Medical Marijuana and its Benefits for Patients with Epilepsy
Nowadays, traditional treatments for chronic diseases tend to bring with them invasive and severe side effects. As medical cannabis delivers treatments with low-risk side effects, it has changed lives across Canada, giving them primarily hope and returning the quality of life patients dealing with epilepsy deserve. Developing knowledge regarding medical cannabis for epilepsy is important in order to assist and determine if it is a suitable treatment for yourself or a loved one.
What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a chronic, neurological condition characterized by recurring seizures of variable intensity and effect. A seizure occurs when abnormal electrical disturbance appears in specific regions of the brain, where neurons’ impulse rate can drastically rise up causing an involuntary change in the person’s awareness or behavior. Epileptic seizures may come in blackouts, involuntary movement of both arms and legs, and distorted perceptions. Afterwards, the patient suffers extreme fatigue.
Epilepsy is diagnosed when a person has experienced two or more seizures that aren’t related to another condition. It is important to recall that epilepsy is not a mental illness, but rather a physical condition.
One of the things that make epilepsy a really difficult condition to deal with is that each patient is different from the others, as they experience a certain type of seizure and specific symptoms that may not be the same as others with the same type of seizure experience. Even though the patient might not share the seizure symptoms with other cases, we can identify specific symptoms that constantly appear in a repeated pattern during episodes, such as:
- Staring into space for an extended period
- Loss of consciousness
- Uncontrollable shaking in the extremities
- Loss of muscle tone
- Abdominal discomfort
- Mood changes
- Flashing lights
- Changes in your senses, including how things look, smell, taste, sound or feel
- Repetitive movements
- Impaired speech
The reality is that epilepsy goes beyond the symptoms listed before; this condition often disrupts the daily life of the patients due to the risk of suffering a seizure at any time of the day. In consequence, daily routines often rely on someone else since some of the patients aren’t able to drive or realize other common activities. Simple activities become dangerous, and the patient’s life is invaded.
Medical Cannabis Treatment for Epilepsy
Epilepsy results to be highly responsive to the components in cannabis that is why medical marijuana is a reliable treatment for this condition. Patients often find a relief while being treated with medical cannabis; methods can differ between only being treated with medical cannabis or adding other traditional anticonvulsant medications. Due to the severeness of certain traditional medications, patients have leaned towards medical marijuana which alleviates in a more controlled way their seizures.
The cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant affect the cannabinoid receptors that we all have in our bodies. For instance, cannabidiol, is a substance that may alleviate the body from suffering seizures. In contrast with the other components found in cannabis, CBD does not cause psychoactive effects. This allows patients to live with fewer seizures on their daily basis without feeling “high”.
The main benefit from treating epilepsy with medical cannabis is that patients can gain control over their seizure symptoms. Along with the flexibility of the treatment, which for a condition such as epilepsy is very useful since as every patient’s symptoms vary, the treatment can be suitable for their specific circumstances. Meaning that certain strains may be adequate for each case, this adaptability usually comforts the patient’s situation. A physician can evaluate your medical needs to determine which strain of marijuana is best for your particular situation.
If you are looking to start a medical marijuana treatment for any condition, we recommend that you do not self-medicate and approach the experts for the treatment to be successful.
Get in touch today and we’ll connect you with the right qualified physician covered by Alberta Health, and Health Canada Approved Licensed Producers.
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