>CBD for Seizures: Research, Benefits, and How to Use it
CBD for Seizures: Research, Benefits, and How to Use it
CBD has shown remarkable efficacy in improving treatment-resistant epileptic seizures. Here’s what the science says about how CBD works and the best way to use it.
Published January 25, 2021
Updated August 5, 2021
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Does CBD for seizures work?
Out of all the research done on CBD, perhaps the most promising findings have come from studies of seizure disorders. Multiple CBD studies for seizures have shown that it can improve epilepsy in children and adults who couldn’t find relief from standard medications.
The evidence is so strong that in 2018, the FDA approved the use of the first CBD-based pharmaceutical drug called Epidiolex for treating two rare, severe types of childhood epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome.
However, the strongest evidence comes from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) — the gold standard of medical research. Most of these studies about CBD for seizures focused on severe types of childhood epilepsy that are resistant to standard treatment. Instead, they used Epidiolex, a pharmaceutical drug containing pure CBD.
Researchers don’t yet fully understand how CBD for seizures works to improve or lessen these outbursts. The most popular, evidence-based explanation is that CBD affects calcium (Ca2+) and the brain chemical adenosine, both of which play a role in seizures.
GPR55 receptors are abundant in the brain, where their activation can increase calcium levels and promote neuron excitability (increased activity), which plays a role in seizures. CBD has been shown to act as an antagonist of GPR55, blocking its effects.
CBD seems to desensitize TRPV1 receptors, which means it makes them less responsive and reduces their effects on neuron excitability.
CBD and Adenosine
Finally, adenosine is a key chemical that can stop seizures and acts as the brain’s natural anticonvulsant by slowing down neuron activity — the opposite of excitation. CBD appears to block the reuptake of adenosine by special transporter proteins.
This increases the adenosine levels in the brain, which means there’s more of it to activate adenosine receptors and slow down neuron activity.
That’s why the best way to use CBD for seizures is to go with a full-spectrum CBD oil, which will provide all of the plant’s beneficial phytochemicals. It should also have a relatively high potency (40 mg of CBD per ml or more) since the treatment of seizures tends to require large CBD doses.
Our recommended brand of CBD oil for seizures is NuLeaf Naturals. This reputable Colorado company offers high-potency, full-spectrum CBD oil of exceptional quality.
High doses of CBD can cause side effects such as diarrhea, drowsiness, decreased appetite, and tiredness. . That means CBD can make certain medications more or less effective, so if you’re taking any prescriptions you should consult with your doctor before trying CBD.
Another thing to keep in mind is that full-spectrum CBD products contain small amounts (0.3% or less) of THC, the main intoxicating component of cannabis. This isn’t an issue for the vast majority of people. However, even small amounts of consumed THC may show up on a drug test. Some people are also highly sensitive to THC, which means they can experience a slight high from taking a large dose of a full-spectrum CBD product. If the inclusion of THC is something you’re concerned about, consider products that instead contain CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD.
Final thoughts on CBD for Seizures
High-quality research evidence suggests that CBD can relieve epileptic seizures, making it a promising option for people with treatment-resistant epilepsy. Researchers believe that CBD works by interacting with certain parts of the brain.
The best way to use CBD for seizures is to go with a full-spectrum CBD oil or CBD vape juice. CBD is generally safe, although it may cause some side effects, especially at high doses.
CBD for Seizures FAQs
How do I use CBD oil for seizures?
If you’re taking CBD oil for seizures, be sure to look for a full-spectrum CBD oil. It’s also best to use a high-potency product since treatment of seizures typically requires large doses of CBD.
What CBD dosage should I use for seizures?
The ideal CBD oil dosage for seizures is different for everyone. The best approach is to start with a small amount (10-15 mg), wait to see the effects, and up the dose slowly until you find the amount that works for you.
Gleb Oleinik is a Vancouver-based freelance writer who specializes in all things CBD and cannabis. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree with a Double Major in History & Geography from the University of British Columbia. Gleb has read thousands of research studies about cannabis, CBD, and dietary supplements, helping him translate complex scientific ideas into plain language. He’s a big fan of CBD oil and believes that cannabis can revolutionize modern medicine. When he’s not writing, Gleb likes to spend his time in the gym, out in nature and working on his website projects.
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