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Cannabidoil and Epilepsy

Updated on July 27, 2018
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Sara has been a Freelance Writer and Editor since 2007, currently in Cincinnati, OH. With a lifelong dream of writing this is it for her!


There are many assumptions and presumptions made about seizures and epilepsy. Many people are scared to fall in love or be close to anyone with seizures because of what they can or cannot control in relation to this “disease.” There are other misconceptions like those who have epilepsy are crazy or disabled, unable to live a normal life. So, many people run away from these individuals, even their families. I can state this from personal experience.

So, over the years there has been so much research done on new ways to treat epilepsy and the many different types of seizures that exist. For those of us who have epilepsy, and the doctors who study and treat it, there are electrical malfunctions that cause the different types of seizures that can be treated naturally by certain items. When fats or oils in the diet (like the Ketogenic diet) are a benefit to this electrical function, then there is the potential for CBD oil to be as well. Research has come to prove the effectiveness of CBD oil in controlling intensity and frequency of seizures.

CBD Oil as a Natural Epilepsy Treatment

So many studies have worked on the benefits of CBD oil for a number of different ailments and afflictions, and the study of epilepsy treatment is an interesting one. While the diagnoses of epilepsy are varied, the drugs that have been used over the years are also constantly changing. Recent research has proven a great effectiveness of CBD oil in epilepsy treatment.

While this research, or the “how” and “why” questions are not yet answered, the research of this treatment will continue. Considering the fact that this research has only been going on for a little over five years, it is incredible to think of where it may lead in the future. Especially given the side effects of many of the chemical drugs that have been used to treat epilepsy patients throughout the years.

History of Cannabidoil Research for Epilepsy

Reports were released as recently as 2013 that CBD oil had provided reduction of seizures in a 6-year-old girl from almost deadly levels to near zero. CBD, extracted from the cannabis plant so that it is not the producer of its natural high, reduced her seizure levels from 300 daily to only a few per month. Amazing results. In addition, her functions were recovered greatly, after almost complete disability. Imagine what this would be able to do for some people who are at that lower level to start with, and the potential to keep seizures under control. This is an especially important factor for epilepsy patients who have fought for years to find a prescription drug that will keep their seizures under control.

This is a battle that I have fought for well over half my life now. I have had doctors constantly telling me to change medications to a new on, even though an earlier prescription had kept my seizures under control for years when I was younger. And now there is much more to consider than prescriptions that seem to hit the market every day.

Question of Legality in the Use of CBD Oil for Epilepsy Treatment

Now, there has been a certain amount of medical marijuana, or cannabis, in its ability to treat epilepsy with a report published by the National Academy of Sciences earlier this year. Some patients have gone so far as moving across state lines to locations where the treatment is legal. And, luckily for some of them, the response has been incredible. While there is no reason to believe that it is a true treatment, it could definitely be a supplement, but researchers have taken a closer look into findings.

The panel has considered experimentation on animals and humans alike, helping to learn how cannabis will affect the brain. Starting with animal studies there were not many findings to show that human studies would be worthwhile, but given the benefits of medical marijuana on other illnesses the studies began. The largest group was 162 patients treated with 99% CBD oil for 12 weeks. Surprisingly enough, these sufferers had results as solid as existing epilepsy medications, reducing monthly episodes by over 36% in most cases.

Findings are Still Insufficient for Medical Proof

Basically there is not enough proof that cannabis is as effective as FDA-approved medications, or to keep it simple, the studies that have been completed are still too small. Also, there was no control group kept in these studies, and with all the patients knowing they were receiving the test drug there is no proof of the placebo effect. There is the potential that it is a mental or psychological expectation that could play into the results of some of these cases, especially for those who made a long-distance move to participate in the study.

The final reason it was hard to determine whether the study proved to have solid results was that many of the participants were still on their anti-seizure prescriptions, so drug interactions were not considered. It is hard to determine whether the results were a matter of the multiple drugs working together, or if the seizure reductions could be some sort of side effect of the interaction rather than a treatment effect from the CBD oil. Therefore, more controlled studies will need to be done before it is brought to the pharmaceutical market.

While many people like the idea of having a natural option for treatment it is extremely important to collaborate with your doctor before making any additions or changes like this in your treatment options. Especially with test medications and studies, be sure to get approval from your neurologist in order to make sure there are no drug interactions (especially dangerous) or other potential problems with a change.


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