CBD for Seizures

By Dr. Frank Michalski

According to CBD What You Need to Know, a seizure is a change in the brain’s electrical activity. More specifically, according to Mayo Clinic, a seizure is a sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain. 

Excerpt from CBD What You Need to Know:

“Brain cells inhibit or excite other brain cells from sending messages, and while there is usually a balance of these cells, during a seizure there is too much or too little activity, causing an imbalance. The imbalances result in a surge of the brain’s electrical activity, aka seizure.”

Seizures can result in changes in behavior, movements, feelings, or levels of consciousness. Two or more seizures or recurrent seizures are defined as epilepsy. Epilepsy affects people differently due to the variety of seizures causes and types. In some cases, a seizure may appear to be a staring spell. In other types of seizures, the individual may collapse, shake, and loose spatial awareness. 

Possible Causes of Seizure:

  • Stroke 
  • Brain Tumor 
  • Traumatic Brain Injury or Head Injury 
  • Central nervous system infection 

CBD statics on Epilepsy: 

 

  • In 2015, 1.2 % if the total us population had active epilepsy. That is about 3.4 million people with epilepsy nationwide: 3 million adults and 470,000 children. 
  • It is estimated that 0.6% of children aged 0-17 years have active epilepsy or 6 out of every 1000 children.
  •  

    More than half the cases of epilepsy in children are idiopathic, aka un-diagnosed. 

    Diagnosis and Treatment

    To obtain a proper diagnosis, please seek medical attention. In the event, you are experiencing a new onset of, or new seizure symptoms seek medical care ASAP. Diagnosis depends on EEG and MRI testing with a detailed health history. 

    Pharmaceuticals are usually the first line of treatment for seizure disorders. According to Gregory L. Smith MD, unfortunately, in over 30% of seizure cases, the use of multiple seizure medications are unable to adequately control the condition (intractable epilepsy). Many of the medications cause dependency, cognitive impairment, and sedation.  


    CBD & Seizure Disorder


    CBD A Patients Guide to Medical Cannabis Excepts: 

    The heartwarming story of Charlotte Figi put CBD usage for seizure disorders on the map in 2009. Dr. Sanjay Gupta featured this young girl in a series on CNN called Weed. The documentary showed her having seizures before and after using CBD. The results were remarkable.

    Before CBD, Charlotte’s seizures could not be controlled, and the medications were taking their toll on her. In 2009, The Stanley Brothers began to breed a high- CBD strain of cannabis. In 2012 the strain was named Charlotte’s Web. The strain was named after the young girl who began using the strain to control her intractable seizures.

    Charlotte’s Web cannabis has resulted in thousands of people seeking it out, in hopes of helping their aliments.

    In 2012 a young boy named ZJ was growing up near a farm that was growing Charlotte’s Web. Since infancy, he had suffered from seizures, and by the age of nine, the seizures became life-threating called tonics. ZJ had tried 17 pharmaceutical drugs with no success.

    Following the very first night, ZJ’s mother gave him Charlotte’s Web cannabis he went 48 hours without a seizure. The fall of 2012 marked his last major seizure.

    CBD & Seizure 

    According to Dr. Gregory L Smith MD, Author of CBD What You Need To Know, CBD has been shown to be somewhat to highly effective at significantly reducing the frequency and severity of seizures. He cites a few small studies listed below. 

    Study 1:

    • Nineteen children were gathered who suffered idiopathic epilepsy and or incurable epilepsy. The average number of other drugs tried before CBD therapy was twelve. 
    • Use of CBD was found to be effective in 16 of the 19 children.  
    • Two parents reported seizure remission.
    • Fourteen parents reported seizure reduction. 
    • Parents also reported other symptom reduction, such as improved mood, sleep, and alertness. 
    • Epilepsy Treatment Centers Worldwide demonstrated that patients who received CBD experienced a 45.1% reduction in seizures. 
    Study 2: 
    • Dr. Robert DeLorenzo found cannabinoids decrease seizures by activating the brain’s CB1 receptors. 
    • The study stated, “cannabinoids may offer unique advantages in treating seizures compared with currently prescribed seizure medications. Cannabinoids play a critical role in controlling spontaneous seizures in epilepsy.” 
    Study 3: 
    • Epidiolex is a pharmaceutical CBD whole plant extract manufactured by GW pharmaceuticals. GW has documented excellent results concerning CBD benefiting seizures form high quality phase III clinical trials. 
    • The study examined children with epilepsy that did not respond to currently available medications and showed that “seizures decreased by an average of 54%.” 
    • Other studies have shown similar results to GW, although 7% of subjects reported a worsening of seizures. 
    Study 4: CBD A Patients Guide To Medical Cannabis
    • 2015 open-label study of 162 pediatric epilepsy patients at centers across the US, researchers administered CBD at a rate of 4-10mg/lb per day and titrated up until intolerance or to a maximum dose of 50mg/lb/day. 
    • The approach reduced seizures at a rate similar to existing drugs, a median of 36.5%. In addition, 4% of patients became free of moto seizures. 
    Study 5: CBD A Patients Guide to Medical Cannabis
    • In 2016, 201 epileptic children under the care of Dr. Goldstein, MD dosed high CBD oils. 
    • 68% of the children had greater than 50% improvement and 15% seizure-free.
    • Over 40% were able to reduce pharmaceutical drugs.
    • Positive side effects included improved mood, energy, and sleep. 
    • Negative side effects included drowsiness and diarrhea. 
    Study 6: CBD a Patients Guide to Medical Cannabis 
    • A 2016 Israeli study of seventy-four pediatric patients found that 89% reported a reduction in seizure load with CBD therapy. Five patients reported worsening symptoms. 

    CBD Serving Size

    • Bonnie Goldstein MD, suggests 0.5mg/lb/ay of CBD as a starting dose for pediatric epilepsy.
    • Increase by 0.5mg/lb/ every four days, depending on response. 
    • Preference is three daily doses of 0.16 mg/lb, taken every seven to eight hours. 
    • Dr. Goldstein reports most patients respond to 2-8 mg/lb/day. 

    For example, a 50lb child would take 25mg of CBD per day to begin split into three doses of 8.3mgs per day.

    50lbs child/2=25mg or 0.5mg x 50=25mg 

    25mg/3=8.3mg 3x a day 

    Dosage is crucial due to the biphasic effects of CBD. Too much may worsen seizure activity. Too little may be ineffective. THC, in some cases, maybe of benefit. Please speak with a qualified medical professional before use. THC has also been shown to increase seizure activity in some cases.

    *Those who have epilepsy must always work closely with their neurologist regarding the addition of any supplementation. 

    *This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Frank Michalski and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Frank Michalski nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.

    References: 

    CBD: A Patients Guide To Medicinal Cannabis

    CBD: What You Need To Know

    https://www.cdc.gov/epilepsy/about/fast-facts.htm

    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seizure/symptoms-causes/syc-20365711