The Latest Research on CBD Oil and Seizures: What’s The Verdict?

CBD is a common abbreviation for cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive chemical found naturally in the cannabis plant that people use to treat various ailments.

Cannabidiol is probably most popular for its analgesic and anxiolytic abilities, which make it a potential remedy for pain and anxiety, respectively. But in addition to pain and anxiety, the compound might also help manage a range of other acute and chronic conditions.

This post takes a closer look at the role of CBD on seizures and what the latest research says on the same. But first things first.

What Are Seizures?

A seizure refers to a temporary loss of muscle control due to dramatic changes in the brain’s electrical activity.

There are numerous different types of seizures. The causes range from medical to environmental. Common medical causes include brain infections, tumors, electrolyte imbalances, traumatic brain injury, sleep deprivation, and drug overdose. Environmental factors that might predispose you to seizures include sudden changes in light intensity and certain foods.

Seizures may vary in duration and intensity. The episodes can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. And in addition to a temporary loss of muscle control, some seizures may also induce temporary unconsciousness.

What Types Of CBD Products Are Available For Seizures?

Cannabidiol is available in numerous products. The most common ones are CBD oil and CBD tinctures. Although frequently used interchangeably, these two cannabidiol formulations differ fundamentally in their composition. CBD oil is basically cannabidiol mixed with ingestible carrier oils, such as coconut and olive oil. On the other hand, CBD tinctures refer to cannabidiol suspended in an alcohol solution.

Besides oils and tinctures, cannabidiol products are available as pills and capsules. The most significant benefit of CBD pills and capsules is that they usually contain a high potency of cannabidiol. These formulations also deliver therapeutic effects lasting up to three days.

The following are other popular cannabidiol product formulations you can take for seizures;

  • Smokable products like cannabis pre-rolls
  • Vapable products, including CBD e-liquids and CBD wax, concentrates
  • Edibles, such as CBD-infused gummies, candies, and bread rolls
  • Topicals, such as CBD creams, ointments, and bath bombs

How May CBD Oil Treat Seizures

The best way to understand the role of cannabidiol oil in managing seizures is to start by explaining how the compound exerts its effects on the body.

Now, the human body (as with the body of all mammals) comprises a system called the endocannabinoid system, which regulates numerous cellular functions. Some of its roles include transmitting pain signals across the body, regulating appetite, maintaining circadian rhythms, and boosting overall immunity.

The endocannabinoid system comprises two primary components – receptors called endocannabinoid receptors and endogenous cannabinoids (simply known as endocannabinoids). Cannabidiol and other cannabis-derived compounds constitute exogenous cannabinoids, otherwise known as endocannabinoids or phytocannabinoids.

When consumed, phytocannabinoids enter the body through the endocannabinoid system, affecting the performance of certain endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid receptors. It’s these complex biological processes that produce relief from various ailments, including seizures.

Numerous animal-based studies have shown that cannabidiol oil might treat seizures by desensitizing two endocannabinoid receptors – GPR55 and TRPV1. GPR55 and TRPV1 are linked to seizures due to their ability to promote neuron excitability. So, by desensitizing these receptors, CBD oil prevents the brain from relaying powerful electrical signals that would cause seizure attacks.

Cannabidiol is so effective against seizures that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has since approved a Schedule V CBD-based anti-seizure drug called Epidiolex. Epidiolex is primarily used in treating Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, two rare but life-threatening forms of epilepsy. The drug has also demonstrated a promise for managing a severe genetic disorder called tuberous sclerosis. 

What Other Ways Might CBD Oil Manage Seizures?

Not only is cannabidiol oil capable of nipping seizure attacks in the bud. The compound might also address some of the condition’s symptoms and risk factors.

For instance, CBD oil contains powerful anti-anxiety properties. Therefore, the substance might reduce anxious feelings associated with seizure attacks. CBD relieves anxiety by inhibiting the stress hormone cortisol while promoting the signaling of ‘bliss’ hormones like serotonin.

Cannabidiol oil might also treat seizure-induced sleep deprivation. CBD aids sleep in various ways. When consumed at bedtime, the compound produces sedating effects that can help insomniacs fall asleep faster. Studies have also shown that CBD might reduce the duration of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Shrinking REM sleep translates to a dreamless night. And the less you dream, the more restful your sleep can be.

Last but not least, research suggests that cannabidiol might help with other medical conditions that present seizures as a primary symptom—CDKL5 deficiency disorder to Aicardi syndrome, Doose syndrome, and Dup15q syndrome.

Are There Side Effects To Watch Out For?

Cannabidiol is non-psychoactive. In other words, products formulated with pure CBD won’t get you high. However, CBD gummies might still induce numerous adverse effects significantly if overdosed. Examples include;

  • Drowsiness
  • Sleepiness
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Inappetence
  • Changes in weight loss

The best way to prevent these side effects is to take CBD oil moderately. Since the compound has no ideal dosage, the conventional wisdom is to start small and increase your doses gradually in small increments.

Wrap Up

There’s no doubt that cannabidiol oil might treat seizures. However, always talk to your doctor before administering CBD oil. That’s especially if you’re already on other seizure drugs.

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