A specialist clinic for the prescription of medical cannabis in Melbourne, Australia.
Treating Epilepsy with Medical Cannabis
Treatments tailored to you
Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions globally. Sufferers experience seizures that can vary from violent muscle spasms and fitting through to an apparent momentary lapse of awareness.
One seizure is not usually sufficient to diagnose epilepsy, and most people will experience at least two, unprovoked seizures before they are given an epilepsy diagnosis. The condition occurs in people of all races, ages, sexes and backgrounds.
Treatments for Epilepsy
As the symptoms of epilepsy vary dramatically between patients, so too do the effectiveness of treatments. Anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) are one of the most common treatments for epilepsy, and succeed in reducing or stopping epileptic seizures altogether for the majority of patients.
However, for around 30% of patients with partial epilepsy, and 25% with generalised epilepsy, this isn’t the case. Many continue to suffer refractory seizures that can have a significant impact on their quality of life1. AEDs are also unsuitable for use by pregnant women, and drugs including carbamazepine, valproate, lamotrigine and phenobarbital have been shown to increase congenital malformations in the fetus at certain dose rates2.
As a result, many patients seek alternative treatments for epilepsy; either as a means to complement their prescribed AEDs, seek relief from ongoing seizures or find alternatives to suit a change of lifestyle.
Medicinal Cannabis and Epilepsy
Medical cannabis, also known as Marijuana, is one such alternative therapy. This plant contains a number of naturally occurring chemical compounds (cannabinoids) many find can alleviate a range of common conditions, including epileptic seizures.
Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two most widely researched cannabinoids, and have been shown to have anti-seizure properties3. More critically for patients seeking ongoing treatment for epileptic seizures, CBD does not alter moods or create the ‘high’ most commonly associated with recreational cannabis use.
A recent review of the usefulness of medical marijuana as a supplementary treatment for drug-resistant epilepsy, found that patients treated with CBD experienced at least a 50% reduction in the frequency of their seizures. Their quality of life was also improved, and many reported that they felt more alert, slept better and had an improved appetite. This was true in adult patients as well as children, but it is worth noting that there is evidence to suggest kids with certain types of epilepsy respond much better to CBD than older patients4.
Supporting Epilepsy Patients at MediCannabis
At MediCannabis, our medical doctors, nurses and specialists in Melbourne are available to ensure you receive the support and guidance you need to meet your wellness goals.
There are a number of medical cannabis treatments available, ranging from CBD oils through to combinations of CBD and a variety of compounds in a number of forms. Some cannabinoids, including CBD, are known to interact with certain seizure medicines. As such, it is vital that you consult with one of our qualified medical professionals before embarking on a cannabis treatment programme for your seizures.
To book an appointment at our medical cannabis clinic in Port Melbourne, Victoria, please follow the link below.
If you would like more information, or if you have any questions about cannabinoid treatments for epilepsy, please call reception on (03) 9676 8888.
1 Xia, L., Ou, S., and Pan, S. 2017. Initial Response to Antiepileptic Drugs in Patients with Newly Diagnosed Epilepsy As a Predictor of Long-term Outcome. Frontiers in Neurology, 8:658.
2 Pennell, P.B. 2018. Prescribing antiepileptic drugs to women of reproductive age. The Lancet Neurology, 17 (6). pp. 485- 486.
3 Brodie, M.J. 2017. Cannabinoids for epilepsy: What do we know and where do we go? Epilepsia, 59 (2).
4 Stockings, et al., 2018. Evidence for cannabis and cannabinoids for epilepsy: a systematic review of controlled and observational evidence. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, 89 (7).
More Information on Medicinal Cannabis for Epilepsy in Australia
Official Medicinal Cannabis Guidance on Epilepsy from the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) of Australia