Whether you suffer from seizures yourself or want to look for a cure for your child, the primary requirement in both cases is always to find a solution with minimal side effects. 

In recent years, CBD oil has rapidly gained popularity, with manufacturers claiming it to be a miracle product that cures seizures—saying that it is a miracle would be a bit of an over-exaggeration. But the fact remains that there is a lot of potential for CBD oil for seizures. 

What is CBD?

CBD or cannabidiol is a primary compound found in hemp and marijuana plants. Both hemp and marijuana belong to the Cannabis Sativa plant family. 

Since marijuana is similar to hemp, there are many misconceptions about CBD. Marijuana is abundant in THC, a compound responsible for making you feel high. But hemp-derived CBD contains little or no THC, so it offers all the benefits of the plants without endorsing any psychoactive effects. 

CBD for Seizures

Research suggests that CBD is helpful in the treatment of seizures in humans and animals. But it does not cure all seizure types. Instead, it can help alleviate the symptoms of tuberous sclerosis, Lennox-Gastaut, and Dravet syndrome. 

It is still too early to confirm, but some studies even indicate the benefits of CBD in treating epilepsy and other conditions that cause seizures. 

In some clinical trials, CBD maintained its efficacy in treating disorders, including Dup15q syndrome, Aicardi syndrome, and Doose syndrome.

There isn’t enough evidence to deduce the functionality of CBD for seizures. But the basic understanding is that CBD interacts with the neurotransmitters and receptors that make up the endocannabinoid system in our bodies. As the interaction occurs, bodily functions are affected, which also helps with seizures. 

CBD vs. THC for Seizures

THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is also a byproduct of the Cannabis Sativa plant. Some studies suggest that it can also help with seizures. 

While it may help the patients at the moment, there are many adverse effects associated with its use. The impact on seizure control is inconsistent; plus, they also have numerous side effects that directly affect the brain. 

Moreover, it can often lead to dependency on the drug and become the root cause of suicidal thoughts, psychosis, and depression. On the other hand, CBD proved to be a safer alternative. Participants only suffered minor adverse effects in clinical trials in the first month. The most common side effects included diarrhea, loss of appetite, vomiting, fever, and fatigue, all of which were mild. 

So, in the competition of CBD vs. THC for seizures, CBD is the clear winner. 

CBD Oil for Seizures: Is It FDA Approved?

CBD oils that contain 0.3% or less THC are FDA approved. But that does not mean that you should be directly using them without prior consultation with your neurologist. 

CBD can readily react with other medications, including 

  • Clobazam
  • Rufinamide
  • Valproic Acid
  • Eslicarbazepine
  • Brivaracetam

CBD might also react with any other medication that you might be taking to control your seizures. Make sure you take your doctor in the loop before starting CBD use. When your condition is monitored by a professional, they can quickly address the associated risks, and immediate action can take place. 

According to the FDA, Epidolex is suitable for treating seizures. It is a medically prescribed drug form of CBD, mainly used to treat Lennox-Gastaut, Dravet syndrome, and tuberous sclerosis complex. 

According to the FDA and numerous clinical trials, the recommended dosage for Epidolex is 2.5 milligrams per kilogram consumed twice daily. But this does is for the starting phase. The dose can increase to 5 milligrams per kilogram twice a day with regular use. The dosage can go even higher depending on your condition but should not exceed 10 milligrams per kilogram. 

It is important to note that the medication should be started and stopped slowly. Immediately blocking or beginning with a high dose can have the opposite effect on seizure activity. 

Potential Risks Associated with CBD for Seizures

CBD use without any anti-seizure medications is generally safe, but it can cause some minor side effects at the start. These can include diarrhea, loss of appetite, drowsiness, mouth dryness, and fever. But the symptoms go away as the body starts adapting to its use. 

But CBD combined with medication can cause negative interaction, resulting in an adverse reaction. It is better to consult with your doctor before proceeding with CBD use. In severe cases, interaction with medicine can lead to liver damage. 

Moreover, if you use commercial CBD products, they might contain THC, triggering seizures. So, instead of seeing a reduction, your episodes might increase. You must use prescribed CBD to ensure you’re getting the purest form of cannabidiol without contaminants. 

It is generally an issue when people choose to buy over-the-counter CBD. OTC CBD is not FDA approved, so you don’t know whether the product is pure, filled with other ingredients, or has a sufficient quantity of CBD. 

Always use CBD oils and other products that the FDA regulates to avoid unforeseen outcomes. 

Key Takeaways

There is promising evidence that proves the efficacy of CBD oil for seizures. But more studies are needed to build a solid foundation. 

Currently, one thing has become known, THC is not a suitable ingredient for curing seizures. On the contrary, it can trigger attacks rather than stop them. Make sure you get prescribed CBD for treatment purposes instead of opting for over-the-counter products. 

Your doctor should be aware if you plan to take CBD so that there aren’t any harmful interactions that can worsen your condition.