With over 150,000 Americans diagnosed every year, epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disease. Despite its prevalence, there is still a need for more effective treatments for epilepsy and other seizure disorders. In honor of National Epilepsy Awareness Month, we’re covering what you need to know about the uses, benefits and research behind medical marijuana for epilepsy.
Medical Marijuana Research
As many as 30-40% of people living with epilepsy don’t respond to traditional anti-epileptic medication, leading to a growing need for more effective options to treat seizures and other symptoms. Over the last few years, medical marijuana has emerged as a promising treatment for epilepsy and other seizure disorders. There is a growing number of studies indicating the benefits of medical marijuana for epilepsy:
- In a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, cannabidiol (CBD) treatment resulted in a greater reduction in convulsive-seizure frequency than placebo among patients with Dravet syndrome.
- Another randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial found that CBD is effective for the treatment of patients with drop seizures.
- In a study of 135 patients with intractable epilepsy conducted by Dr. Karen Keough, Compassionate Cultivation’s Chief Medical Officer, Neurologist and Epileptologist, 56% of patients saw a reduction in seizures while taking 20:1 CBD:THC cannabis-based medicine. 32% of the total group saw seizures reduce by over half.
While it shows promising results in studies and clinical trials, more research is needed to further demonstrate the efficacy of medical cannabis for epilepsy.
Want to view more research on medical cannabis? Check out our resources below.
Epilepsy Symptoms and Medical Cannabis
In addition to the research that shows medical marijuana to be effective in decreasing the frequency of seizures, there are other benefits reported by patients, including:
- Increased alertness
- Increased speech
- Developmental gains
- Less rescue medication
- Better sleep
- Decreased anxiety
- Decreased behavior issues
- Marked improvements in cognition
- Increased appetite
- Happier demeanor
- Calming effect
- Decrease in GI issues
The side effects of medical marijuana include sleepiness, diarrhea and GI upset.
How to Access Medical Marijuana in Texas
If you have epilepsy or another seizure disorder, you qualify for medical marijuana in Texas. Click below to find a doctor in your area, including telemedicine options.