According to the CDC about 1.5% (3.4 Million) people in the US have epilepsy (2015 figures). Though the percentage of population may seem low in comparison to other conditions the illness can be devastating to those who have to deal with the effects of epilepsy on a daily basis.
There are some treatments available using Anti-Epileptic Drugs but some more serious forms of epilepsy can be treatment resistant. Also, many of the medications may have adverse effects leading patients, caregivers and physicians seeking other alternatives.
Now there is more concrete research detailing how CBD Oil can be used as a treatment for epilepsy. In particular it was involved in extensive research for severe treatment resistant Dravet Syndrome and also Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. In a previous post I touched briefly on the topic but will expand and go in more detail below.
What is Dravet Syndrome & Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome
Dravet Syndrome is a rare lifelong form of epilepsy that begins within the first year of life. It includes frequent and prolonged seizures. It was formally known as Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy (SMEI). Below are a few of the common problems that are associated with Dravet Syndrome.
- Prolonged and Frequent Seizures
- Development and Behavior Delays
- Balance and Movement Issues
- Sensory Disorders
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Chronic Infections
Treatment options for Dravet Syndrome are limited and many medicated options have negative side effects.
Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome is the type of epilepsy with multiple types of seizures. They would include stiffening (tonic) and drop (atonic) seizures. With Lennox Gastaut Syndrome:
- Intellectual Development more often (but not always) is impaired
- In about 25% of children no cause can be identified
- The seizures usually do not respond to medications
- It usually persists through childhood, adolescence and adulthood
CBD Oil Used Successfully in Study To Treat Epilepsy
This 2015 study was able to show success utilizing CBD to treat severe forms of epilepsy. Don’t get too caught up in the title with marijuana. It does state derivative (in this case CBD Oil aka cannabidiol). Avoid making the connection with the non-intoxicating compound CBD vs the intoxicating psychoactive compound of THC.
The study took place in 11 epilepsy treatment centers across the country. The patients received a CBD treatment over a 12 week period. During that time period there was a 36.5% reduction in monthly motor seizures.
This second study was a follow up to the first. Here there were 120 children and adolescents of ages between 2 and 18. The patients were randomized across 23 sites in the United States and Europe over a 14 week period.
Seizure frequency dropped 39% in the CBD treated group with 3 patients having seizures stop entirely.
This study validated the first and also put any potential bias to rest from the original study. In the previous 2015 study patients knew they were receiving CBD as a part of the treatment. However, in the follow-up study it was randomized and controlled to eliminate any of those concerns. Neither patients or the physicians knew if there were on the placebo or CBD treatment.
Watch the video below to learn more from those involved in the actual study.
Continued Groundbreaking Research
This 2017 study references the hard evidence of how CBD Oil has been used as part of treatment for Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. The study references the ground breaking evidence that has presented itself within the past 12 months concerning the anti-seizure capabilities of CBD Oil.
The authors of the study close is out referencing the fact that there has been documented medical use of cannabinoids to treat seizure disorders for thousands of years. Now there is much more evidence from research to nearly draw conclusions that CBD can treat seizure disorders.
The success from research eventually led to the FDA approving a CBD based drug to treat epilepsy.
Update March 2020
The CBD oil based medication that was approved by the FDA has seen a lot of success. So much that a large bank sees continued growth. The parent company has even filed paperwork to expand that conditions that it can be approved to treat. The links below give more details.
Epilepsy can be a potentially devastating illness to many people. Particularly for severe treatment resistant forms of epilepsy where patients, caregivers and physicians seek out other treatment options. Now there is great optimism in clinical research citing hard evidence in CBD Oil being successfully utilized to treat forms of epilepsy.
READ MORE: CBD Oil Benefits