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In the media, Cannabidiol (CBD) is frequently discussed as a supplement to your morning coffee or post-workout smoothie. There even exists a sports bra with CBD in it. But precisely what is CBD? And why is CBD for Epilepsy getting popular?
What is CBD?
Cannabis sativa, referred to as cannabis or Hemp, contains cannabidiol (CBD). The Cannabis sativa plant contains more than 80 compounds called cannabinoids. In the 19th century, attempts were undertaken to separate the cannabis plant’s active components.
Hemp, a kind of the Cannabis sativa plant with only trace quantities of THC, the most well-known component of cannabis, is the primary source of CBD. These chemicals do have a variety of effects and interact with a variety of receptor systems in the human body. They interact with neuroreceptors in your endocannabinoid system, which delivers messages between your cells to assist regulate your mobility, mood, homeostasis, and immune system. As the commercial and medical markets for cannabis grow, selective breeding of cannabis plants has become more extensive and varied.
What is Epilepsy? – CBD for Epilepsy
When brain activity is irregular, seizures or periods of strange behaviour, sensations, and occasionally loss of awareness result. This condition is called epilepsy, a central nervous system (neurological) illness. Recurrent seizures are the defining feature of this chronic noncommunicable brain condition.
The smallest muscular jerks or concentration lapses can be seizures, as can severe and protracted convulsions. The number of attacks that occur might range from fewer than one per year to numerous daily.
Causes of Epilepsy
CBD for Epilepsy can have inherited and acquired causes, with both reasons frequently interacting. Known acquired causes include severe brain injuries, strokes, Tumours, and brain issues brought on by an earlier infection. About 60% of the time, there is no recognized cause. Nearly 30% of people with brain Tumours also have epilepsy, meaning they account for about 4% of instances.
Since many neurons do not typically fire simultaneously when signals move through the brain, brain electrical activity is usually non-synchronous; numerous elements in the cell’s environment and the neuron itself control neuron activity. A cluster of neurons starts firing abnormally, excessively, and synchronously during an epileptic episode. After firing, an excitatory neuron becomes more resistant to firing again. This is partly caused by adenosine’s harmful effects and the influence of inhibitory neurons.
In epilepsy, excitatory neurons are less resistant to fire during this time. Ion channel modifications or malfunctioning inhibitory neurons could be to blame for this. This leads to a “seizure focus,” a particular region from which seizures may originate.
Symptoms of Epilepsy
Seizures can disrupt any brain-coordinated process since epilepsy is brought on by aberrant brain activity. Various signs of attacks can occur. During a stroke, some people with epilepsy stare blankly for a brief period, while others continuously jerk their limbs or legs. Some seizure warning signs and symptoms include:
- Temporary Perplexity
- The Act of Staring
- Rigid Muscles
- Jerky, Uncontrollable Arm, and Leg Movements
- Loss of Awareness or Consciousness
- Psychological Signs like Worry, Terror or Déjà Vu
The mainstay of epilepsy treatment, AEDs, are designed to lessen seizures. AEDs generally reduce neuronal excitability by inhibiting the action of excitatory neurotransmitters like glutamic acid and boosting the activity of inhibitory neurotransmitters. While some AEDs only deactivate one voltage-
dependent channel, others deactivate both channels at once. Neuronal hyperexcitability is decreased as a result of both of these mechanisms.
The selection of medications largely depends on the classification of seizure type and epileptic condition. Effective seizure control is the key to a high quality of life for epileptic individuals. To maximize therapeutic effectiveness and prevent side effects, AED dosages must be customized.
Consequently, the danger of neurological sequelae must be reduced through safe and efficient therapy.
Epilepsy Data and Statistics
We have written accounts of CBD for Epilepsy that date as far back as 4000 BCE, making it one of the oldest documented medical diseases in the world. It is one of the most prevalent neurological diseases worldwide, affecting about 50 million individuals worldwide, including more than a million in India alone.
Nearly 80% of people living with epilepsy reside in low- and middle-income nations, and it is thought that up to 70% of them could avoid seizures if their condition were adequately identified and treated. According to estimates, 4 to 10 persons out of every 1000 people in the general population have active epilepsy (defined as having ongoing seizures or needing treatment).
Annual epilepsy diagnoses are thought to affect 5 million people worldwide. According to estimates, epilepsy affects 49 out of every 100,000 people in high-income countries. This rate can go as high as 139 per 100,000 in low- and middle-income nations.
Types of Epilepsy
Epilepsy can be divided into two main categories or groups: Focal Onset and Generalized Onset.
Understanding of Focal Epilepsy
Depending on how much of the brain is affected, focal seizures can begin in one area of the brain and extend to other regions, producing either moderate or severe symptoms. A person may initially have a few subtle signs, known as an aura. A rising sensation in the stomach, akin to being on a roller coaster, is what some people who have experienced an atmosphere describe.
More symptoms manifest as the seizure progresses across the brain. The person may feel puzzled or dazed and suffer mild shivering, muscle stiffness, or fumbling or chewing motions if the aberrant electrical activity affects a significant portion of the brain. Focal seizures that result in changes. Focused unaware seizures or complex partial seizures are focal seizures that alter awareness.
Understanding of Generalized Epilepsy
Although only a tiny percentage of those who experience generalized seizures have relatives who also suffer from the disorder, generalized seizures may have a genetic component. Children or other family members of a person with generalized seizures are slightly more likely to experience generalized seizures, albeit the severity of the attacks can vary from person to person. A cause of generalized seizures may be discovered by genetic testing.
Particularly in those with a hereditary propensity for them, sleep deprivation, or excessive alcohol use might heighten the excitatory response and raise the likelihood of generalized-onset seizures.
CBD and Epilepsy: The Relationship
The endocannabinoid system is a network of receptors and neurotransmitters in your body. This system is believed to assist in regulating immunological responses and bodily processes like eating, sleep, and pain. For its potential effectiveness in treating CBD for Epilepsy, the chemical CBD has been the subject of substantial research.
It is believed that CBD interacts with endocannabinoid system receptors to alter these processes. Currently, tuberous sclerosis complex and two uncommon kinds of epilepsy-related seizures can both be treated with CBD. According to some preliminary research, CBD may potentially be a successful treatment for several other types of epilepsy.
The precise mechanism through which CBD prevents seizures is unknown. The effectiveness of CBD Oil in treating seizures is still being studied. It has been demonstrated that CBD interacts with the G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) in the brain, which controls the flow of calcium into cells, inhibiting excitatory currents and causing seizure activity. The three ailments that CBD oil is FDA licensed to treat have been the subjects of the most thorough investigations.
More research is required to determine whether CBD is useful in treating other types of seizures. Early research, however, has produced some encouraging findings. According to the study, clobazam (Onfi), frequently prescribed to treat epilepsy, may work better when combined with CBD. Several data suggest CBD may also boost the effectiveness of some other antiepileptic medications. All the conducted research findings demonstrate the safety of CBD in combination with conventional AEDs.
Researchers concluded in a review of studies published in 2018 that CBD-rich cannabis products appear more beneficial than pure CBD at reducing seizure frequency, although further research is required. It was shown that individuals taking a commercial CBD product experienced a 70% rise in seizures compared to those receiving prescription CBD, who experienced a 39% decrease.
This might be because commercial CBD products contain more significant concentrations of THC, which can cause seizures. Even though there were only 31 participants in this small study, it does highlight how crucial it is to use a high-quality product that is accurately labelled. Epidiolex is held to strict production standards and has a constant dose because it has received FDA approval.
How to use CBD Oil to Treat Epilepsy
Working with a doctor is crucial when taking CBD oil to treat seizures. If CBD interferes with your existing prescriptions, your doctor can help you figure that out. According to research, some people experience more seizures after taking CBD. Your doctor can help you track the frequency of your attacks and decide whether CBD is the best treatment for you.
Your risk of suicide ideas and actions may rise if you use CBD along with other antiepileptic medications. Approximately 1 in 500 persons experience this. Your doctor can assist you in adequately adjusting the dosages of your prescription and CBD because it may increase or decrease the effectiveness of the seizure treatment. Unless your doctor advises you otherwise, you shouldn’t use CBD to treat any ailment in place of prescription drugs.
CBD as Medication – Legal or Illegal in India
As of 2019, the Indian government has legalized the use of cannabis leaf extracts and CBD with trace quantities of THC (under Ayurvedic medicine). The government forbids the use of cannabis flowers and flower extracts at the same time. Particularly concerning CBD, India’s legal system is a bit hazy.
Hemp, whose growth is only permitted with a specific license, is the primary source of CBD for Epilepsy. The NDPS Act, also known as the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, allows for the licensed sale of cannabinoids in India, including CBD oil, tincture, and various other products. It should be noted that none of the schedules of 1961, 1971, or 1988 United Nations International Drug Control Conventions includes cannabidiol.