Epilepsy effects millions of people in today’s society. Imagine someone close to you is suffering from epilepsy and having multiple seizures a day. Medication after medication bring on side effect after side effect and nothing’s helping to stop the seizures. Imagine if there was a new drug that could help reduce seizures with minimal side effects.
Medical Marijuana is a new type of drug that is being used to treat those living with severe epilepsy.
How it Works
Seizures are caused by abnormal brain activity. Although they can be caused by infections that can be treated with medications there are many cases of people living with epilepsy that are not caused by infections. Instead these people living with epilepsy have a misfiring of synapses in their brain causing seizures to happen. Medical Marijuana has the ability to change brain activity and preventing and stopping seizures.
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According to the Chief of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at Denver Health and Hospitals, the use of CBD (cannabidiol):
- CBD can drastically reduce the number of seizures someone with epilepsy experiences. Charlotte, a little girl who had on average 50 convulsive seizures a day, was featured on a CNN special to discuss her success with taking cannabidiol, Charlotte was given a high concentration of CBD daily for 3 weeks straight. After being exposed to the CBD her seizures reduced from 50 a day to only 2-3 nocturnal convulsions per month. Not only did the CBD have an overall positive effect on Charlottes seizures, but she was also able to be taken off of her other seizure medications. This experiment shows medical marijuana can improve seizures in those living with severe epilepsy.
According to the epilepsy foundation and their research on if medical marijuana has a positive impact on seizures report to their site:
- Evidence from laboratory studies, anecdotal reports and studies on the use of cannabidiol (CBD) showed positive outcomes
- Experiments with epileptic patients were given medical marijuana for 12 weeks
- Reports show a decrease in seizures by 54%
Like any medication out there, there are always a possibility of side effects. These side effects can include but are not limited to fatigue, diarrhea, and a decrease in appetite.
A study done by Robert Preidt decided to take a look at the effects of medical marijuana on patients with epilepsy:
- This trial used cannabidiol (CBD) on 130 participants living with epilepsy
- Reports from this study show that the drug gave some negative side effect
- 12 patients had to discontinue treatment with CBD because of harsh side effects
- These effects included diarrhea, tiredness, and decreased appetite
After researching the benefits of medical marijuana and its effect on those living with epilepsy I have concluded that the media does in fact support its medical use that can be backed up by research. These media reports show the effects that research proves.
Preidt, R. (2015). Liquid Medical Marijuana Shows Promise for Epilepsy. Retrieved
August 15, 2016, from Web MD:
Sirven, J. MD (2015). Medical Marijuana and Epilepsy. Retrieved 08 15, 2016, from
Epilepsy Foundation: http://www.epilepsy.com/learn/treating-seizures-and-
Stong, C. (2014). Is Marijuana Effective for Epilepsy?. Neurology Reviews, 22(4), 18.