Medical Marijuana For Patients With Epilepsy In Texas
Can You Treat Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders with Medical Marijuana in Texas?
Epilepsy disorders combine to make up the fourth most common neurological disease in the U.S.. Experts estimate that almost 4% of people will develop epilepsy at some point in their lives, and nearly 300,000 Texans are believed to have the condition.
Epilepsy is not only a common condition, but it can be very detrimental to the lives of people who suffer from the condition. People with epilepsy are more likely to hurt themselves falling down, be involved in car accidents, face complications during pregnancy, and deal with mental health issues. There are also more serious and even fatal outcomes associated with epilepsy, although fortunately these are far less common.
While epilepsy cannot be cured, its symptoms usually can be managed with medication. In some rarer cases, surgery may also be required to make the symptoms manageable.
One medication that has been shown in repeated scientific studies to be an effective treatment for managing seizures disorders and epilepsy is medical marijuana. Fortunately, epilepsy is recognized as a qualifying condition to use medical marijuana by Texas’ Compassionate Use Program.
Limitations of Traditional Epilepsy Medications
Traditionally, epilepsy has most often been treated with pharmaceutical medications. Unfortunately, these traditional treatments aren’t effective for many epilepsy patients. Approximately 30-40% of people with epilepsy have forms of the disease that are treatment-resistant, and for these people traditional medications are ineffective.
And for the 60-70% of people whose epilepsy does respond well to pharmaceuticals, they have to deal with the unpleasant side effects of epilepsy medications. These side effects include stomach pain, fatigue, dizziness, and blurred vision, but these issues can often be managed effectively over time through modifying medication dosages.
Unfortunately, there are also what doctors call “idiosyncratic” side effects, which are not alleviated by modifying dosages. These side effects can include liver and pancreas issues, dangerous decreases in white blood cells, which are needed to fight infections, serious loss of the blood platelets needed to control bleeding, rashes, and even death.
There is no way to know which patients are likely to develop these serious reactions and which aren’t. For some people with epilepsy, routine blood tests may be needed to monitor the development and progression of these side effects, but for other people even regular blood tests won’t detect the potential for these effects to occur.
3 Easy Steps
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Using Medical Marijuana to Treat Epilepsy
A sizable and growing body of research indicates that medical marijuana can safely and effectively treat epilepsy and other seizure disorders.
Epilepsy Can Be Treated With CBD
Cannabidiol, a medical marijuana ingredient often referred to as CBD, alleviates pain, inflammation and anxiety, which are symptoms often experienced by people with epilepsy. CBD also has anticonvulsant properties.
In 2015, researchers discovered that people with treatment-resistant epilepsy experienced an average of 37% fewer seizures over a three month period. Not only that, but the CBD was found to be highly tolerable among the study participants. Some of them experienced side effects that may have been connected to the CBD, but only 5 of the participants, out of a total of 214, chose to withdraw because of these possible side effects.
Similar findings were discovered in a 2018 study conducted at the University of Alabama. CBD reduced both the frequency and severity of seizures for treatment-resistant epilepsy patients, and those results were maintained even when some of the participants reduced their use of traditional epilepsy medications during the twelve weeks of the study. Of the 132 epilepsy patients who participated in the study, only 4 withdrew from the study because of side effects. Also noteworthy is that 72 of the patients were children, and the treatment proved to be safe and effective for them.
THC Combined With CBD Offers a More Complete Treatment
Also in 2018, two peer-reviewed articles looking at multiple study results found support for medical marijuana as an epilepsy treatment.
The first article analyzed several studies and concluded that CBD was an effective epilepsy medication, but that treating epilepsy using more complete medical marijuana ingredients, such as CBD and THC together, was possibly more effective.
The second article reviewed epilepsy and medical marijuana studies from 1978-2017, and concluded that “cannabis preparations for the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy… are observed to be more efficacious with less side effect profile.”
Is Medical Marijuana the Right Treatment for Your Epilepsy? Let Us Help You Decide!
We here at Texas Marijuana Card are passionate about helping people find the relief they need, and we’re always ready to help you explore your options.
You can call one of our friendly support staff at (833) 781-5630. They’ll be there to guide you through every step of the process of your medical marijuana journey.
Or reserve an evaluation today. We’ll set you up with an appointment with one of our compassionate and knowledgeable doctors just as soon as we’re able to start seeing patients. You and your new marijuana doctor will decide together if medical marijuana might be right for you. And you’ll also receive $25 of the cost of the appointment!