CBD Medical Takes Center Stage in the Fight Against Epilepsy
What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the brain and causes seizures. It is estimated that 50 million people around the world have epilepsy, a disorder that can be difficult to treat with traditional medications.
CBD: A New Hope for Epilepsy Patients
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in the cannabis plant that has been gaining attention for its potential therapeutic properties, particularly in the treatment of epilepsy. Unlike its cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not produce the “high” associated with cannabis use.
In recent years, research has shown that CBD may be an effective treatment for people with epilepsy, particularly those who have not responded to traditional medications. In fact, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of a CBD-based drug called Epidiolex for the treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
How Does CBD Work?
CBD works by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating various physiological processes including mood, sleep, appetite, and pain. Specifically, CBD seems to have an anticonvulsant effect, meaning it can help to prevent seizures. More research is needed to fully understand how CBD works in the treatment of epilepsy, but early studies show promising results.
The Benefits of CBD for Epilepsy Patients
One of the main benefits of CBD as a treatment for epilepsy is that it is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not produce the “high” associated with cannabis use. This makes it an appealing option for people who may not want to use traditional medications or who may be hesitant to try cannabis due to its psychoactive effects.
CBD also has a relatively low risk of side effects compared to traditional anti-epileptic medications. In studies, CBD has been shown to cause only minor side effects such as fatigue, decreased appetite, and diarrhea, and these side effects typically go away over time.
Challenges to CBD as a Treatment for Epilepsy
While CBD shows promise as a treatment for epilepsy, there are still some challenges to its widespread use. One challenge is the lack of regulation in the CBD market, which can make it difficult for patients to find high-quality products that are consistent in their composition and dosage.
Another challenge is the cost of CBD-based medications. While Epidiolex has been approved by the FDA, it is still relatively expensive and may not be covered by insurance for all patients.
CBD is a promising new treatment option for people with epilepsy, particularly those who have not responded to traditional medications. However, more research is needed to fully understand how CBD works and to address the challenges to its widespread use. For now, CBD offers hope to many people with epilepsy who are searching for a safe and effective treatment.