Everything You Need to Know about Medical Marijuana and Epilepsy

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

The use of medical marijuana for treating epilepsy and other seizure disorders is nothing new. In fact, before the prohibition of marijuana, marijuana was one of the most commonly prescribed treatment options for controlling epileptic seizures. Now, as states trend towards legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes once again, medical marijuana is regaining popularity as a treatment option for epilepsy. A study conducted in 2004 found 20% of epileptic Canadians used cannabis to control their seizure regularly with noticeable improvements in both severity and frequency of their symptoms. No participants reported their symptoms worsening.

Many attribute cannabis' success as a treatment option for controlling seizures to the plant's cannabinoids, which interact with the human endocannabinoid system to produce therapeutic results. Research has shown that the cannabinoid CBD is more effective in controlling seizure episodes than THC due to the fact CBD acts as a strong anticonvulsant without the potential of increasing seizure episodes, which THC has at times reportedly done. Medical marijuana has generally  been deemed as effective in the treatment of epilepsy as traditional pharmaceutical treatments, and in some cases even more so, thus making it a potential treatment option for cases in which traditional medicines have failed. 

This information has been provided by the Medicinal Marijuana Association and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.