According to the CDC estimates, there are at least 3.4 million people living with epilepsy in the United States. This disorder can develop in any person at any age. One in 26 Americans will develop epilepsy in their lifetime. Medical cannabis has shown promise in treating epilepsy without the adverse side effects of traditional medications. There are patients at Orange County medical marijuana dispensaries who report that medical cannabis reduced their seizures and alleviated the symptoms.
For those seeking a safe and effective treatment, understanding epilepsy and how medical marijuana can help are the first steps in finding a suitable treatment option.
What is epilepsy?
Also called ‘’seizure disorder’’, epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological condition. Only migraine, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease occur more frequently. Epilepsy is a chronic disorder characterized by recurrent and unpredictable seizures.
Epileptic seizures result from abnormal electric signals in the brain that change the way the body functions. Though an isolated incident such as infection, head injury or brain inflammation can lead to epilepsy, in about 75 percent of patients, the cause is unknown.
There are many causes and many different types of seizures, affecting people in very different ways. They vary in manifestation, severity, and duration. Seizures can cause loss of consciousness or control and massive muscle contractions. This can be dangerous and lead to falls and other types of accidents if, for example, the person is behind the wheel.
People suffering from epilepsy face both physical and social challenges. Transportation and work limitations are just some of them. The goal of those who visit Orange County medical marijuana dispensaries is to alleviate the seizures to avoid these difficulties and restore balance in their lives.
Current treatment for epilepsy
Treating epilepsy can be hard given that each case is different. The symptoms and seizures vary from one patient to the next. Usually, they are treated with medications like anticonvulsants. Certain patients need to take a combination of various drugs to treat epilepsy effectively, while a small percentage must undergo surgery.
According to Mayo Clinic, about 80 percent of patients can treat epilepsy with these traditional methods. However, epileptic medications often come with many dangerous side effects difficult to handle, such as memory and speech problems, sleep disturbances, double vision, dizziness, skin rashes, irritability, mood swings, bone density loss, etc. There is also the remaining 20 percent of patients who cannot find relief and need a different approach.
Medical marijuana as an effective treatment
Epileptics who are looking for an effective alternative to traditional treatment or cannot tolerate anti-seizure drugs have found huge relief from medical cannabis. Ingested on its own or combined with other medications, medical marijuana has helped the patients successfully control the seizures and other symptoms.
Cannabinoids found in marijuana, primarily THC and CBD, bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors located in different areas of the body, as well as the brain. These receptors are a part the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is tied to the nervous system and the immune system. ECShelps regulate numerous bodily functions, such as anxiety level, sleep, cognition, appetite, etc.
When cannabinoids activate the CB1 and CB2 receptors, they block the transmission of painsignals, regulate the mood and other functions modulated by ECS, and exert protective and anti-inflammatory effects.
Cannabidiol (CBD) against seizures
Cannabidiol (CBD), which doesn’t exert psychoactive effects like THC, has shown positive effects on certain body systems and can affect them in a way that helps reduce seizures. Evidence of the effectiveness of cannabis and CBD against treatment-resistant epilepsy is growing. There are also many ongoing studies dedicated to determining the how exactly cannabis works in patients with epilepsy.
Given that the symptoms of epilepsy differ from patient to patient, some people may respond well to CBD alone, while others may prefer indica strains, which generally contain more CBD but include THC, as well.
On the other hand, sativa doesn’t contain as much CBD but provides some patients with the alleviation of spasms and seizures. Some researchers believe that the combination of CBD and THC can suppress seizures by creating an entourage effect.
The Best Among Orange County Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
If you are looking for relief from epilepsy or any seizure disorder, visit People’s OC, the largest and the best among Orange County medical marijuana dispensaries.