Understanding Medical Problems

The Ideal Way Of Using Medical Marijuana For Treatment-Resistant Epileptic Seizures

Frequent seizures caused by epilepsy can be debilitating and prevent you from living an ordinary life — it's dangerous to drive or shower without supervision when you have a high risk of having a seizure at any moment. Frustratingly, not all people with epilepsy respond to conventional medication.

Medical marijuana has shown promise for some patients in reducing the frequency of seizures caused by epilepsy. Unfortunately, due to the restrictions the federal government places on marijuana research, its mechanism of action is unknown. If your epilepsy is not responding to conventional treatment, ask your physician if medical marijuana can be tried as an alternative. However, your physician may not know much on the use of medical marijuana and leave you to discover the correct strains to purchase and the correct way to ingest it on your own. In that case, here's the preferred way to use medicinal marijuana for seizures to minimize both psychoactive effects and the need for frequent dosing.

Use a High-CBD Strain or Extract

The two main active components of medical marijuana are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC.) CBD is solely responsible for a number of beneficial effects of medical marijuana and does not have psychoactive properties. THC also has some medicinal properties, but is responsible for the high associated with recreational marijuana use.

When using medical marijuana for seizures, it's preferable to select a strain of marijuana that has a high ratio of CBD to THC or use extracts that contain only CBD. This provides medicinal benefit without providing psychoactive effects, which can be disconcerting for new users or impair job performance.

Prefer Ingesting Oil or Liquid Over Smoking or Using a Vaporizer

When you're using medical marijuana to control your seizures, you'll need to have the ability to dose consistently. The easiest way to do this is to drink oil or liquid extracts — the dose per unit of volume is constant, so you will always know how much CBD and THC that you are receiving based on the dose that you ingest. This is important when using marijuana for medicinal purposes, as you will need a method of ensuring that you are taking your prescribed dose.

Smoking and vaping have a larger variance in dosing, as the amount of CBD and THC contained in a certain unit of volume naturally varies from plant to plant. It's also much more difficult to accurately measure dry volume compared to liquid volume. As an added bonus, ingested marijuana extracts have a much gentler dosage curve than smoking or vaporizing marijuana — the amount of THC and CBD in your system rises slowly and falls slowly, whereas inhaled marijuana causes a sharp rise followed by a sharp fall. This keeps the amount of CBD and THC in your system more even throughout the day.

If you're interested in using medical marijuana for seizures, ask your physician if he or she would recommend it as a treatment. You should also speak to a physician that has experience in medical marijuana usage for seizures to determine the correct magnitude of the dose you need and its frequency.