Thanks to the advancement of research and the overwhelming support across the United States, medical marijuana has become a viable alternative treatment option for epileptic management in drug-resistant patients.
Research indicates the CBD-enriched cannabis oils show promise in reducing seizures that cannot be controlled with standard anti-convulsant drugs. But can medical marijuana help treat intractable seizures? Has its effectiveness been proven?
Below you will find an overview of the disease, common symptoms, and how cannabis can help treat those who are suffering from intractable seizures.
Overview of Intractable Seizures
Intractable Seizures are a disabling condition characterized by epileptic seizures that cannot be controlled by medication. The episodes are frequent, severe, and impair the overall quality of life. According to experts, nearly 1/3 of the patients with epilepsy will develop intractable epilepsy, also called drug-resistant epilepsy or refractory epilepsy.
The diagnosis is tricky and can be difficult. Most doctors evaluate the patient’s medical history and ask detailed questions about the onset of seizures, duration, and symptoms to get a better idea of the condition. Neurological exams and tests like a CT scan, high-resolution MRI, and an electroencephalogram (EEG) are conducted to examine the electrical activity of the brain to identify the type of seizures.
The exact cause of intractable epilepsy is ambiguous. However, experts theorize that genetics, brain damage, injury, certain illnesses, developmental disorders, or structural changes may be the main causes of intractable seizures.
- Epilepsy is the 4th most common neurological problem in the world
- Refractory epilepsy affects 30% of patients with epilepsy worldwide
- Data from the CDC reveals that around three million adults and about half a million children are suffering from epilepsy in the United States
- 1/26 people are likely to develop this disorder at some point in their life
- The occurrence of epilepsy is higher in young children and older adults
Common Symptoms of Intractable Seizures
Patients with refractory epilepsy may have primary or partial seizures. The former involves both sides of the brain while the latter starts on a small part of the brain and then spreads out. Some of the common symptoms associated with intractable seizures include the following:
- Convulsions, or jerking of movements
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Loss of consciousness
- Muscle rigidness
- Tremors or twitching
- Tongue biting
- Staring into space
Qualifying Conditions of Intractable Seizures
Upon experiencing a seizure with any of the above symptoms, it’s imperative to consult a doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions and undertake the necessary tests for an accurate diagnosis. If uncontrolled convulsions persist despite taking anti-seizure medication, the condition qualifies for cannabis-derived therapy. See below for the most common qualifying conditions:
- Atypical febrile seizures
- Benign rolandic epilepsy
- Complex febrile convulsions
- Complex febrile seizures
- Complicated febrile seizures
- Focal motor seizures
- Generalized seizures
- Rolandic seizures
- Paroxysmal attacks
- Status epilepticus
Medical Marijuana Treatment for Intractable Seizures
Medical marijuana and cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound of cannabis, have been found to be effective for treating this complex disease. Medical marijuana is effective in reducing the frequency of seizures enabling a gradual decrease in the dosages of antiepileptic drugs. In some cases, patients experienced complete seizure remission. Though research supporting cannabis as an alternative treatment option for intractable epilepsy is still relatively new, multiple anecdotal testimonies corroborate its effectiveness in controlling seizures.
Below are a few outcomes from medical marijuana treatment:
- The treatment was effective and well-tolerated by patients
- A drop in the frequency, duration, and intensity of primary and intractable partial seizures
- Mild side-effects, the most common being nausea, fatigue, and fever
- Boost in the overall quality of life
- Enhancement in mood
- Increase in cognitive structure
- Improvement in sleep, stress, anxiety, and aggression
- Cut in the dosage of antiepileptic medication
- Strains with high levels of CBD are the best treatment options for neuropathy and epilepsy
While cannabis represents a sense of hope for patients with an extreme form of epilepsy, there is a need for larger scientific studies to substantiate its ability to treat the neurologic disorder and its related comorbidities.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana for Opioid Use Disorder
Given that marijuana is a controlled substance prohibited by the federal government, the possession of medical marijuana identification (ID) cards for the affliction is vital to avoid any potential civil and criminal penalties at the state level. The procedure for getting the card for marijuana usage is simple:
- Patients with symptoms of Intractable Seizures will need a signed copy of the physician’s recommendation and proof of residency of the state can register online for an appointment to start the approval process
- This involves a review of the medical history, followed by discussions, and an examination by a doctor to confirm his/her condition meets the criteria for treatment
- Once a card has been obtained, the registered user can buy effective strains of accurately labeled marijuana products through state-approved dispensaries, and health clinics without any fear of facing legal issues, potential fines or jail time
Are you looking to get a medical marijuana card for yourself or for someone you care for? Contact us today at 888-316-9085 or email@example.com.