CBD oil is a substance derived from the Cannabis plant.
It is rich in a component called cannabinoids, which have been shown to possess many beneficial properties. Since CBD oil lacks terahydrocannabinol (THC), it does not cause alteration of sense in the consumer.
Cannabinoids are known to interact with the CB2 receptors in the body and result in therapeutic properties.
CBD oil has been shown to be beneficial by having anti-tumor, anti-nausea, anti-seizure, anti-inflammatory properties to name a few.
What are Seizures?
Seizures are a symptom of brain abnormality. Nearly 30 different types of seizure are known to exist.
They are characterized by excessive electrical activity in the brain, which results in changes in behaviour, movement, etc.
Most common cause of such seizures is epilepsy. Other types include nonepileptic and provoked seizures.
Convulsion is a kind of seizure characterized by stiffening of the body and jerking movements.
Some seizures can just make the patient uncomfortable by altering the state of the body and behaviour. Noises, certain kind of lights, intense emotions can trigger seizures in people.
Benefits of CBD Oil for Seizures
CBD oil can provide relief against seizures associated with epilepsy. It can also mitigate other types of seizures such as non-epileptic and provoked seizures. This can also be safely consumed by young children suffering from epilepsy who face a lot of social issues and alienation due to seizures.
1. CBD Benefits in Epileptic seizures
Epilepsy is the most common cause of seizures.
It is characterized by abnormal functioning of the neurons in the brain, which result in seizures. Excess electrical activity in the brain can cause involuntary sensations, movements, etc.
The number, intensity and symptoms of seizures faced by different patients vary a lot.
Some can experience hundreds of seizures in one day while others can go up to months without any seizures at all.
Cannabidiol has been shown to possess anti-convulsant and antipsychotic properties.
This makes it a potential herbal therapy regime for neuroinflammatory, epileptic, neurodegenerative diseases, etc.
It acts via influence on serotonin or adenosine receptors. It also targets the nuclear receptors of the PPAR family.
Studies have shown that cannabidiols can reduce the severity and lethality associated with seizures.
A study published in journal ‘Seizures’ showed that use of cannabidiol could effectively reduce seizures in animals at all dosage. There was a reduction in the most common tonic-clonic seizures as well.
Another study analyzed the effect of cannabidiol in seizures and compared them with other anti-seizure drugs.
CBD was found to be an effective anticonvulsant in both electroshock and audiogenic seizure tests. It was shown to enhance the effect of certain anti-epileptic drugs as well.
A study performed with animal seizure models showed similar results. The in vivo and in vitro studies showed that CBD exhibits anti-epileptic and anti-seizure properties.
It was also shown that they act in CB1 receptor-independent manner.
There was a decrease in convulsions and also the mortality compared to non-treated animals. Therefore it was suggested that CBD could be effectively used as an anti-epileptic drug.
Sleep deprivation is the second most important trigger for seizures. Many epileptic patients complain of not getting good night’s sleep because of experiencing seizures at night.
Lack of good sleep can, in turn, make epilepsy worse and thus this vicious circle continues. Some anti-seizure medications also alter the sleep pattern in people.
CBD oil has been shown to be effective in alleviating the symptoms of insomnia. It helps reduce the activity in the brain and bring a sense of calm, which in turn can allow the user to sleep well. It has been shown to improve the duration and quality of sleep.
A randomized controlled trial is also underway to evaluate the effect of CBD on seizures associated with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex.
The trial was started in 2016 and the results will be declared by September 2018. The use of CBD in humans for the trial shows that it has been promising in vitro and animal studies thus prompting a human trial.
A parent survey report on the use of cannabidiol enriched cannabis for childhood epilepsy also showed positive results.
Use of cannabidiol rich cannabis led to a reduction in epilepsy as reported by nearly 84% of parents. They also reported better sleep and improved mood in the kids.
Many parents were shown to be using cannabidiol rich cannabis for treatment of treatment-resistant epilepsy in children. The side effects reported were fatigue and drowsiness.
Many studies have shown that CBD oil can be used for alleviating epileptic seizures. Its effect is comparable to certain anti-epileptic drugs and it comes without many side effects.
It also helps improve sleep, which is beneficial for epileptic patients suffering from sleep deprivation.
2. CBD Benefits in Provoked Seizures
These are also characterized by abnormal brain functioning but these are caused due to reasons like low blood sugar, withdrawal symptoms, high fever, infections, disturbances in salt levels, etc.
Inflammation has been shown to be associated with increased seizure susceptibility.
A study has shown that intestinal inflammation associated with lesions could increase the risk of seizures in rat models. This might be due to a high level of tumor necrosis factor in serum.
Peripheral inflammation accompanied by oxidative stress in the brain’s region called the hippocampus also increases the seizure susceptibility.
Neuroinflammation and oxidative stress can contribute to the higher level of seizures in rat models.
Based on these studies it can be concluded that fighting inflammation and oxidative stress could potentially help reduce the risk of seizures.
Cannabidiol has been shown to be a potent anti-inflammatory agent. Studies have shown that CBD can reduce intestinal inflammation of both acute and chronic kind.
CBD has been shown to reduce the expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and many other inflammatory mediators. This can indirectly help reduce the risk of seizures.
CBD inhibits the NF-κB signalling and thus acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. CBD delivery to arthritis models has also shown promising results by reducing inflammation and pain.
Oxidative stress can also be reduced by the regular use of CBD oil. Cannabidiols have been shown to possess anti-oxidant properties.
It can remove free radicals from the body and thus prevent the oxidative stress caused by the. They can also nullify the reactive oxygen species and mitigate oxidative damage.
They are also known to activate certain receptors in the body, which can eventually activate enzymes that are capable of converting oxidative species into non-harmful substances.
It also reduces the levels of nitrates, which are potent oxidative species and known to cause oxidative damage.
Pain can also act as a trigger for provoked seizures. High-intensity pain can cause discomfort and abnormal brain activity. An anoxic seizure is a term given to seizure induced by pain. This is not related to epilepsy.
Thus mitigating pain can help reduce the risk for such seizures. CBD oil has been shown to have analgesic properties. It can reduce the perception and sensation of pain.
Provoked seizures can be caused by inflammation, pain, etc. CBD oil possesses potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties which can be helpful in mitigating inflammation and oxidative damage and thus protect against the seizures.
3. CBD Benefits in Nonepileptic Seizures
These are the seizures that are not accompanied by abnormal brain activity. They resemble epileptic seizures in their symptoms.
These are usually caused by muscle disorder, psychological condition, fainting, etc. Anti-seizure drugs fail in these cases. Managing stress and anxiety can help reduce/prevent these.
Many people suffering from anxiety, intense stress, pain due to traumatic experiences and emotional issues can experience these nonepileptic seizures. These can be benefitted by the use of CBD oil, as it is known to have an anxiolytic effect.
CBD oil has been proven to reduce stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms. Many studies have proven that it can be used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders even in young children.
Studies done on rat models have shown that treatment of rats, which were put under stress with CBD oil could effectively mitigate stress in under 21 days. CBD oil could also alleviate the symptom of discomfort even in stress-induced and compulsive behaviour models.
Studies conducted on volunteers with panic disorders and social anxiety also showed promising results by effectively reducing stress and anxiety in them.
Stress from traumatic experience can cause nonepileptic seizures as mentioned above. CBD oil is effective in mitigating stress associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well.
CBD is capable of bringing out such effects by interacting with CB1 receptors in the body and make changes in the release of neurotransmitters, which in turn can reduce excessive neuronal activity.
This results in a reduction in stress and anxiety. It also interacts with 5-HT1A serotonin receptor and leads to anti-depressant effects.
Non-epileptic seizures can be caused by a myriad of reasons including depression, stress, etc. CBD oil can help reduce stress and anxiety and thus it can indirectly be beneficial for people who face non-epileptic seizures.
The Dosage of CBD for Seizures
CBD oil can be consumed in different ways. CBD oil can be put on the skin after mixing with creams or gels. It can also be taken orally as capsules, which are sold in many places.
The exact dosage will depend on the severity of the condition in the patients. It also depends on the tolerance of the patients towards CBD oil.
It is usually recommended that the patients start consuming it the lowest possible dose and slowly increase their dose as they get acclimatized to CBD oil depending on the body’s cannabinoid system. This helps to find the best dose, which remains effective over the long run.
Nearly 600-700 mg of CBD oil can be taken in order to produce considerable plasma level of cannabinoid.
Studies have shown that up to 1500 mg/day of CBD oil is well tolerated by humans and does not cause severe side effects. The best strategy is to take low dosage in order to make it economically feasible.
A lot of studies have been conducted on CBD oil to understand its beneficial properties and it has been shown that CBD oil possesses only a few side effects.
Some common side effects in some people include dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, low blood pressure, etc.
In case of any allergic response characterized by shortness of breath, swelling, etc. after consumption/application of CBD oil, the use should be immediately stopped.
CBD at inappropriately high doses can lead to the worsening of tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease.
Patients with Parkinson’s disease should, therefore, be wary of CBD oil. Activities requiring a lot of voluntary attention like driving should be avoided right after using CBD oil as it can cause slight impairment.
Ensuring the consumption of high-quality CBD oil is essential and it should only be obtained from the most reputed and authentic sources. Low quality and contaminated CBD oil can result in unexpected side effects and can be harmful to the patients.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid CBD oil unless prescribed by their healthcare practitioners.
In general, it is preferable to consult a doctor before starting the use of any complementary and herbal therapy modules such as this one as it can help avoid any side effects that can be caused due to drug interactions and unsafe dosage.
CBD oil has been shown to be safe for young kids and children but the dosage should be carefully analyzed in the case of children and careful monitoring of the symptoms is also necessary.
Seizures affect a lot of people around the globe and result in a lot of discomfort and shame. It is therefore important to come up with therapeutic measures for seizures in order to mitigate the discomfort.
Many reasons can cause seizures including stress, triggers and epilepsy.
Millions of adults and children suffer from epilepsy and it causes the drastic reduction in productivity. CBD oil can mitigate the different causes in indirect ways and thus prevent seizures in consumers.
Many anti-seizure medicines have side effects like osteoporosis, skin disorders, etc. and many of them fail to work and therefore shifting to a more natural alternative like CBD oil with other benefits is a great option.
It is of grave importance to ensure the consumers use only high quality and pure CBD oil obtained from best sources.
Consulting a doctor before starting the use of CBD oil can also help avoid any unwanted side effects by evaluating their conditions well.