Let’s take a look at the 3 best cannabis strains for epilepsy treatment. For those interested in medical marijuana, finding the best cannabis strain for epilepsy is never an easy undertaking. Others might ask whether cannabis for epilepsy works. One question addresses this issue appropriately:
Will you sit and watch your child or loved one endure relentless seizures because no medical cure is working?
Almost 33% of people with epilepsy develop the intractable nature of the disease. This just means that the affected people rarely respond to any conventional treatment. That’s where marijuana for epilepsy comes in.
What Science has to say
The use of marijuana for the treatment of various medical conditions goes back to Queen Victorian times. As for epilepsy, not much was heard of until the story of Charlotte Figi surfaced on the internet in 2013. Since then, there has been a tremendous effort made to make cannabis accessible to epilepsy patients in dire need of it.
Cannabidiol is one of the over 100 phytocannabinoids found in hemp and marijuana plants. In 2018, the FDA approved the first CBD based drug for the treatment of severe forms of epilepsy. Preceding this, a clinical study was conducted to investigate the CBD-epilepsy relationship. The results which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2018 showed a positive correlation.
This means that CBD was able to “decrease the frequency of drop seizures significantly in children and adults with epilepsy.”
Medical Cannabis Strain for epilepsy: What to Look For
Marijuana strains are not created equal. This is something that creates confusion among patients and clinicians as well. Weed strains differ in many ways depending on their genetics and other factors.
The best strains to treat epilepsy should have high amounts of CBD. Other factors to consider include:
A balance between indica and sativa.
Low amounts of THC
Presence of terpenes such as linalool that have anti-seizure effects
Best Cannabis Strains For Epilepsy
1. Charlotte’s Web
Charlotte’s Web is one of the most popular marijuana strains, especially in the medicinal cannabis community. It’s an indica-dominant hybrid with 60% indica and 40% Sativa. Sativas are good for mental stimulation while indicas tend to relax the body. With this ratio, the effects of this strain are pretty much balanced. Charlotte’s web contains up to 20% CBD and a meager 1% THC.
There is a touching story to this strain that will help you understand why it’s the #1 weed strain for treating seizures.
In 2006, a young girl, 3 months old by then, had her first seizure episode that lasted for half an hour. Her name is Charlotte Figi. As she grew older, the frequency and intensity of the seizures increased to a point where her doctors had nothing more to offer. By this time she was five years old
Her grandfather who had been researching for a “miracle cure” online stumbled upon cannabis testimonials. With no options left, the family started Charlotte on the same treatment and she responded so well that her story made headlines on CNN news in 2013. As they say, the rest is history.
ACDC is similar to Charlotte’s web in many ways. It has high CBD and low THC. The strain is a cross between Ruderalis and Cannatonic, both are popular strains.
With less than 1% THC, this is not a favorite strain for recreational users. However, it is perfect for those seeking healing benefits without wanting to get intoxicated. Being a balanced Sativa/ indica strain, ACDC is well tolerated by most patients.
Most phenotypes will boast up to 20% CBD, making this a good strain for treating seizures and epilepsy.
3. Ringo’s Gift
The breeders of this CBD packed strain is unknown. However, the strain is believed to be a cross between ACDC and Harle-Tsu. The strain is a Sativa dominant hybrid with 60% Sativa and 40% indica.
Expect to have a mild head buzz and moderate body hit after taking this strain. Fortunately, the THC amounts never go beyond 1%, this makes it impossible to get high on this strain.
Anyone seeking relief from epilepsy can make use of this high CBD strain with a very balanced body and mind effects.
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Common Question Patients Ask About Weed Strains For Epilepsy
1. Will CBD for epilepsy make me high?
It is highly unlikely that any of the epilepsy strains mentioned above will alter your mental status. THC is the phytocannabinoid in weed that is responsible for the typical marijuana high. It takes about 20mg of THC to get a significant cerebral buzz. Given the low THC concentrations in these strains, consuming 20mg of THC would mean consuming a whole lot of weed. Secondly, studies have shown that CBD can counteract the psychoactive effects of THC. With these facts into consideration, the answer is no!
2. What are the side effects of CBD?
In some people, CBD may cause mild side effects such as sleepiness, diarrhea, poor appetite, and fatigue. Should you experience any negative side effects, stop taking the CBD and consult your healthcare provider.
3. Can I take CBD with other meds?
CBD may interact with some other seizure medicines such as valproic acid (VPA). Should this happen, the patient may be at risk for liver problems. Also, CBD may interact with Clobazam, another anti-seizure medication. This interaction may cause fatigue and sleepiness in some people.
Consequently, it is advisable to discuss with your doctor before mixing CBD with other meds.
4. Will marijuana completely stop my seizures?
This is hard to tell as patients respond differently to cannabinoid treatments. However, anecdotal reports and small clinical studies suggest that medicinal cannabis treatment offers hope for a significant number of epilepsy patients.
5. Are there THC strains for epilepsy?
THC loaded strains are ideal for treating pain, inflammation, nausea and vomiting, insomnia, and glaucoma among other conditions. That said, THC loaded strains may not be effective in treating epilepsy.