In one survey, parents of children who suffer from treatment-resistant epilepsy and use CBD were asked about the benefits. 19 parents were included, 84% of which said that CBD reduced the frequency of seizures. Two parents said that CBD completely resolved seizures. Parents also reported improved alertness, sleep, and mood. Some side effects were drowsiness and fatigue .
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Recent studies – in addition to new medication options that include CBD – have also shown promising results in various forms of epilepsy, including Dravet Syndrome. In summary findings published by the U.S. National Library of medicine, multiple small clinical trials have shown that CBD is able to reduce the number of seizures and severity of seizures for those that experience specific forms of epilepsy on a regular basis. (9)
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The human body has an endocannabinoid system — a natural system that maintains homeostasis or balance, in the body. The endocannabinoid system has CB1 and CB2 receptors. These are found throughout the body. CB1 receptors are generally located in the central and peripheral nervous system and CB2 receptors are generally found in the brain, immune system, and gastrointestinal system. CBD binds to these receptors creating changes and effects in the body
Cannabidiol pharmacological effects are mediated through G protein coupled receptors, cannabinoid type I (CB1) and cannabinoid type II (CB2), which are highly expressed in the hippocampus and other parts of the central nervous system (2). When activated, CB1 receptors inhibit synaptic transmission through action on voltage-gated calcium and potassium channels, which are known to modulate epileptiform and seizure activity (3). CB2 receptors are primarily expressed in the immune system and have limited expression in the central nervous system. The effects of CBD are CB2 receptor independent (3).
A survey of patients seen in a tertiary epilepsy center found that 21% of patients admitted to using marijuana in the last year, and 24% of patients believed marijuana to be effective for their seizures (10). While interesting, this anecdotal observation does not rise to the level of evidence needed to evaluate a potential new therapeutic modality.