Epilepsy is a chronic disorder, characterized by recurrent, unprovoked seizures. A person is diagnosed with epilepsy if there are two unprovoked seizures (or an unprovoked seizure with several probabilities) that were not caused by a known and reversible condition, such as alcohol withdrawal or extreme low blood sugar.
Seizures in epilepsy can be related to a brain injury or a family tendency, but often the cause is completely unknown. The word “epilepsy” does not indicate anything about the cause of the person’s seizures or their severity.
Many people with epilepsy have several types of seizures and may have other symptoms that signal neurological problems. Sometimes EEG (electroencephalogram) testing, clinical history, family history and prospects are similar among a group of people with epilepsy. In these situations, their condition can be defined as a specific epilepsy syndrome.
Generalized seizures are related to electrical discharges throughout the brain. There are several types of generalized seizures:
Tonic-clonic seizures, which are the most common and manifest in the form of convulsions, loss of consciousness, falling, biting the tongue, saliva and stiffness.
- When the patient recovers, he no longer remembers the events that just took place. These seizures last about 2 minutes and take place in two phases: the tonic phase and the clonic phase.
- Myoclonic seizures are characterized by short muscle spasms. During myoclonic seizures, the patient is fully conscious and does not feel any confusion. This crisis is not very long and generally lasts only a few seconds.
- Atonic seizures during which the patient loses muscle tone and falls unconscious. When he regains consciousness, he can get up and walk.
- Generalized absences that occur especially in childhood between 5 and 10 years. Absences last only a few seconds. The patient loses contact with the outside, but retains his tone. He does not lose consciousness.
Partial seizures are related to a discharge on one side of the brain. There are two types of partial seizures: simple partial seizures and complex partial seizures. Partial simple seizures are called when the patient does not lose consciousness. Complex partial crises are when knowledge changes. Depending on the area of the brain affected, the symptoms may be different. Among these signs we find disorders of sensitivity, motor skills, behavior. Partial crises often evolve into a generalized crisis.
There is no “medicine” but “medicine” to treat epileptic seizures. Indeed, as we have seen above, there are several types of epilepsy and therefore a specific medication for each of them. If a person with epilepsy takes a medicine that is not adapted to his crisis, then it can get worse. There is no cure for epilepsy. Epilepsy treatments reduce the frequency of seizures and stabilize the disease.
How CBD oil works in people with epilepsy
CBD oil has an antispasmodic effect that relieves the primary symptoms of epileptic seizures, helping people to lead a more normal life. CBD it has and has been approved by various studies for these anti-inflammatory effects, as well as for the fact that it regulates the immune system and stabilizes the internal balance.
Cannabidiol for the treatment of epilepsy
CBD oil is a useful supplement for treating various forms of epilepsy, such as generalized, focal epilepsy and some epileptic syndromes. A meta-analysis recently showed that, although any form of CBD can be used, the full-spectrum CBD extract containing other cannabinoids is more effective and has fewer side effects. For this reason, we recommend using a full-spectrum, high-quality CBD product or a pure product with 99.9% isolated CBD. Cannabinoids found in full-spectrum extracts, such as terpenes and other phytochemicals, may act synergistically to produce effects.
Epidiolex (Cannabidiol, CBD)
Studies conducted in the U.S.A. of Epidiolex (an herbal CBD formulation) have been going on for several years. The data from these studies contributed to the provision of evidence that led to FDA approval of this product on June 25, 2018.
Epidiolex is an extract of purified CBD (> 98% oil-based) from the cannabis plant. It is produced by Greenwich Biosciences (American company GW Pharmaceuticals) to give known and consistent amounts in each dose.
Researchers have studied this drug in controlled clinical trials. These studies used a control group with some people taking placebo, while others were given CBD in different doses. The researchers did not know who received the placebo and who received the CBD. These types of studies are called “gold standard” studies.
A summary of Epidiolex clinical trials is found below:
In controlled and uncontrolled studies in people with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome, 689 people were treated with Epidiolex (CBD), including 533 people treated for more than 6 months and 391 people treated for more than 1 year.
In an extended access program and other use programs, 161 people with Dravet and LGS syndrome were treated with Epidiolex, including 109 people treated for more than 6 months
All study participants were taking other medicines for seizures.
In controlled studies, the discontinuation rate of the drug due to any side effects was low and occurred mostly in people who took the higher dose of Epidiolex.
The most common cause of discontinuation of Epidiolex was impaired liver function.
Drowsiness, sedation and lethargy stopped Epidiolex in 3% of people taking the higher dose.
The most common side effects were drowsiness, decreased appetite, diarrhea, changes in liver function, fatigue, malaise, asthenia (weakness or lack of energy), rash, insomnia, sleep disturbances, poor sleep and infections.
CBD has been shown to be very effective when it comes to relieving the symptoms of epilepsy and various seizures. Studies are constantly evolving, and the recommended oil concentration for this condition is stronger and is somewhere between 20% – 30%. Please consult your doctor before administration.