Does Weed Help With Seizures? Relief & Benefits
This post is part of our Best Dispensaries in Arizona series, brought to you by SWC Arizona.
Disclaimer: The content provided in this article is intended for informational purposes only and not as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms related to seizures, it is imperative to seek immediate medical attention.
Seizures can happen for many different reasons and can produce a wide range of symptoms.
In general, seizures are a temporary medical event caused by excessive electrical activity in the brain.
The effects of a seizure can vary but commonly involve temporary confusion, muscle spasms, jerky movements, unexplained emotional outbursts, abnormal sensations, and/or loss of consciousness.
Some seizures are “provoked” by an underlying medical event—such as low blood sugar or intoxication. But the majority of seizures, classified as “unprovoked,” are related to a brain disorder known as epilepsy. Unprovoked seizures related to epilepsy can occur at varying frequencies throughout one’s lifetime.
Seizures can be alarming and dangerous events, so it’s critical for those experiencing them to consult with a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
While epileptic seizures are a complex medical phenomena, there are many effective treatments to prevent or control them—such as anti-epileptic drugs, surgery, medical devices, and dietary changes.
In recent years, many within the medical community have explored the potential of using cannabis for seizures. But with limited evidence, many remain curious: Does weed help with seizures? And if so, how?
Although the research isn’t yet conclusive, here’s a closer look at marijuana as a potential treatment for epileptic seizures.
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How Does Weed Help With Seizures?
Does weed help with seizures? Based on what’s known today, the answer isn’t a simple “yes” or “no.” Instead, it’s better to look at how marijuana works with the body—and how those effects can impact people with epilepsy.
Marijuana contains a variety of compounds, known as cannabinoids, that bind to receptors in the brain when consumed. The most common cannabinoids are known as THC and CBD.
THC produces psychoactive effects that may make a person feel “high.” CBD doesn’t produce these effects, but can still bind to receptors that influence brain and body responses—such as by minimizing pain and inflammation.
THC is not heavily associated with benefiting seizures. However, there is evidence to suggest that CBD can help with seizures when paired with careful oversight from a medical provider.
The Role of Cannabis in Alleviating Symptoms of Seizures
Although there are many seizure medications available, some epileptic people are resistant to these treatments. Cannabis products can be an attractive option for those seeking alternative, more effective seizure treatments.
Research suggests the CBD can block signals that increase activity in the brain, which can prompt seizures in those with epilepsy. The FDA has not approved recreational or medical marijuana for epilepsy treatment.
However, a CBD prescription drug known as Epidiolex is approved to treat limited cases of epilepsy. This drug is taken on a regular basis to prevent or reduce seizure occurrences.
Given weed’s influence on brain activity, many also ask: Can marijuana cause seizures?
Although the evidence is unclear, there isn’t a lot to suggest that consuming weed can lead to seizures. Still, it’s important to note that people respond to weed differently. So if you’re curious about using weed as someone prone to seizures, it’s critical to discuss the potential risks with a trusted doctor.
Is Smoking The Only Way To Use Weed To Treat Seizures?
Currently, smoking weed is not found to be an effective way to treat seizures. With the research findings available, CBD oil is the most popular method of using cannabis as a possible additional therapy for seizure management. CBD oil is typically consumed orally as a liquid solution. The proper dosage for this treatment option (and whether it should be used at all) would need to be determined by a medical specialist.
Best Strains For Treating Seizures
When people want to use marijuana for medical reasons, there are many potential strains to choose from. Since CBD is the main marijuana compound known to potentially benefit seizures, the top cannabis strains for epilepsy would likely be those that are higher in CBD than THC.
But in most cases, a doctor may recommend starting with a CBD oil product for epilepsy, which likely won’t be associated with any particular strain. In these cases, a person would need to consider the different types of CBD products to choose from.
There are three main types of CBD products: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate. Full-spectrum contains all compounds of the cannabis plant, including THC. Broad-spectrum contains all plant compounds, except THC. Isolate products only contain CBD and no other cannabis compounds.
In cases where a person wants to use CBD—and not THC—to treat seizures, they will want to focus on broad-spectrum and isolate products.
Is Sativa or Indica Better For Seizures?
There isn’t a lot of evidence to suggest whether sativa or indica cannabis strains are better for seizures.
However, it’s always good to know what effects each of these types of marijuana can produce.
Specifically, sativa-dominant strains are more commonly known to produce energetic feelings. Indica strains, on the other hand, tend to have a calming and relaxing effect. Based on these effects, indica may be more preferable for a person who experiences seizures.
How To Purchase Marijuana
If you’re curious about buying cannabis products, make sure to check your state’s laws on the matter. In many states, including Arizona, adults who are 21 years or older can legally purchase both recreational and medical marijuana from a qualified dispensary.
With locations in Tempe and Prescott, SWC Arizona is a top dispensary specializing in medical cannabis solutions. Stocked with a wide range of cannabis products, this medical dispensary in Arizona can introduce you to many avenues for treatment—including CBD oil. Whether you’re new to cannabis for health or an experienced user, their friendly staff will knowledgeably guide you to top solutions for your specific health concerns, as well as provide advice for use.
Key Takeaways On Weed And Seizures
- Does weed help with seizures? Medical research hasn’t conclusively proven that it does. However, there is considerable evidence that suggests cannabis products—particularly CBD—might reduce or prevent seizures in some individuals.
- Seizures are a complex medical matter. Any person considering cannabis as a treatment method should discuss the risks and benefits with a qualified medical professional.
- When considering marijuana strains for seizure management, those that are higher in CBD (as opposed to THC) might be the most effective. And in many cases, individuals may benefit most from CBD products that do not contain THC.
Cannabis is thought to offer many expansive benefits for health. While there are many questions remaining on how marijuana can benefit individuals with seizures, this alternative treatment still holds a lot of promise. If you have epilepsy, or another condition associated with seizure risk, talk to your healthcare team about using CBD or other cannabis products as treatment.
And once you’re ready to explore cannabis solutions for seizure management, you can count on a local medical dispensary—such as SWC Arizona—to provide the support you need to find the best solutions for your specific needs.
Media credits: Images of weed for seizures concepts in this article are copyright of LaJolla.com.