Brands such as Charlotte’s Web and Diamond CBD may not say it but some of those buying their oils are doing so for the sole purpose of reducing or managing the epileptic seizures they or their children are suffering from.
But what is the evidence? Is it true that cannabis oil can treat epilepsy and if so why has no one made a drug that can be recommended in hospitals?
In this article, we are going to answer all questions and give you the proof why cannabidiol oil could just be the drug epileptic patients have been waiting for.
What is CBD oil?
The term CBD itself stands for the word Cannabidiol. It is one of the many cannabinoids (active compounds) found in the marijuana plant and the hemp plant. It can be extracted in different ways from the either plant and infused into coconut or MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) to form CBD oil.
In the United Kingdom, Cannabidiol is not one of the cannabinoids classified as a controlled substance by the Misuse of Drugs Act of 2001. It is, therefore, legal to use.
However, it must be from low THC sources such as the industrial hemp plant because THC is indeed one of the cannabinoids classified as a controlled substance.
More specifically, only cannabis oils with less than 0.2% of THC in concentration are legal in the UK.
Why do people think CBD oil can cure epilepsy?
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that cannabis oil can cure epilepsy. We will show you three cases.
The first and most famous evidence is that of an American girl called Charlotte Figi. The young girl was suffering from life-threatening epilepsy in the form of the Dravet syndrome.
She could experience long violent seizures that could last up to 30 minutes. At times she could not eat, talk or walk. Her heart also stopped a number of times despite using medication from some of the best children’s hospitals and pharmacies in the United States.
However, that was before her parents found a small Denver dispensary that was making a strain of marijuana with extremely low THC and high levels of CBD. After months of worrying and research, they decided to risk it all and the results were pleasantly surprising.
The cannabis oil they used was able to stop the seizures. The natural medication reduced the frequency of epileptic seizures from the more than 300 experienced per month to just about 4. All this happened within a couple of weeks of using the oil. Surprising, right? And that’s exactly why the story went viral.
The girl’s parents later met the Stanley brothers who were making legal CBD oil from hemp. The brothers later decided to sell their oil to more people and that’s how Charlotte’s Web came about.
In the UK, two boys, Billy Caldwell and Alfie Dingley, have been thrown into the national limelight because they were able to successfully use cannabis oil to treat their conditions. These two boys have been suffering from seizures their whole lives and were recently given licenses to use cannabis oil (which has CBD and THC in it) after their parents revealed that the oil was the only drug that could treat their children.
These kinds of stories give a lot of hope to those who are suffering. Imagine thinking your child will suffer for the whole his or her life and blaming yourself for it and then later on finding out that there is actually a natural medication that is effective in treating your child’s condition. You would jump up and down in joy, wouldn’t you?
What is the evidence that CBD oil can actually cure epilepsy?
The good news is that the anecdotal evidence is backed by some hard scientific evidence. Scientists from different institutions of higher learning have done their studies and published their evidence on the efficacy of cannabis oil in the treatment of epilepsy. Most of them agree that it is effective.
For example, there is a journal article in Springer Neurotherapeutics that gives evidence of how cannabinoids found in the cannabis and hemp plants can treat epilepsy. Read the journal here.
Another article in Journal of Epilepsy Research offers class 1 evidence (the best type of scientific evidence) that CBD can be used to manage epilepsy. The article discusses a study that used double-blind trials to check if CBD could reduce seizures among patients suffering from a rare kind of epilepsy (Lennox-Gastaut syndrome).
The patients who received an oral solution of 20 mg per kg per day recorded a reduction of 42% in the number of seizures they were experiencing, which is quite a significant reduction. Check the evidence here.
There is even more clinical evidence here and here, in the reputable New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics respectively. Evidence that shows that cannabinoids found in cannabis oil can minimize or entirely eliminate epileptic seizures.
In short, there are plenty of scholarly articles online with studies that prove that epileptic seizures can be reduced using CBD oil.
Why are there no pharmaceutical drugs out there?
So for the longest time Cannabis oil was only extractable from marijuana which is illegal in many countries and therefore it was difficult for scientists to do conduct studies.
However, there is now a new and legal source of CBD by the name industrial hemp plant. Industrial hemp is a relative of the marijuana plant but has is not illegal in most countries in the West, unlike its marijuana cousin.
The coming into existence of this new source of CBD plus the viral nature of the stories about how patients have remarkably recovered are some of the reasons why pharmaceutical companies are now looking into making cannabidiol drugs. One such company is Greenwich Pharmaceuticals which is making Epidiolex to treat childhood and adolescence epilepsy.
What can you do in the meantime?
You can access concentrated and legal cannabis oil products from trusted companies such as CWhemp.com. And although the oils are sold as a dietary supplement, they have the same active ingredient that has been proved by research to be effective in significantly reducing epileptic seizures.
By trying a proper CBD oil, you can quickly know for sure if it will help you or your child. Remember the dose is also important. Review some of the research to see which kind of dosing can make a difference.
Moreover, always consult a physician before making such a medical decision. This will help prevent complications.