CBD oil for Seizures and Epilepsy in 2022 Gleb Oleinik is a freelance health writer and Journalist from Vancouver, Canada. He’s read thousands of research studies about various supplement CBD Products May Help People with Epilepsy Better Tolerate Anti-Seizure Medications Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers have shown that CBD may reduce the adverse effects associated with
CBD oil for Seizures and Epilepsy in 2022
Gleb Oleinik is a freelance health writer and Journalist from Vancouver, Canada. He’s read thousands of research studies about various supplement ingredients, enabling him to translate complex health information into simple language. Gleb specializes in CBD and has personally tried and reviewed dozens of CBD products. He’s knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the CBD industry as well as the science and research behind this popular natural remedy.
- Leafreport’s mission is to provide accurate, objective, and valuable content for CBD, which is why we’re transparent about our review process and how we rate products and brands. We may receive compensation. Here’s how we make money.
- Our review is consumer-focused only and we do not check or take a stand regarding medical effects.
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- Please advise your physician prior to each use of CBD.
Some people turn to CBD as an alternative treatment for seizures and epilepsy.
Although most of the high-quality research evidence is limited to rare, severe types of treatment-resistant epilepsy, studies suggest that CBD has antiepileptic effects.
The only problem is that choosing the right CBD oil for seizures can be difficult. You have to look for high-quality products that contain the right type and amount of CBD.
That’s why we compared dozens of brands to find the best CBD products for seizures and epilepsy.
What does science say about CBD, seizures, and epilepsy?
Rigorous clinical trials have shown that CBD can relieve epileptic seizures associated with three severe types of childhood epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), Dravet syndrome, and tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC):
- In one 2017 study of children with Dravet syndrome, CBD significantly reduced seizures, with 5% of patients becoming seizure-free
- In a 2018 study of children and adults with LGS, CBD led to a significant reduction (average reduction was 43.9% fewer) in seizures
- In a 2021 study of children with TSC, CBD treatment significantly reduced seizures compared to placebo
- A 2018 review paper found that CBD-rich, whole-plant cannabis extracts were up to four times more effective at improving treatment-resistant epileptic seizures than pure CBD, and also produced fewer side effects
The evidence is so convincing that the FDA approved the pure CBD drug Epidiolex for treating these three types of epilepsy. However, more studies are needed to substantiate CBD’s efficacy in other types of seizures.
How we chose these products
We review and compare hundreds of CBD products from dozens of brands based on price, hemp quality, transparency, reputation, and other criteria.
We also consider factors relevant to seizures. For example, we only recommend high-potency products because seizures typically require high doses of CBD.
For a full explanation of how we choose products for our best lists, check out this page.
All of our content is written and reviewed by a team of medical doctors, nurse practitioners, nutritionists, and other health experts knowledgeable about CBD and cannabis.
Why should you trust us?
Unlike other review sites, Leafreport uses a standardized rating system to give every CBD product and brand an unbiased rating out of 100 points.
This score is calculated by using our database, which collects third-party lab test results, prices, additional ingredients, extract types, and other data for more than 3000 products.
We also act as a CBD industry watchdog by doing our own independent investigations.
For example, we send CBD products for testing at an independent lab and publish our findings in market reports. We also collect and publish data on CBD prices to help you make an informed choice.
CBD Products May Help People with Epilepsy Better Tolerate Anti-Seizure Medications
Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers have shown that CBD may reduce the adverse effects associated with anti-seizure medications, and seems to improve other aspects of health and quality of life for patients with epilepsy. Credit: Public domain image
Artisanal (non-pharmaceutical) cannabidiol (CBD) products have become popular in recent years for their apparent therapeutic effects. CBD — a naturally occurring compound of the cannabis plant legally derived from hemp — is used widely as a naturopathic remedy for a number of health conditions, including epilepsy and seizure disorders. Now, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers, in collaboration with the Realm of Caring Foundation and other institutions, have conducted an observational study with participant-reported data to better understand the impact these products may have on people with epilepsy.
They found that CBD may reduce the adverse effects associated with anti-seizure medications, and seems to improve other aspects of health and quality of life for patients.
“The potential of CBD products for the treatment of seizure disorders goes beyond seizure control alone,” says Ryan Vandrey, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “In our study, we saw clinically significant improvements in anxiety, depression and sleep when patients with epilepsy initiated therapeutic use of artisanal CBD products.”
Epilepsy, one of the most common nervous system disorders affecting people of all ages, is a neurological condition characterized by recurrent seizures. Treatment for epilepsy includes anti-seizure medications and diet therapy, such as forms of the ketogenic diet. Surgery may be an alternative treatment, especially when medications or diet fail to control seizures, or if drug side effects — including dizziness, nausea, headache, fatigue, vertigo and blurred vision — are too difficult for a patient to tolerate.
Epidiolex, a pharmaceutical formulation of CBD is approved by the FDA to treat three types of rare seizure disorders (Dravet syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and tuberous sclerosis complex), but is not approved for the many other types of epilepsy. As a result, patients with other forms of epilepsy often seek alternative forms of CBD, including those evaluated in the new study.
For their evaluation, the researchers analyzed data gathered between April 2016 and July 2020 from 418 participants — 230 women and 188 men — with 205 (49%) at least age 18 and 213 (51%) age 18 or younger. The participants included 71 adults with epilepsy who used artisanal CBD products for medicinal purposes and 209 who were caregivers of children or dependent adults to whom artisanal CBD products were given. The control group consisted of 29 adults with epilepsy who were considering the use of CBD products and 109 caregivers who were considering it for a dependent child or adult patient.
Participants completed a web-based survey that included questions regarding quality of life, anxiety and depression, and sleep. They were prompted via email to complete follow-up surveys at three-month intervals for 14 months.
Compared with the control group, artisanal CBD users reported lower epilepsy medication-related adverse effects (13% lower) and had greater psychological health satisfaction (21% greater) at the beginning of the study. They also reported lower anxiety (19% lower) and depression (17% lower).
Both adult and youth (18 years or younger) CBD users reported better quality sleep, compared with their peers in the control groups.
Caregivers of patients currently using CBD products reported significantly less burden and stress, compared with caregivers in the control group (13% less).
Importantly, 27 patients in the control group at the start of the study started using artisanal CBD products later in the study. After starting CBD, these patients reported significant improvements in physical and psychological health, as well as reductions in anxiety and depression.
Participants also were asked about possible adverse effects related to their CBD use. Among the 280 users, the majority (79%) did not report any adverse effects. The remaining reported negative factors such as drowsiness (11%), high or prohibitive product cost (4%), worsening of epilepsy symptoms (4%), concerns about legal issues (3%) and worries about problematic drug interactions (1%).
Vandrey says further research is needed to understand how these findings can best be applied to helping people with epilepsy. In the interim, he says, patients should consult with their physician before trying CBD products.
“Our hope is to do controlled clinical trials to better inform clinical decision making and identify specific formulations that are most beneficial to patients,” he says.