Part 2

This is the second installment in a 4-Part blog series on how CBD can help with epilepsy. Be sure to stay tuned all four weeks to get a comprehensive understanding of epilepsy in general, how CBD can help regulate epilepsy, heal brain injuries, and protect your brain. 

As we have learned in the first article, many people are looking towards alternative treatments for epilepsy. CBD has shown much promise in its ability to help regulate seizures. Before we dive in though, let’s review some common warning signs of seizures, possible senses/cognitive/physical changes that occur during seizures, and symptoms after a seizure. This will give us a better understanding of what symptoms CBD is helping to regulate.

Warning Signs of Seizures

According to the Epilepsy Foundation, possible warning signs include: 

  • Odd feelings, often indescribable
  • Unusual smells, tastes, or feelings
  • Unusual experiences – “out-of-body” sensations; feeling detached; body looks or feels different; situations or people look unexpectedly familiar or strange
  • Feeling spacey, fuzzy, or confused
  • Periods of forgetfulness or memory lapses
  • Daydreaming episodes
  • Jerking movements of an arm, leg, or body
  • Falling
  • Tingling, numbness, or feelings of electricity in part of the body
  • Headaches
  • Unexplained confusion, sleepiness, weakness
  • Losing control of urine or stool unexpectedly

Sarah Potts lists the various senses, thought, and physical changes that could possibly occur during a seizure: 

Senses and Thought Changes

  • Loss of awareness, or blacking out
  • Confusion
  • Problems with memory
  • Distracted
  • Loss of consciousness, or passing out
  • Sounds may be strange or nonexistent
  • Unusual smells and tastes
  • Blurry or loss of vision
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Tingling or numbness in the body or feeling like you’ve been electrically shocked
  • Feeling detached
  • Out of body sensation
  • Body parts feel or look different
  • Pleasant feelings
  • Feelings of panic
  • Déjà vu
  • Jamais vu

Physical Changes

  • Difficulty speaking
  • Unable to swallow
  • Unable to move eyes, repeatedly blinking
  • Loss of movement and muscle control
  • Convulsion
  • Losing control over urine and stool
  • Change in skin tone
  • Sweating
  • Dilatated Pupils
  • Biting of the tongue
  • Heart racing
  • Difficulty breathing

Now that we have a better understanding of seizure warning signs and symptoms, let’s explore how CBD can help regulate seizures. 

How CBD Can Help Regulate Seizures

The first endocannabinoid discovered is called anandamide; this chemical so closely resembles THC (the psychoactive compound in cannabis) that it is the reason why THC can bind so well with the CB1 receptor in the endocannabinoid system. According to CBD Instead, THC “gives natural feelings of euphoria, reduces pain, regulates appetite, and can even help promote cell growth.”  

Ok, so what does anandamide have to do with seizures? Well, during seizures, scientists found the brain produces more anandamide. This increased production is considered to be one of the brain’s defense mechanisms for malfunctions. 

CBD has been shown to increase the levels of anandamide in the brain, helping to regulate the brain’s communication system and also helping the existing anandamide to be more efficient. 

CBD has also been shown to calm down neurons and inhibit the over-excited neurons from spreading (remember, this spreading is what causes a full-blown seizure). 

Learning about how CBD can help regulate seizures is an important turning point in alternative treatments for those suffering from epilepsy.