A recently published study sheds some light on the massive benefits vaping CBD can offer people living with epilepsy
Dealing with new challenges is simply part of living with epilepsy. It can be easy to take for granted many of the everyday things we do for ourselves. The often debilitating neurological condition causes seizures and unusual nerve activity at seemingly random times. This means that for most people diagnosed with epilepsy, everyday tasks such as driving are no longer an option. What’s worse is that’s just for the more mild cases, with severe cases inevitably taking over nearly every aspect of their lives in some form or fashion.
Given the severity of the condition, researchers have long been working on and refining ways to treat the symptoms. Unfortunately, for many these traditional meds have proven ineffective at best, leaving a deep void of better treatments. While these stubborn types of epilepsy are tricky to deal with, something that has been shown time and again to improve the quality of life of patients is CBD treatments. Bolstering these claims is a brand new study on the long-term effects of CBD. These results were so strong they helped the FDA approve their first ever marijuana-based drug, known as Epidiolex.
While only published last month, the study in question has been going on since at least 2015. The team of researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the effects of CBD oil on the frequency and severity of epilepsy patient’s seizures. They mainly wanted to learn more about how CBD affected those who had found little success with other treatments. The participants, including 72 children and 60 adults, would take a set amount of CBD oil every day while tracking their seizures. The findings were shared with researchers at 12, 24, and 48-week check-ins, along with some other fundamental questions regarding their quality of life.
Once all of the information had been collected the researchers began the long and arduous process of finding important patterns. The thing that jumps out at you first is the sheer number of participants who noted significant improvement in both the frequency and severity of seizures. In fact, a full two-thirds found that CBD treatments had proven relatively successful even after only 12 weeks. Interestingly, the vast majority of notable improvements occurred during the first 12 weeks, while rates remained steady afterward. Put into numbers, the average number of seizures experienced over a two-week span dropped from 144 to just 52, while the severity fell from over an 80 on the Chalfont Seizure Severity Scale to only under 40.
FDA Changes Course
As mentioned above, the research on CBD has become so common and successful that even the usually very conservative FDA is now officially backing a cannabis-based drug for the first time ever. The drug in question, called Epidiolex, has not only proven successful with typical cases of epilepsy, but it’s also shown to be very useful for hard to treat versions such as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Given these results, and the many like them, it’s no wonder why the FDA finally buckled and approved the CBD based medication.
One such piece of evidence is a massive report published last summer about the long-term effects of vaping CBD. The large-scale study of over 2,400 participants asked individuals to describe their relationship with CBD, as well as the changes that occurred since starting treatment. There were several significant findings, not least of which is that over 42% said that they’d been able to stop taking at least one other medication thanks to starting up on CBD oil. The same report noted just how much more efficient vaping CBD is than merely taking it orally. They determined that when taken in a pill or edible form, you’re only receiving around 15% of the possible CBD into your body; meanwhile, vaping CBD offers approximately 60%.
Living with epilepsy is difficult for anyone, but it can be a lot more difficult without proper medication. Not only are things such as driving not on the table, but ultimately many epileptics need to be watched over in case of any issues. That being the case, anything which can improve the lives of patients is worth learning more about. It may have started as a fringe treatment given by holistic practitioners, but these days CBD for epilepsy is much more a hard science.
Vapers stand to gain even more from CBD, as it’s shown to be up to four times as efficient when vaped. These robust results have helped more funding reach the researchers working to understand the benefits of CBD for people with epilepsy. If we can further legitimize both CBD and vaping, it’s not hard to imagine a future in which vaped CBD is the go-to treatment for severe cases of epilepsy. While obviously being good for patients, this would also do a lot for the vaping community as it would highlight an example that proves vaping has more utility than many give it credit for. We may not know everything yet, but with more research like this supported it’s only a matter of time until we understand the full benefits of vaping as not only a harm reduction and smoking cessation tool but also as an alternative way to take medication.
Are you surprised that CBD is shown to be so useful on epileptics? Do you agree that results like these help the overall image of vaping? What’s the best way to educate the public about the real benefits of vaping? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.