscle spasms, stiffening of the muscles or limbs, or febrile seizures. Most of these epilepsy attacks also need emergency intervention as the patients tend to have impaired motor skills, poor language ability, and hyperactivity. Patients with these conditions have a different quality of life requiring continuous medical marijuana therapy.
The FDA found that, as with other drugs known to control epilepsy seizures, Epidiolex may have side effects like depression, panic attacks, and aggression. This drug can also harm the liver, though the effects are mild.
Schedule an appointment with our medical marijuana doctor Gainesville
Advanced Pain Medical Center offers Gainesville pain management, medical marijuana, and regenerative medicine solutions to various medical conditions. If you have been diagnosed with epilepsy, or if you know someone who might benefit from medical marijuana treatment, then schedule an appointment with our medical marijuana doctor in Gainesville today.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.