Cannabidiol, commonly abbreviated as CBD, is a hemp-derived substance marketed for its vast medical applications. CBD is the most popular non-psychoactive compound from cannabis. In other words, the importance doesn’t induce euphoria. Marijuana’s psychedelic properties are mainly attributable to another prevalent cannabinoid from the plant known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Cannabidiol is generally recommended for medical conditions that produce pain, inflammation, anxiety, and insomnia as the primary symptoms. The substance has also demonstrated antiemetic and antioxidant properties.
Epilepsy is another common ailment for which medical marijuana doctors often prescribe cannabidiol-based supplements. Indeed, numerous studies have proved that CBD may help to treat or manage epileptic conditions. You can get CBDistillery for anxiety to treat epilepsy.
But before purchasing cannabidiol for epilepsy, it would be best to understand what this condition is and how it occurs. Read on for more insights into epilepsy causes, symptoms, and the role of CBD in treating this condition.
What Is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by unprovoked, recurrent seizure attacks. A seizure refers to a sudden rush of electrical activity caused by overactive neurons in the brain.
Seizures broadly fall into two distinct categories. They include generalized seizures that affect the entire brain and focal or partial seizures that affect specific parts of the brain.
Everyone experiences mild seizures at some point in their life. These seizures are usually subtle and unrecognizable. They generally last a few seconds, during which you may be in a trance or altogether unconscious. Most instances of mild seizures are nothing to worry about. That’s because they’re usually not a sign of an underlying condition.
However, more substantial seizures are usually indicative of full-blown epilepsy. These seizures can trigger involuntary and uncontrollable muscle spasms. They can last from a few seconds to several minutes, during which the victim is usually unconscious.
What Causes Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is generally idiopathic (results from unknown causes). A whopping 60% of all epilepsy cases have no known causes.
However, numerous factors may trigger epileptic seizures. The following are the most common ones;
- Traumatic brain injury
- Brain scarring following a brain injury or surgery
- Brain tumors or cysts
- Degenerative brain conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
- Very high fever
- Stroke and other cardiovascular diseases
- Oxygen deficiency in the brain
- Congenital complications, such as brain malformations at birth resulting from prenatal injury
- Developmental disorders
- Genetic predisposition
- Certain medications
- Certain chronic diseases like AIDS and meningitis
- A lack of sleep
- Alcohol withdrawal
- Very low blood sugar levels
- Poor eating habits, such as skipping meals or binge-eating
- Certain foods, such as caffeine
- Stress and anxiety
- Bright lights or rapidly-changing light patterns
Symptoms of Epilepsy
Seizures are the main symptoms of epilepsy.
Some people may also experience the following symptoms;
- Alterations in all senses – taste, smell, touch, sight, and hearing
- Repeated blinking
- Involuntary lip-smacking
- Biting of the tongue
- Jerky movements in the face, neck, and arms
- Stiffening of the body
- Loss of bowel and bladder control
- Complete loss of motor coordination, causing the victim to fall down suddenly
Epilepsy Treatments and the Role of CBD
There’s currently no cure for epilepsy. The condition is mostly managed using certain medications and lifestyle-based adjustments.
Unfortunately, most epilepsy medications have proven ineffective due to their ability to trigger a host of adverse effects. In light of this fact, medical marijuana doctors now recommend cannabidiol for managing epileptic seizures.
How Does CBD Treat Epilepsy?
Like most epilepsy medications, cannabidiol treats the condition by addressing its causes and symptoms.
CBD and Neurodegeneration
As you may have gathered by now, epilepsy is a mental condition that mainly results from injury to the brain.
CBD may not prevent physical injury to your brain. However, the compound may slow down the degeneration of brain neurons.
CBD’s neurodegenerative properties may help escalate the healing and repair of damaged brain cells, thereby minimizing epileptic seizures induced by brain injury.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a CBD-containing drug known as Epidiolex for treating two rare but severe forms of epilepsy, namely Dravet Syndrome and Lennox Gastaut Syndrome.
CBD and Neuronal Hyperstimulation
Cannabidiol is a powerful sedative known to produce incredible calming effects. Therefore, using CBD might help to treat epileptic seizures by calming down overactive brain neurons.
Studies have shown that CBD may exert its anti-seizure effects on the GPR55 and TRPV1 receptors. Researchers believe that CBD’s interactions with these receptors could help to reduce the excitability of brain neurons.
The best part is that cannabidiol doesn’t interact with the brain directly. Instead, the compound mediates overactive neurons indirectly by impacting a group of endocannabinoid receptors known as CB2 receptors. CB2 receptors are widespread in the body’s peripheral organs. This mechanism explains why CBD can manage epileptic seizures without inducing negative mental effects.
CBD and Epilepsy Medications
Another way cannabidiol may manage epileptic seizures is by boosting the effectiveness of certain epilepsy medications.
For instance, various studies have established positive interactions between CBD and clobazam (Onfi), one of the popular drugs used for treating epilepsy.
Therefore, consuming cannabidiol alongside clobazam may improve epilepsy symptoms far better than managing the condition using the drug or CBD alone.
Cannabidiol may not be the magic pill for epilepsy. However, CBD can help to manage the condition by addressing some of its core triggers and side effects.
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