CBDs and Epilepsy

CBDs and Epilepsy

At least 50 million people have Epilepsy worldwide of whom 30% have seizures not responsive to conventional anti-convulsant drugs. These same drugs are responsible for negative side-effects that have a direct impact on the individual’s quality of life. CBDs have proven remarkably successful in reducing the number of seizures suffered with no harmful side-effects.

Epilepsy is a chronic disorder characterized by recurrent, unprovoked seizures centered in the brain. Although the symptoms of a seizure affect the entire body, it originates due to an overload of electricity in the brain which causes a disturbance in the messaging systems between the brain cells. There are different types of seizure activity depending on which area of the brain is involved and how quickly it spreads out from that area. However, each person with Epilepsy is unique. There are 3 types of diagnoses: Ideopathic – no apparent cause; Cryptogenic – probably has a cause but can’t be identified and Symptomatic – the doctor knows the cause. There are also 3 types of seizures Partial, Generalized and Secondary Generalized . In the first instance the seizure can be Simple meaning the patient is conscious or Complex whereby the patient will either not remember the seizure or have only a vague recollection. In a Generalized seizure both halves of the brain are involved and there is a loss of consciousness. In the final type, Secondary Generalized, the epileptic activity spreads from a partial seizure to both sides of the brain and the patient becomes unconscious.

It is not uncommon for some patients with extreme cases of epilepsy to have 60 seizures per day. This was the case with Colorado native Charlotte Figi who suffers from a rare form of pediatric epilepsy known as Dravet Syndrome. This is the most severe form of epilepsy typically starting in infancy leading to regression in development such as walking and talking typically by age 2. It was common for Charlotte to have 200 seizures a week - that is until her parents discovered CBDs. Now Charlotte takes a prescribed amount of CBD Oil under her tongue twice daily with phenomenal results: her seizures are under control decreased by 99%, she has increased appetite and more restful periods of sleep. She is walking and talking. The brand of CBD Charlotte is taking has been named Charlotte’s Web in her honour. Her success has prompted numerous families of epileptic children to relocate to Colorado where CBD Oil is legal.

One drug company, GW Pharmaceuticals have developed a synthetic form of CBD known as Epidolex™ and investigation is underway testing it in human trials as an anti-seizure medication. The US Federal Drug Association has approved clinical studies to determine CBD as a viable anti-seizure treatment. The company has just completed 5 ½ years of testing on animals that have established the safety of CBD with no negative side-effects. Epidolex™ has zero THC. The drug is a viscous liquid dispersed via syringe droppers in 2 strengths: 25 mg per milliliter and 100 mg per milliliter.

During the course of the study conducted with Epidolex™, 2 out of every 5 patients with severe treatment resistant epilepsy had a 50% reduction in the frequency of their seizures. Some of the patients who had never before had periods without seizures became seizure free for the entire term of the study. A remarkable difference in the quality of their lives.

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