Medical marijuana for epilepsy – research, success stories, and considerations

marijuana treatment of epilepsy

Epilepsy is a neurological condition that affects between 1–2% of the general population. Despite the availability of standard antiseizure medications (ASMs), approximately one-third of individuals diagnosed with epilepsy find these treatments ineffective, labeling them as drug-resistant. Given these limitations, many are curious about alternative treatment options, such as medical marijuana for epilepsy. Could marijuana help with epilepsy that has been unresponsive to traditional medication? What are the best marijuana strains for epilepsy? In this article, we will delve into the research on marijuana and epilepsy, share some success stories, and discuss important considerations for those contemplating this form of treatment.

marijuana treatment of epilepsy

Medical marijuana for adults with epilepsy

In the United States, epilepsy is a condition that will be diagnosed in 1 out of every 26 individuals at some point in their lifetime. While seizures can occur in anyone, those with epilepsy are at a higher risk for recurrent episodes. Although a complete cure for epilepsy remains elusive, there is a variety of treatment options available to manage symptoms. One such promising alternative is medical marijuana epilepsy adults could consider. Recent studies, specifically those conducted over the past five years, have assessed the efficacy of a mainly purified, plant-based version of cannabidiol (CBD) for treating specific types of epilepsy like Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) and Dravet Syndrome. These investigations have led to the FDA-approved prescription CBD medication, Epidiolex, which is designed to treat seizures associated with these syndromes in patients aged two and older.

Dr. Gardner notes: “It is important that a patient with epilepsy be treated with a product that is high in CBD and as low as possible in THC (in other words, a high CBD to THC ratio)”.

Yet, Epidiolex is not the only option. Commonly available cannabis products, such as oils and tinctures, have also been found to be effective in symptom management. Here at Louisiana Medical Marijuana Doctors, we can guide you through the complex landscape of marijuana epilepsy treatment. If you are considering medical marijuana for epilepsy, it is crucial to consult a healthcare provider specialized in epilepsy treatment to discuss the risks and benefits tailored to your specific condition. We invite you to sign up on our platform as a reliable resource for navigating this alternative treatment path.

Medical marijuana for children with epilepsy

The development of medical marijuana for epilepsy in children has been significantly influenced by real-world stories of children for whom conventional therapies failed to reduce seizure activity. Notable cases, such as Sam Vogelstein, who once experienced a hundred seizures a day, illustrate the transformative power of marijuana-based medication. A drug that was initially unavailable in the U.S. helped control his seizures and eventually paved the way for the FDA-approved Epidiolex. Similarly, Charlotte Figi, an eight-year-old girl with Dravet Syndrome, found incredible relief from her debilitating seizures through medical marijuana. Her story gained public attention in 2013, and it has been a catalyst for newer scientific research. Current studies now suggest that up to a third of epilepsy patients with treatment-resistant forms may find cannabis-based treatments effective.

Louisiana Medical Marijuana Doctors offers services to get medical marijuana card, including those for adults, minors, and caregivers. If your child is struggling with treatment-resistant epilepsy, and you’re interested in exploring the potential benefits of medical marijuana and childhood epilepsy, we invite you to get an MMJ card to receive access to medical cannabis treatment in the most suitable form for your minor. 

How does medical marijuana help epilepsy patients?

The full answer is still under investigation, but current theories focus on the endocannabinoid system in our bodies. This complex system of neurotransmitters and receptors is believed to regulate various physiological functions such as appetite, sleep, and pain. Cannabidiol (CBD), a key component in medical marijuana for epilepsy, is thought to interact with this system and thereby modify its functions, contributing to its antiseizure effects.

Animal research on cannabis and epilepsy indicates that the antiseizure properties of CBD may originate from its ability to decrease neuron excitability. CBD appears to act on two specific groups of receptors, namely GPR55 and TRPV1, which may explain its efficacy in marijuana epilepsy treatment. It’s important to note that medical marijuana epilepsy studies are still ongoing but are strongly supported by individual success stories where conventional treatments have failed, yet cannabis-based options have provided relief.

LAMMD is dedicated to helping you navigate the world of marijuana and epilepsy medication. Our team of licensed medical professionals will guide you through the process of accessing medical marijuana for epilepsy for adults or children, depending on your specific needs.

Medical cannabis indications and contradictions for patients with seizures

As the research around medical marijuana for epilepsy continues to expand, more patients are seeking clarity on when and how they might benefit from cannabis-based treatments. Equally important is understanding when medical cannabis might not be suitable or might present risks. This guide aims to elucidate these aspects for those considering marijuana epilepsy treatment.

Indications for medical cannabis

  1. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). A particularly severe form of epilepsy that typically manifests during childhood. Patients with LGS experience a variety of seizure types, which include drop seizures, tonic-clonic seizures, and absence seizures.
  2. Dravet syndrome. This is another intense form of epilepsy that generally starts during infancy. Notable for frequent, hard-to-control seizures, it also tends to come with developmental delays.
  3. Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). TSC is a genetic condition leading to various health challenges, with epilepsy being a prominent symptom. Seizures stemming from TSC often prove resistant to typical treatments.
  4. Other rare forms of epilepsy. Beyond the above-mentioned conditions, medical marijuana epilepsy study findings suggest cannabis may also help manage other uncommon epileptic disorders that traditional treatments don’t sufficiently address.

Contradictions for Medical Cannabis

  1. Drug interactions. Always consult with a healthcare provider prior to initiating marijuana and epilepsy medication. Certain medications might interact adversely with cannabis.
  2. Mental health concerns. Those with mental health issues, especially conditions like psychosis or schizophrenia, should be aware that medical cannabis can exacerbate these problems.
  3. Driving impairment. Post consumption of medical marijuana, one’s driving ability can be hindered. It’s advised to refrain from operating vehicles after intake.
  4. Pregnancy and breastfeeding. Cannabis is not recommended for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  5. Allergies. If you have known allergies to marijuana or sesame oil (which is often a base of weed oil for epilepsy), it’s crucial to disclose this to your healthcare provider.

It’s essential to approach medical marijuana for epilepsy with a thorough understanding of both its potential benefits and its limitations. For residents of Louisiana, it’s worth noting that seizures and epilepsy are indeed among the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana treatment. If you have other health concerns, take a closer look at the full list of qualifying conditions to receive a better understanding if you are really in need of medical marijuana treatment.

cbd oil and cannabis

Medical cannabis side effects for patients with epilepsy

As you explore the possibility of using medical marijuana for epilepsy, it’s essential to be informed about not only the potential benefits but also the side effects. At Louisiana Medical Marijuana Doctor (LAMMD), we’re committed to providing you with balanced, comprehensive information to help you make an educated choice about marijuana epilepsy treatment.

List of side effects

  1. Dry mouth. A common side effect experienced by many patients.
  2. Dizziness. This may occur, especially when standing up from a seated or lying position.
  3. Increased Appetite: Often referred to as the “munchies,” this side effect may lead to weight gain.
  4. Fatigue. Some patients may experience tiredness or a lack of energy.
  5. Mood changes. Depending on the strain, you may experience changes in your emotional state.
  6. Impaired motor skills. This could make tasks like driving risky, a point to consider when looking into marijuana and epilepsy medication.

Understanding the side effects is crucial when considering medical marijuana epilepsy treatment. Though many find relief from seizures, it’s essential to weigh these benefits against potential side effects. Always consult with healthcare providers familiar with your condition and the use of medical cannabis to decide the best course of action. For more detailed information about the side effects and safety of medical marijuana, we invite you to read our resource titled “Is marijuana safe and effective as a treatment?“.

Can medical marijuana treat epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a complex neurological disorder that has long challenged medical professionals to find a definitive cure. While traditional medications aim to manage symptoms and reduce the frequency of seizures, they often come with their own set of limitations and side effects. In this context, cannabis for epilepsy offers a promising alternative. Although not a cure, medical marijuana for epilepsy has shown significant potential in alleviating symptoms and improving the quality of life for both adults and children. Recent case studies, including one published in BMJ Paediatrics Open, have reported that epileptic seizure frequency fell by an average of 86% among 10 children treated with whole-plant medicinal cannabis.

If you are in Lafayette and are seeking a holistic approach to managing your seizures, we at Louisiana Medical Marijuana Doctor are here to guide you. Our team of licensed professionals will work with you to evaluate whether medical cannabis can be an effective part of your treatment plan. With various success stories and ongoing medical marijuana epilepsy research, we invite you to explore this option for a more balanced and improved quality of life.

Patients stories

The journey of managing epilepsy is fraught with countless challenges, ranging from frequent and sometimes severe seizures to adverse effects from conventional medications. Amid these challenges, many families and individuals have found renewed hope through medical marijuana for epilepsy. Their stories not only offer a glimpse into the effectiveness of this alternative treatment but also underscore the advancements in marijuana and epilepsy research.

Fourteen-year-old Allie Swann was living a life punctuated by up to 100 seizures per day. Traditional treatments, including brain surgery and a cocktail of potent drugs, yielded no improvements. However, six months into her treatment with medical marijuana epilepsy oil, Allie and her family noticed remarkable changes. Her seizure frequency and intensity dropped substantially, and she started to engage with the world around her, a reality she had long been deprived of due to her medical condition.

Billy Caldwell, an 11-year-old with severe intractable epilepsy, was on the brink of losing his life when his prescription for medical marijuana changed everything. Initially starting his cannabis oil for epilepsy treatment in the U.S., where medical marijuana is legal, he later became the first person in the UK to receive a prescription for medical marijuana for epilepsy in children. Not only did Billy go 300 days without a single seizure, but his mother also reported improvements in his autism symptoms, such as increased eye contact and engagement with books and toys.

Stories like these illuminate the potential of marijuana epilepsy treatment, showcasing both reduced seizures and improved quality of life. While it may not be a marijuana cure for epilepsy, medical cannabis has demonstrated efficacy in providing significant relief for both adults and children grappling with this complex disorder.

If you are living in Lake Charles and experiencing epilepsy, Louisiana Medical Marijuana Doctor is here to assist you. Our team of qualified professionals can help explore if medical marijuana for epilepsy could be an effective addition to your treatment plan. Reach out to us to begin your journey towards a better quality of life.

Useful researches about medical marijuana and epilepsy

When considering medical marijuana for epilepsy, it is crucial to be well-informed. There is a wealth of marijuana and epilepsy research and scientific studies available that can help you better understand how cannabis for epilepsy may be beneficial. These resources offer insights into how does marijuana help epilepsy and the effects of marijuana on epilepsy.

If you’re living in New Orleans and are considering medical marijuana epilepsy treatment, LAMMD can assist you in receiving a Medical Marijuana Card. This card allows you the freedom to explore if marijuana for epilepsy seizures or specific cannabis strains for epilepsy could be a beneficial part of your comprehensive treatment plan.


In this article, we’ve explored the multifaceted relationship between medical marijuana and epilepsy. From discussing the latest marijuana epilepsy research to sharing uplifting success stories, we aimed to provide a well-rounded perspective. We examined how medical marijuana helps epilepsy patients, spotlighting the potential benefits. We also looked at the applicability of medical marijuana for epilepsy in both adults and children. While cannabis is not a one-size-fits-all cure, its role in reducing seizure frequency and improving quality of life is undeniable for some.

At Louisiana Medical Marijuana Doctor, we are committed to a holistic approach to your health and well-being. We offer tailored epilepsy treatments incorporating medical marijuana, always focusing on each patient’s individual needs. Our team is consistently up-to-date with the latest medical marijuana epilepsy studies and ethical considerations, ensuring that you receive the best marijuana for epilepsy management tailored to your unique symptoms. If you’re living in Louisiana and seeking a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to managing your epilepsy, LAMMD is here to guide you through every step of the process.

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