Marijuana As a Succor for Epileptic Seizures

Marijuana As a Succor for Epileptic Seizures

The debate over banning or legalizing marijuana has been going on for more than a century now, but it continues to be a fresh issue on the table. There are people who strongly support its legalization, while there are many who vehemently oppose it. However, over the last decade, the debate has been tilted in favor of cannabis as the term “medical marijuana” has gained momentum with the help of legalization campaigns. Still, there are others who are preventing it from going it all legal.

The findings of a recent study also go in favor of optimum medical use of marijuana. It says that a certain chemical found in marijuana can actually help in treating patients with drug-resistant forms of epilepsy. This new study has provided evidence that marijuana can be effective in treatment for one-third of epilepsy patients who have a treatment-resistant form of the disease.

The study titled “Cannabidiol in patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy: an open-label interventional trial” – published in The Lancet Neurology – says that almost one-third of epilepsy patients are treatment-resistant and are associated with severe morbidity and increased mortality. Though marijuana-based treatments for epilepsy have spiked the interest of the people, scientific data on the subject is very limited, feel the authors BUY CBD.

“We aimed to establish whether addition of cannabidiol to existing anti-epileptic regimens would be safe, tolerated, and efficacious in children and young adults with treatment-resistant epilepsy,” the researchers said.

The Method

The researchers, led by Orrin Devinsky, neurologist at New York University Langone Medical Center, administered an extract of 99 percent cannabidiol (CBD) – a non-psychoactive chemical in marijuana – to 162 patients and monitored them for about 12 weeks. The chemical was given as a supplement or add-on along with other preexisting medicines of the patients and was conducted on an open level, which means everyone was aware of what they were given. The researchers observed that this intervention managed to reduce to motor seizures at a similar rate by the existing drugs, but 2 percent of patients became completely seizure free.

Despite some positive results being shown by this method, the researchers feel that there is need for further extensive studies on the subject. “Our findings suggest that cannabidiol might reduce seizure frequency and might have an adequate safety profile in children and young adults with highly treatment-resistant epilepsy. Randomized controlled trials are warranted to characterize the safety profile and true efficacy of this compound,” the study said.

This is not the first time when such an observation has been made. Some previous studies had also drawn similar conclusions. A 2007 study, titled “Marijuana: An Effective Antiepileptic Treatment in Partial Epilepsy? A Case Report and Review of the Literature,” published in the Reviews in Neurological Diseases had also said that “marijuana or its active constituents may have a place in the treatment of partial epilepsy.”

Katherine Mortati, M.D., a neurologist at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, who had conducted the study, said “In the study we present the case of a 45-year-old man with cerebral palsy and epilepsy who showed marked improvement with the use of marijuana. This case supports other anecdotal data suggesting that marijuana use may be a beneficial adjunctive treatment in some patients with epilepsy.”

Even The British Epilepsy Association had said in 2006 that “there is scientific evidence to suggest that cannabis may be beneficial in treating a number of conditions, including epilepsy.”

More studies need to be done to find evidence of marijuana’s utility in dealing with epilepsy. Even if proved, marijuana will continue to be an addictive substance, which may have several side effects, like hallucinations, cravings and drug seeking behavior.

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