My brother was 36 when he had his first epileptic seizure. It was the scariest moment of my life because there wasn’t a whole lot that we could do. I can’t imagine what I’d feel if it was my child fitting on the ground.
Medical marijuana has been indicated for a few years now in the treatment of epileptic fits. Recently, the FDA acknowledged its value by approving the drug Epidiolex for rare cases of epilepsy. This drug has CBD as its main active ingredient.
Could you use CBD with children that have epilepsy? In this post, we’ll examine that question.
How Does CBD Prevent Seizures?
Let’s get down to brass tacks here. There’s a lot we don’t know about CBD. One of those things is exactly how it affects brain chemistry. We do know that it acts on the body’s endocannabinoid system.
This system is responsible for regulating a lot of different bodily functions. It’s what keeps your body in balance. CBD oil acts on the endocannabinoid system and helps it regulate itself. It promotes the natural production of endocannabinoids in the body, and this is what helps the body achieve homeostasis. It’s believed that this action is mainly responsible for the reduction in seizures in those who take CBD.
CBD also acts on the serotonin receptors in the body. This assists in improving the amounts of serotonin that the body can use. When you have better access to serotonin, you’re more easily able to moderate your mood and stay calm. That’s also beneficial in treating seizures.
Is It Safe?
Ideally, you want to find a product that is pure CBD. Finding a hemp-based CBD is a great place to start. Also, choose a reputable supplier, and do some homework first about their source of material and method of extraction.
Unfortunately, there are lots of scammers and inexperienced growers wanting to cash in on the hype. That could mean that you end up with a product that is ineffective at best and high in THC at worst. THC is the chemical compound in marijuana that gives you that high. It’s not something you want your child taking.
There is some concern that CBD could lead to liver damage in the long term. If it’s used responsibly, though, in as low a dose as possible, you can reduce this risk significantly.
What Dose Should I Give?
I’d advise talking to your child’s doctor first and seeing what they recommend. This is particularly important if your child is on anti-seizure meds. CBD might interact with their existing meds, so they shouldn’t be taken together outside of a doctor’s care.
Your doctor will advise you on a suitable dose for your child. They can also assist in helping the switchover go more smoothly.
On the bright side, during the clinical trials of Epidiolex, two different strengths of the drug were given. One group got 20 mg daily. In this group, seizures reduced by 42%. The second group received 10 mg a day. In this group, seizures reduced by 37%.
In the control group, which received no treatment, seizures were reduced by just 17%. What’s interesting about these findings is that taking the highest dose didn’t offer significant benefits. Taking 10 mg a day was almost as effective.
One area where cannabis has been researched thoroughly is in the treatment of epileptic fits. It’s been proven especially effective at treating seizures in cases that don’t respond to standard medication. It could very well help your child, but I’d recommend speaking to your doctor first.