Marijuana and epileptic seizures
03/04/2016 / By Claire Rankin / Comments
Marijuana and epileptic seizures

Epilepsy is a disorder of the central nervous system that is characterized by loss of consciousness and repeated seizures and convulsions. Epilepsy is caused by sudden electrical surges in the brain. Each patient’s reaction to this electrical activity in the brain is different. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence and some studies are underway to prove that epilepsy can be successfully managed with the use of cannabis.

There are many different kinds of epilepsy as well as a variety of treatments. Out of desperation many people are turning to alternative treatments such as medicinal marijuana. There are even those who claim that smoking marijuana has helped them to manage their epileptic seizures. One young man claims that the thing that helps him with his epilepsy more than any medication, is smoking marijuana. And when he smokes marijuana in conjunction with his medication he is able to completely control his epileptic seizures.

There are other forms of marijuana that have been used to treat epilepsy. This type is low in Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) but high in Cannabidiol (CBD). THC has psychoactive properties and is the cannabinoid that is known to make one high when smoked. On the other hand CBD is a cannabinoid that has an antipsychotic effect that actually helps with calming the nervous system. One such type of medical marijuana is called Charlotte’s Web.

Charlotte’s Web medical marijuana used to treat epilepsy

Charlotte’s Web was named after a little girl called Charlotte who, at the age of 5, nearly died as a result of epilepsy. She reached the stage where she was having 300 grand mal epileptic seizures a week. She could no longer walk, talk or eat. She reached a point where her heart kept stopping and she was near death. At this stage, in desperation, her parents decided to treat her epilepsy with medical marijuana. She was first treated with a cannabis type called R4, which is also said to be low in THC and high in CBD. She made an amazing recovery from the use of this marijuana.


Her epilepsy continued to be treated with another variety of cannabis which is also low in THC but high in CBD and her recovery was so remarkable that they named this cannabis type Charlotte’s Web after her. By the time she was 6 she was walking, talking, eating and even able to ride her bicycle. Her seizures were down to about two or three times a month and mostly in her sleep. While anecdotal evidence suggests that Charlotte’s Web strain of marijuana can be highly effective in treating such conditions, scientific investigation of the product has been stymied by federal drug laws that severely limit marijuana research. Therefore, the use of marijuana for epilepsy is still under investigation.

While marijuana appears to have the potential to cure or effectively manage epilepsy, it is important to note that some negative side effects to treatment with marijuana have been observed in children, such as headaches, lethargy, liver problems, diarrhoea and weight loss, side effects that are less severe, in fact, than many pharmaceutical medications prescribed for epilepsy.

In conclusion, it appears that conventional medication is not always effective in the treatment of epilepsy. And seeing that there are presently about 50 to 70 million people who suffer from this condition worldwide, there is no wonder that many folk are turning to alternative treatments, such as medical marijuana and even foods excellent for overall health that can help to manage epilepsy.


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