A group of British researchers have discovered that a very little studied cannabis substance so far could lead to the design of effective epilepsy treatments that do not cause side effects. It is all about the CBD oil or cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive substance from Cannabis Sativa.
The Reading University team, along with the specialists of GW Pharmaceuticals and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, tested the cannabis substance called CBD in mice and rats suffering from six different types of epilepsy.
Researchers have found that the substance significantly reduced the number of seizures without causing side effects typical of epileptic drugs such as uncontrolled trembling.
The study, published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, shows that CBD has postponed and reduced seizure crises when used alongside common medications.
“Finding better treatments for epilepsy is an emergency. It's a chronic condition without any cure, and currently one third of treatments do not work, cause significant side effects, and increase death rates,” said Dr. Ben Whalley, study coordinator.
The specialist says research highlights the potential of a science-based solution that studies cannabinoids. It has been shown that CBD is the most effective and best tolerated cannabinoid in plants than has been studied so far.
The marijuana plant has been used to control epileptic seizures since antiquity, and THC, the main ingredient, has shown in clinical trials in animals that it has anti-convulsive properties.
Due to its effects on the mind, THC can not be used by the pharmaceutical industry.
Researchers have found that out of the 100 cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant, there are many who are not psychoactive, which allows them to study for drug development.
The most studied of these is CBD, cannabidiol, which is being studied for treating multiple sclerosis, nausea, epilepsy, and schizophrenia. Animal studies have shown that CBD plays a neuroprotective role and is an anti-cancer agent.
In recent years, California marijuana growers have started to grow plants with a high CBD content, making tinctures for patients with various conditions.
These treatments combine high doses of CBD with low amounts of THC.
Benefits of CBD oil
· Anxiety and stress: One of the most popular use of essential cannabis oil is the ability to relieve stress and anxiety. Natural compounds present in cannabis, including the famous THC, which leads to the cataloging of cannabis as a drug in many countries, contribute to releasing hormones of pleasure by relaxing the mind, reducing stress and inducing a sense of calm and relaxation.
· Sleep problems: For those who suffer from insomnia, constant anxiety during the night or simply fail to enjoy a restful and profound sleep, the CBD oil does wonders. It relaxes the body and mind, reduces energy, which induces a decrease in heart rate and quieting of thoughts before bedtime.
· Stimulates appetite: The increased appetite of people who use CBD in other forms is well known. However, essential CBD oil can regulate appetite and induce hunger, while stimulating the digestive system to function at a faster pace. This can be helpful for people recovering from a serious illness or accident.
· Relieves pain: CBD oil acts to relieve pain and is recommended for people who suffer from inflammation, chronic pain and even medical emergencies. Because of this ability of the CBD oil, cancer patients resort to the cannabis plant, including essential oils, in situations where chemo-caused pains become unbearable.
· Cancer prevents: Although there are still many controversies about this issue and there are still many studies in progress, more and more studies show that active ingredients in CBD oil have cancer prevention effects and may even reduce tumor size, making this oil an ideal tool to combat cancer for patients suffering from this tragic illness.
· Heart Health: Volatile essential oils of CBD oil can also improve heart health by balancing negative oils in the body. CBD oil stimulates antioxidant processes, purifying excess cholesterol and maximizing the health of the cardiovascular system.
· Headaches and migraines: Cutaneous application of essential CBD oil to the test or the peak intensity of migraine headaches or pain can effectively relieve pain.
Future of the CBD oil in epilepsy
Because the structure of the CBD is well known, this makes it impossible for the pharmaceutical industry to patent CBD-based treatments, which has reduced pharma companies' efforts to develop medications based on this substance, as explained Whalley and Raphael Mechoulam, the Israeli researcher who identified the structure this compound half a century ago.
“Even though this compound has been identified a few decades ago, because its use as anti-epileptic treatment is new, it can be patented,” Mechoulam explained.
Dr. Stephen Wright, research director at GW Pharmaceuticals, who is already selling a THC and CBD drug for multiple sclerosis patients, said he plans to continue the CBD oil research, and will do tests in the following years with this compound among epilepsy patients in the hope of developing a new drug.
Epilepsy affects 1% of the world's population, being caused by excessive electrical activity in the brain. This leads to seizures that can be fatal. If the CBD oil it will be proven as a 100% cure for epilepsy the condition's risks and mortality might decrease. In the meantime, you can use CBD oil on your own risk.