There are approximately three million people in the United States that have been diagnosed with a seizure disorder, of these, over one-third of them experience poorly controlled seizures. Many people not knowing where to turn for a long time except pharmaceuticals. With the new medical marijuana laws, more people are turning to cannabidiol (CBD) to help control their seizures.  This leads to the question, do CBDs actually help control and reduce the frequency of seizures?  With so many adverse side effects in prescribed pharmaceuticals many patients find themselves turning to CBD as another safer option.

Although there has been very little federal research into the effectiveness of CBD and its efficacy against seizures, there have been independent studies performed by physicians and other entities interested in learning how these two interact. A few independent studies have been done over the last few years showing the possibility of a decrease in frequency and duration of seizures with the use of CBD in conjunction with their current anticonvulsant medications.  One study was done on 15 patients with seizure disorders.  Seven of these patients were given a placebo and eight were given a high ration CBD.  At the end of the study, of the seven patients given a placebo, six patients reported no change in seizure activity while one reported a slight decrease.  Of the eight given CBD, four reported to be almost seizure free, three reported decreased frequency and one reported no changes in seizure activity.  (Kolikonda MK, Srinivasan K, Enja M, Sagi V, Lippmann S. Medical Marijuana for Epilepsy? Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience. 2016;13(3-4):23-26.)


With this lack of research, patients have really had to use the “trial and error” method in treating themselves with CBD. Although safe, CBD can act adversely in some people and you may not see a change in seizure activity or you may see an increase.  If you are looking into using CBD to treat a seizure disorder, be diligent, do your own research and remember to talk with your doctor about adding CBD in conjunction with your other anticonvulsants.

Author: Shanyon Gavin