Roughly one-third of epilepsy patients have seizures that are resistant to traditional treatments. Medical marijuana may be used by patients who have trouble controlling their seizures through other methods.
WHAT IS EPILEPSY?
Epilepsy is a chronic disorder, which is marked by recurrent, unprovoked seizures. A person is diagnosed with epilepsy if they have two unprovoked seizures (or one unprovoked seizure with the likelihood of more) that were not caused by some understood and reversible medical condition like alcohol withdrawal or very low blood sugar.
The seizures in epilepsy may be genetic or come as a result of an injury, but often the cause is not known. A diagnosis of epilepsy does not reveal anything about a possible cause or the severity of the disorder. While epilepsy may develop at any age, it is most often diagnosed in children and adults over 60.
Individuals with epilepsy may find their symptoms improve or worsen over time. Some children outgrow the disorder entirely.
Some patients may experience more than one type of seizure, though the
- Focal (partial) seizures occur in a specific area of the brain, and are accompanied by confusion, temporary paralysis, repetitive movement, sensory changes, memory loss, or loss of awareness
- Generalized seizures involve the whole brain
- Grand mal (tonic-clonic) seizures are characterized by muscle spasms, jerking, twitching, and loss of consciousness
- Petit mal (absence) seizures occur over brief periods during which a person loses awareness of their surroundings; children have petit mal seizures more often than adults
HOW MEDICAL MARIJUANA HELPS EPILEPSY PATIENTS
the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a drug with an active ingredient derived from marijuana for the treatment of epilepsy in2018; Epidiolex. Designed to treat seizures resulting from two types of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, Epidiolexis a CBD extract from the cannabis plant administered as an oral spray.
Before being approved by the FDA, Epidiolex was put through several clinical trials to show the positive effect of using cannabis to treat epilepsy. 30 clinics participated in a placebo-controlled trial in which researchers found adding CBD to seizure medication reduced the rate of drop (or atonic) seizures.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb claimed that:
“This approval serves as a reminder that advancing sound development programs that properly evaluate active ingredients contained in marijuana can lead to important medical therapies.”
Before purchasing cannabis from a medical marijuana treatment center, Florida patients must first qualify for a medical marijuana certification; Mary J MD provides qualified patients with the state-required recommendation to complete this process.