Using cannabis as a form of the drug to cure some medical conditions like epilepsy is still a hot issue. According to the Journal of the International League Against Epilepsy, marijuana was a way for treating different health conditions in China during the 2,700 B.C. Some of these conditions were gout, menstrual disorders, constipation, nausea, fever, vomiting fever, and others. In addition, they reported that epilepsy is a common disease in neurology. In the U.S over 3 million have this disease.
Medical marijuana is an alternative for a list of conditions like epilepsy. it is one of the diseases highly responsive to cannabis. Many patients having epilepsy and seizure felt relief from using it. Some patients use marijuana for controlling disorder.
What You Should Know About Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a long term disorder in the central nervous system. This causes abnormality in the brain which leads to seizures or behaviors or sensations which are unusual and losing awareness. A person who has this disorder may experience two seizures which are unprovoked which is not related to conditions like extremely low blood sugar level or withdrawal from alcohol.
This disorder can happen to anyone, both male or female, of all groups, age, or ethnicity.
The symptom of seizure come differently. Some just have blank stares for a few seconds when having a seizure attack and other people twitch legs and arms repeatedly. A single seizure attack is not an indication of epilepsy. To control seizures, medications or surgery could be done, or if not, a long life treatment is needed. Luckily, some children can overcome epilepsy as they grow.
Seizures happening in epilepsy could be associated with an injury in the brain or runs in the family. However, the reason is still unknown. A lot of people having epilepsy experiences over one type of seizure and can have symptoms of problems in the neuron. At times the testing done in the Electroencephalogram or EEG, history of the family resembles some people having epilepsy. In this case, this case can be called as the syndrome known as specific epilepsy.
Seizure’s symptoms affect the body while in the brain is where the electrical events come up with the symptoms. The location, spread and the extent of the effect and the duration have an effect. This causes to determine the result to a person. Epilepsy and seizures are dangerous to one’s work, relationship building, and other social encounters. People’s treatment and perception of epileptic patients are in fact bigger than seizures.
What is Medical Cannabis?
Cannabis is called in many different names, but the most known name is “marijuana”. Meanwhile, cannabis came from the Latin word used by pharmacies and botanists. Going back to the term “marijuana”, it pertains to the female flower and leaves of cannabis. It is the Latin name used most often by botanists and pharmaceutical companies.
On the other hand, medical cannabis is the use of the whole marijuana plant including chemicals for medical reasons. In particular, it is using cannabis Sativa or Indica for relieving symptoms or treating some health conditions and diseases. These plants have been used for medical reasons for a lot of years in many countries. In other words, it is not mainly for recreational reasons. For your knowledge, the US FDA approved the medication Epidiolex for the medication of the syndrome Lennox-Gastaut for patients of 2 years and older. Manufacturers of medical products come up with their products following the GMP certification. GMP are rules which includes all the production aspects and certified and checked by assigned agencies. Not having this certificate means products are not licensed or approved for medical usage. Learn how Epidiolex can help patients with Lennox-Gastaut by watching this video
Video Source: Fortune Magazine
This is a kind of chemical that deals with the psychological effects of marijuana. Its function is much similar to cannabinoid produced by the body naturally according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
A receptor of this cannabinoid has concentrations in specific parts of the brain which are related to memory, pleasure, condition, thinking, and perception of time. The THC clings itself to the receptors then activates and influences the functions of the brain as according to NIDA.THC is just one of the numerous compounds in the resin. It is released by glands from the marijuana plant. Much of these glands are located in the plant’s reproductive area.
This means cannabidiol. It is an ingredient which the industry of natural products and researches focus on. This is uniquely coming from the cannabis plant. It is a major non-psychoactive element in marijuana. This means it doesn’t affect the brain strongly especially on the brain’s cognitive activity and no “high” feeling is given.
Cannabidiol suppresses spasms and pain in the muscles as well as it makes someone awake. Furthermore, it fights epilepsy, anxiety, and inflammation. It also protects the brain cells and neurons plus it is good for anti-aging.
Video Souce: NYU Langone Health
Lennox–Gastaut Syndrome and Cannabis
Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is a serious type of epilepsy. This is usually seen during early childhood or infancy. Children who are affected suffer some types of tonic, atonic and atypical absence type of seizures. It involves the stiffening of the limb muscle as well as somebody parts. In addition, they may have dysfunctions in their cognitive also some delays in the development of their behavior. There are some factors of this syndrome; however, in some cases, there are no causes identified yet. Furthermore, this is hard to treat since it has resistance to anti-seizure treatments.
Fortunately, researchers have found out that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) a major network in the body is responsible for the body’s balance. This is said to lessen seizures. This cannabinoid regulates the intensity of seizures. These cannabinoids have interaction with the receptors of ECS’s cannabinoid mainly the CB1 receptor. It dampens the production of neurotransmitters as it reduces excitability and seizures. These findings suggest that marijuana-derived cannabinoids have a big potential to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
Medical marijuana can treat several symptoms of Lennox-Gastaut including the following:
Numerous people suffering epilepsy or other types of disorders having seizures have found themselves relieved by using cannabis. If they aren’t able to have tolerance of real medicines, they make use of marijuana to successfully deal and control their seizures. They use strains like O.A.T, Kushberry and Grapefruit Kush
- Reduced Appetite from medicines
Marijuana taken medically for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome stimulates metabolism which leads to increased appetite. It leads to having “the munchies”. That means having much hunger after using cannabis. This is efficient only for children who struggle for loss of appetite due to medication. Some strains are helpful and these are ideal; Maui bubble gift, platinum purple kush, and pure kush.
- Poor Sleep
To children having insomnia can have an adverse effect on their day-to-day life. Medicines for insomnia causes addiction and side effects which a child cannot deal. Using cannabis for this is certainly the best way without its bad effect on people, most especially children. There are strains for insomnia. There is Granddaddy Purple, Purple Urkle, Tahoe OG Kush, and Godfather OG.
- Depression and Anxiety
At some point of the 55% of epilepsy patients, they suffer depression or anxiety. These greatly lower life’s quality and increase the seizure’s frequency. Taking anti-epileptic drugs would make this case worse. Having some of the following strains would help anxiety and depression. This includes; Pineapple Express, Harlequin, Jack Herer, and Girl Scout Cookies.
Dravet Syndrome and Cannabis
This is a dysfunction in the human brain. It is a rare genetic type of epileptic encephalopathy. It starts in the first year of a healthy infant. This syndrome was previously called as polymorphic epilepsy among infants. The disease starts in infancy and lasts a lifetime.
Take note babies may have normal development of the brain when seizures begin, but when it continues, disabilities and other syndrome-related conditions can occur. In most cases, this is usually misdiagnosed thinking that the baby is normal.
In addition, 8 out of 10 having this syndrome possess a gene mutation which leads to problems in the ion channels. This affects how the brain works. This isn’t hereditary, instead, it is a new mutation. In most cases, the seizures do not react to medication for seizures.
Epidiolex, cannabidiol, was approved for seizures related to Dravet Syndrome age 2 and older. The trial included 120 children and young adults having Dravet Syndrome and drug resistance. They were randomized to have CBD or a placebo and taking their medicine. 43% of people using CBD had at least 50% had decreased their seizures. 5% of people using CBD were seizure-free. Learn how CBD oil can help treat epilepsy by watching this video
Video Source: Mount Sinai Health System
Strains used for Epilepsy and Seizures
- Charlotte’s Web
So far, this is the most well-known strain in seizures treatment. It was named after Charlotte Figi, a little girl who had Dravet Syndrome which is a rare type of epilepsy. This strain was made to treat her. It has 0.3% of THC and high levels of CBD. this is perfect for giving treatment to epilepsy. In fact, it is used around the world for children’s treatment.
Colorado growers came up with this just simply for Charlotte and the good thing was they reduced significantly lowered the strain’s THC content and yet boosting the CBD. As a result, there was a “body high” which was calming and not having effects mentally. The little girl had serious seizures a week by hundred times before the CBD medication.
After using the high-concentrated oil from cannabis, it was observed that her thousands of seizures a month is now down to very few times only. This strain looks like a web having long and thick trichomes with buds around it. Charlotte’s Web strain is so rare, but it’s being sought by communities related to medical marijuana. Its major potency is the high content of CBD.
- Green Crack
If you want medication in the daytime, Green Crack is just perfect. You can feel its effect for the whole day. It gives you a sharp concentration while it works. In addition, it makes you feel energetic that you get mental focus and buzz.
This strain is a balanced type hybrid which works on both body and head to raise the mood as it relaxes your muscles. Green Cracks boosts your focus so you can do your tasks and avoid getting absent at work.
This strain has proved its effectivity to manage seizures, headaches, epilepsy, and others. It has a less-cloudy and inducing high since it has a low amount of THC which is usually just 6% and the CBD is between 6% and 17%.
This is a relaxing and powerful and it raises mental focus. This enhances someone’s mood and makes you feel like you’re on the cloud. It gives you positivity and boosted energy. It is calm and soothing fit for daytime use as it doesn’t affect your motivation much or makes you drowsy or sleepy.
- White Widow
This comes from The Netherlands which is popular to make user relaxed, creative and euphoric. The combination of Sativa from South Africa and south Indian’s Indica produce a perfect feeling of calmness and happiness as it treats insomnia, loss of appetite, pain, and epilepsy. It has proven its ability for its medicinal and therapeutic results.
It won in 1995 as one of the most popular strains. It is a hybrid having slight dominance of Indica and between Sativa and Indica. The indica gives full relaxation of the body and the Sativa does the euphoric character. In other words, it has perfectly balanced results and effective to treat cancer and epilepsy
- Grape Ape
This is the favorite of most users for it maximized calming and relaxation effects especially those who do yoga and medication. It gives that chilled and relaxed feeling as it gives you relief from mood and anxiety problems.
This is an Indica strain crossed with Skunk, Afghani, and Mendocino Purps. The name originated from the grape-like scent and colors which stand out. It gives heavy sensation in the head and limbs. It makes both mental and physical relaxation and calmness. It has 15% to 23% THC.
Ways to Consume Medical Marijuana
Taking marijuana as a treatment is obviously not the same as putting a pill in your mouth. Marijuana has complex build-up and using it comes in various ways. Medical and recreational users can choose the best means that would give them the best result and satisfaction.
The cannabis is dried then rolled to small size cigarettes. It is inhaled with the compounds and results are felt at once. You can put it in a pipe. Smoking cannabis gives fast pain and nausea relief. This is low cost.
When it comes to consistency, smoking dosage has more consistency. As the marijuana is burned the smoker inhales the medicinal property. Using bong or pipe takes the second-hand smoke to the user back.
This is one of the consumer’s choices. They can have cookies or brownies, but this time it also includes crackers, chews, bars of chocolate, lollipops and even ice cream. Edibles are tasty and you can control your dose. The effects last for a longer time. To users without experience, edibles have higher palatability.
Topical solutions include salves, sprays, ointments, and lotions. These are used for soreness of muscle, pain in the joint and other problems. Topicals don’t give high feeling but it is very effective in terms of pain relief. Medical marijuana ingredients are infused in the topicals. They are applied to the skin near the pain or inflammation. The effects are absorbed by the skin.
This way is somewhat similar to smoking. Vaporizing, or vaping produces the chemical at a lower temperature compared to smoking. Besides, the flavor coming from vapor is different from the burnt taste. In addition, marijuana vapors give protection to your lungs.
Vaporizers have different shapes and sizes. Preheat the device according to the temperature recommended. Then the cannabis extract. Next, press the button then inhale. Vaporizers are costlier, and the battery should be charged. There are portable and handy vapes.
This product is squirted or sprayed into the mouth for relief. Tinctures and sprays have a mixture of alcohol, oil, and extracts from a cannabinoid. They are put in small bottles. this doesn’t cause irritation in the lungs. You can manage the dosage you want. This strain’s taste is mild. These take some time before you can feel the result and is a little expensive for high dosages. You can start slowly to find the right dose.
Tinctures are done after soaking marijuana in a mixture of alcohol and water for 6 weeks. The compounds from the plant are transferred into the liquid. To remind you, tinctures come in small doses only one or two mL is put under one’s tongue using an eyedropper or it can be mixed with food but absorption pace is slow.
To keep the tincture’s potency, store it for a long time, but when exposed for a long time into the air, it evaporates. For that reason, putting it under the tongue is efficient. It goes to the bloodstream directly so results are felt immediately.
The colons absorb the active ingredients quickly so are the results. It can be difficult and messy. However, it will make you avoid smoking and bypass most of your digestive system.
The rectum is where the cannabis is put. It might be embarrassing but a lot of patients consider this way since the effects are felt quickly and last for a long time.
Well, wearing gloves and washing hands must be done after. It has two strengths and a half to decrease the dose. They need to be put in the fridge. For people having problems swallowing and want to keep their lungs suppositories are good solutions.
Dabbing is an advanced method reserved for users with experience. Cannabis is vaporized so quickly and gives dose which is concentrated. These days are made with the use of butane, or some other solvent and carbon dioxide. The THC is in a sticky oil named budder, butane hash oil, wax and shatter. This leads to powerful effect.
Drop a dab of marijuana onto the hot surface, then inhale. Use and heat a small metal or any glass using a lighter or torch. It must be hot for it to vaporize. Benefits are relief from the worst symptoms.
- Transdermal Patches
You can put the patch on a clean and hairless area like the inner part of your waist or top part of your foot or ankle. If you don’t prefer smoking weed, then these patches are the best choice. Marijuana patches are stuck on the skin using a small piece of material which is adhesive.
These patches deliver active ingredients on the skin and into the bloodstream. Thus the relief is felt by almost all parts of the body. Transdermal patches bring medication to all layers of the skin including the bloodstream. Relief is in general. A benefit is that the dose is absorbed by the entire body. It means you get the whole result. With this patch, the medicine does not travel to the digestive system or lost.
- Ingesting Fresh Cannabis
This is eating raw marijuana. Doing it preserves all the ingredients which drying or heating loses. You can add it to juice or smoothies since it doesn’t taste so well. Drinking it right away gives you the best health benefits.
You can use 15 leaves of fresh marijuana, which is a regular dose. Eating it raw doesn’t leave you any compounds left behind all in its freshest form.
- Marijuana Beverages
These are beverages containing marijuana. This includes wine, tea, and soda. They are alternatives to smoking or vapor. These beverages have slow-acting and effects last long as it provides stress and anxiety relief. Try making by making your own tea. Start by steeping leaves, including stem and buds into hot boiling water for about an hour. You can alcohol or oil to dissolve THC from the plant.
Undoubtedly, cannabis is effective for treating seizure disorders like epilepsy. Based on studies and anecdotal evidence, marijuana has proven itself to be a revolutionary cure for epilepsy with the development and FDA-approval of Epidiolex, helping millions of people around the world.