CBD for epilepsy

It’s heartbreaking to watch anyone with a seizure disorder try to maintain a normal existence when that person never knows if or when a seizure will hit. It seems even more difficult to watch when that person is a child.

Well, there is some good news, although it’s been a long time coming. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently voted to recommend approval for the first prescription cannabidiol to treat rare and severe forms of epilepsy.

For years, parents of children with epilepsy have chosen to treat their children with CBD, even though according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, it’s a Schedule 1 narcotic. Now, remember, there is no THC in hemp-derived CBD and you cannot get high. Weird, right?

In 2013, news media related the story of a child who had her first seizure at age 3 months. Although doctors could find nothing wrong, the seizures increased in frequency, sometimes lasting as long as two hours. Think about that, two hours.

An 11-year-old boy in the UK was dying from intractable epilepsy, suffering more than 100 seizures a day. He began CBD treatment in 2016 and 300 days later, he hadn’t had a single seizure.

Other families who have children learned of these kinds of results and moved to states where cannabis is legal. Still, our federal restrictions on CBD have hindered bona fide studies of the substance. So, the FDA warns that people shouldn’t use it for medicinal purpose because there isn’t any scientific evidence behind CBD. Well, duh. If scientists are restricted from studying it, of course, there’s no evidence.

However, research outside the U.S. (and it’s finally starting to show up inside the U.S.) has demonstrated that CBD is effective in treating pain, anxiety, gastrointestinal disorders and a host of other conditions.

In fact, Lihi Bar-Lev Schleider, head of research at Tikun Olam, a cannabis research and production lab in Israel, says, "CBD has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which are important for almost all diseases."

Of course, as lay people, we need to do our research on CBD and find the right product and the purest most effective products for our conditions. But, it can be done, as Carolyn told us in her story.

It seems a shame that archaic restrictions are keeping the potential benefits of CBD under constraints in the United States. Kind of makes you wonder why.