Having seizures can be frightening and dangerous regardless of the cause. Scientists across the globe have carried out numerous research studies to establish potential links between seizures and marijuana. But, can weed cause seizures, or can it prevent it? Unlike many other psychotropic drugs, cannabis has not been linked to seizures. Scientific evidence shows that cannabinoids can help manage the excitability in the central nervous system that often triggers seizures.
Generally, the CBD component of weed is considered safer and more effective for treating seizures than the THC component. However, using marijuana off the street can be risky due to issues with ingredients, legal status, and drug interactions. Always consult with your doctor and only use the recommended medical marijuana (MMJ) with the right ingredients for treating seizures.
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What Are Seizures?
A seizure occurs when a person experiences abnormal electrical activity in the brain. It can be difficult to notice seizures in some individuals, and symptoms may be inconspicuous, such as the inability to break your stare for a short duration of time.
Common symptoms of seizures vary and may include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Jerking of arms or legs
- Emotional or cognitive changes
What Can Cause Seizures in Adults?
Epilepsy is the leading condition that causes seizures. It is a common neurological condition that is associated with recurrent seizures that happen due to a sudden thrust of electrical activity in the brain. This over-excitability results in a disruption in the communication between brain cells.
Over recent years, there has been a lot of research on seizures and epilepsy, and how weed impacts these conditions. Other than epileptic seizures, an individual may also experience generalized seizure which is associated with high fever, brain concussion, high or low blood sugar, or alcohol or drug withdrawal symptoms. But when someone has two or more seizures with no known cause, it is often diagnosed as epilepsy.
Other cases of seizure include:
- An imbalance of nerve-signaling chemicals in the brain (also known as neurotransmitters)
- Brain tumor
- Brain damage from injury or illness
Marijuana and Seizures
As already mentioned, cannabis products have not been linked to seizures. Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the components of weed, has actually been approved by the FDA to treat some types of seizures. However, taking marijuana bought on the street to treat seizures is dangerous since it may be laced with other ingredients with unknown seizure potential. Additionally, using marijuana alongside other psychoactive drugs such as PCP, K2, or Spice may heighten risks of seizure.
Can Medical Marijuana Treat Seizure Disorder?
Cannabis and its components may offer some relief for people with seizures. Even in ancient times, marijuana was used to manage seizure disorders. Modern medicine also recognizes weed’s potential in treating seizures. But what is the best weed for epilepsy?
The FDA has approved Epidiolex, a brand name product that contains CBD, as a treatment for epilepsy subtypes Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Recent studies have also shown the benefits of CBD in treating seizures.
However, most studies concluded that CBD may be safer and more effective in treating seizures than the psychoactive THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) constituent of marijuana. In many studies, CBD was prescribed alongside traditional anti-seizure medications, and the combination resulted in an improvement of seizures.
Doctors, however, warn that you should not try to self-medicate with weed if you have a history of epilepsy or seizures. Since it can be hard to control seizures through self-medication, you should first consult with your neurologist about medical cannabis for seizure treatment.
Get seizure treatment via marijuana strains. Click the button below to get your medical marijuana card.
How Does CBD Oil Stop Seizures?
Cannabinoids help treat seizures by binding to specific brain receptors known as CB1 and CB2. In turn, these brain receptors inhibit the release of certain neurotransmitters such as glutamate that often excite the central nervous system and trigger seizures. Some medical experts also think that cannabinoids may boost the effectiveness of traditional anti-seizure medications. CBD may also increase the concentration of some anti-seizure medications like clobazam in the body, making them more effective.
Can You Smoke while on Seizure Medication?
Studies surrounding CBD treatment for epilepsy have revealed some drug-to-drug interactions. More research is continually being done to examine these interactions, but from studies that have been concluded, people on valproic acid (VPA) medication had increases in their liver enzymes by up to three times or more than normal when they used anti-seizure medication.
When taken with CBD, the levels of VPA were not increased, meaning that a proportion or byproduct of VPA may negatively interact with CBD once it is broken down. As a result, it may put some people at high risk of liver issues.
Likewise, as clobazam (Onfi) is broken down, a larger component of the drug seems to interact with CBD in certain people. This may often trigger tiredness in some people who use both CBD and Onfi.
Can Smoking Cigarettes Cause Seizures?
Studies indicate that tobacco can alter the brain’s electrical signals and trigger a seizure. Nicotine is an addictive chemical found in tobacco that may also increase your risk of seizures. However, you can reduce your risks by cutting down on how much you smoke daily, or better yet, quit smoking. Using and abusing other recreational drugs such as dabs may also cause a seizure.
Can Edibles Cause Seizures?
CBD in edibles has demonstrated great anti-seizure effects, which suggests that it could be potential epilepsy or seizure treatment. A 2017 study actually cites evidence for the use of CBD-rich products to improve seizure control in people with specific epilepsy syndromes.
In fact, edibles are considered a safer way to ingest cannabis to control seizures. However, the specific edible you consume should contain high CBD as opposed to THC. More research is still necessary before edibles can be considered a safe and effective treatment for epilepsy.
Can Dabs Cause Seizures?
Cannabis use is steadily rising in the US, with new varieties of cannabis-related products becoming available on the market. Dabs are cannabis concentrates that have gained notoriety for their high amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Dabs are commonly vaporized and inhaled for their “high” effect. Many people typically use dabs for recreational purposes, but many clinicians warn of the significant adverse health effects associated with dabs, such as psychosis, cardiotoxicity, and neurotoxicity. Though many users assume that the substance is not addictive, it is very possible to become addicted or dependent on dabs.
Once the brain has adjusted to having THC in the system, it can result in withdrawal symptoms if the person stops marijuana use. So, dabs can ultimately worsen your seizure instead of treating it. Only CBD-rich marijuana products have been approved for seizure treatment. If you have seizures or epilepsy, always consult your physician to recommend the right medical cannabis product for treatment.
Medical cannabis can be used to stop seizures. Click the button below to get your medical marijuana card.
Get Your Medical Marijuana Card from MDBerry!
At MDBerry, we will be glad to evaluate your health situation and determine whether you can benefit from medical marijuana for seizure treatment. If that is the case, we will help you obtain your medical cannabis certification quickly and affordably. When you choose MDBerry, you can rest assured you are getting the best treatment possible. Our certified MMJ physicians are skilled and trained on how medical cannabis can benefit a wide array of health conditions.