Refractory epilepsy is an extremely severe form of epilepsy in which epileptic seizures are not controlled by medication. Epilepsy Foundation defines it as, “having refractory seizures if treatment fails to achieve seizure freedom for 12 months or more, for whatever reason (1). The generally accepted definition of refractory seizures was proposed by Berg: failure of two or more drugs and occurrence of one or more seizures per month over 18 months (2).” Researchers suggest that those who are affected by refractory epilepsy, most commonly children, likely have an underlying problem in the brain. This form of epilepsy is usually caused by a lesion or a tumor in the brain that causes such abnormal transmissions. Because of this, medicine will not control the seizures. In fact, doctors actually hope that the problem is a tumor, as it is commonly benign and can be removed, which is followed with a recovery. However, this is not always the case for epileptics and modern research needs to be upheld.  

Refractory epilepsy is developed by one in three epileptics. It isn’t a surprise that the patients who hear this news panic. Luckily, there is some promising research in what CBD, also known as cannabidiol, can do for epilepsy and the consequential seizures.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol is one of the hundred plus cannabinoids in the hemp/marijuana plant that hold some of the many medical benefits. Even though CBD is just one cannabinoid, there are many others that propose specific health benefits. Not to be confused with THC, which is the psychoactive component in marijuana? CBD, however, is non-psychoactive and is largely extracted from the hemp plant. So what can CBD do for epilepsy?

CBD and Epilepsy

CBD has been classified as an anticonvulsant in the medical field. The National Center for Biotechnology Information has conducted many studies on the relationship, and one study found that more that nearly 50% of patients with refractory epilepsy involved achieved greater than 50% reduction of seizure frequencies, even compared with that of a placebo. CBD works directly with your endocannabinoid system by regulating and monitoring changes in the body. It primarily works with CB2 receptors in the brain, which is also associated with G transmission receptors. These receptors are responsible for cellular communication. Epileptics have an over stimulating amount of electric impulses which can trigger a seizure. According to a study published by NCBI, CBD efficiently works with CB2 receptors which have the capability in monitoring these impulses. Medically speaking, this is promising. Research is being done everyday with the relationship of CBD and epilepsy, and it’s quite promising even for those who suffer from refractory epilepsy.

If your physician has told you that your condition is not responding to epilepsy, he may share options with you that may include premium CBD. Remember that CBD does in fact interact with other medications, so be sure to ask if CBD could be a good choice for you.