The medication was approved after several trials showed a significant reduction in seizures for people with these conditions (in combination with their existing anti-epilepsy drugs).
While CBD oil may provide some relief from seizures, it should always be taken with caution and under guidance from a medical professional. This is because of:
Cannabidiol – known as CBD – is a chemical found in cannabis plants and it is believed to help treat a number of conditions. It is different to THC, which is the chemical in marijuana that makes people feel ‘high’.
Buying CBD oil for seizures at health food stores
If you wish to purchase CBD oil for seizures, you should always speak with your doctor first. Research has shown that ‘artisanal’ CBD oil – which is legal but made by small companies – is much less effective than pharmaceutical grade CBD. So it is best to go with your doctor’s recommendation.
If you or someone you know has Dravet Syndrome or Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and you would like to use CBD oil for seizures, talk to your epilepsy specialist about using the drug.
Here is everything we know about CBD oil and seizures.
People have been using cannabis (also known as marijuana) to treat epilepsy for centuries. In the United States it only became legal to take marijuana products for medical reasons relatively recently. And, in 2018, a CBD oil for seizures called Epidiolex was approved by the FDA to treat certain epilepsy syndromes (CBD is a chemical found in cannabis plants).
Providers do not need a special license or certificate to prescribe Epidiolex. Epidiolex is the first and only plant-based treatment derived from cannabis for use as a treatment for seizures with FDA approval. Other formulations of medical cannabis have not been approved by the FDA.
This study showed that the addition of CBD to a traditional seizure medication decreased the frequency of drop seizures significantly in children and adults with LGS.
In May 2019, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) updated its guidelines on traveling with CBD products. When you fly, you can now carry on or pack in checked baggage products/medications that contain hemp-derived CBD (with less than 0.3% THC) or are approved by the FDA, such as Epidiolex.
Traveling with CBD Products
The Epilepsy Foundation urges anyone exploring any treatment for their epilepsy, as permitted under their state law, to work with their treating physician to make the best decisions for their own care.
Early evidence from laboratory studies, anecdotal reports, and small clinical studies over a number of years suggest that cannabidiol (CBD) could potentially help control seizures. Research on CBD has been hard to do and taken time due to federal regulations and limited access to cannabidiol. There are also many financial and time constraints. In recent years, a number of studies have shown the benefit of specific plant-based CBD product in treating specific groups of people with epilepsy who have not responded to traditional therapies.
Studies in the U.S. of Epidiolex (a plant-based CBD formulation) have been ongoing for a number of years. Data from these studies has helped provide evidence that led to the FDA approval of this product on June 25, 2018.
An Israeli study using a product that had 20 parts of CBD to 1 part of THC was performed in an open-label format for children up to age 18 years with hard to control epilepsy. A significant number of people reported seizure reduction with 7% stating seizures worsened.
Cannabis is made up of hundreds of different components. The most well known are two cannabinoids: CBD – cannabidiol – and THC – tetrahydrocannabinol. These are found naturally in the resin of the cannabis plant.
The Government has defined a cannabis-based product for medicinal use in humans as one that:
What is cannabis?
The BPNA guidance states that non-licensed medicinal cannabis should only be considered for children who:
The BPNA also recommends that where children are already taking other cannabis-based products that contain higher proportions of THC, they should be transitioned on to CBD until strong evidence for these products can be produced through clinical trials.
CBD does not contain any significant amount of THC, the component of cannabis associated with producing a ‘high’.