One of the most prominent causes of seizures in humans is epilepsy, which comes from the Greek word epilepsia,
meaning to seize or take hold of. A long time ago, it was thought by many that those suffering from epileptic seizures were possessed by a demon or some other supernatural phenomenon. It wasn't until the 18th century that the idea of epilepsy as a brain disorder began to be accepted.
Some of the most famous people in history had seizures caused by epilepsy, such as Julius Caesar, Lord Byron, and Peter the Great, just to name a few. The history of epilepsy
is a long and complicated one.
What Causes Seizures?
Epilepsy is a central nervous system or neurological disorder located in the brain. When activity in the brain becomes abnormal, it can cause seizures or episodes of unusual behavior. It may cause a lack of sensations and a loss of awareness. Epilepsy can affect anyone of any age, any ethnicity, males, or females.
As stated by the Mayo Clinic
, seizures can vary widely from one person to the next. A seizure can be mild enough to cause someone to simply stare blankly for a few seconds. There are even more severe symptoms too. It usually takes at least two episodes of seizure for someone to be diagnosed with epilepsy. Epilepsy is often controlled with medication, and sometimes surgery. A person could require treatment for their entire life, while others can outgrow the condition with age.
Some conditions or events that can cause epilepsy and seizures are developmental disorders, prenatal injury, brain conditions, head trauma, infectious diseases, or genetics.
Symptoms of Epilepsy
Some signs and symptoms of epileptic seizures may include temporary confusion, staring spells, uncontrollable jerking and movements in the arms and legs, as well as a loss of consciousness or awareness. Seizures might cause anxiety, fear, or déjà vu.
Can Cannabis Treat Seizures?
For many years, the use of cannabis to treat medical conditions has been studied and found effective.
According to the Epilepsy Foundation
, almost 3 million people of all ages are affected by epilepsy and seizures. While there is no specific known cure for epilepsy, there are medications that can be effective for some, and medical marijuana
has become of great interest.
Medical research and clinical trials are taking place in facilities around the world to determine the effectiveness of cannabis for treating and helping to prevent seizures. Support from the Epilepsy Foundation
has been gained, as well as the American Epilepsy Society
, which considers medical cannabis to be a potential treatment.
How Does Cannabis Help Seizures?
Research has indicated that many patients suffering from epilepsy have found great relief by using medical marijuana. Medical marijuana has been used alone or in conjunction with other anti-seizure treatments. Some people who cannot tolerate anti-seizure medications have used medical marijuana alone to control their seizures.
It is thought that medical cannabis is a safe, effective treatment for some people who suffer epileptic seizures, with few or no side effects.
How To Get Medical Cannabis For Seizures
The availability of cannabis varies from state to state
. Fifteen states have legalized cannabis for adult use, and 36 states have some kind of medical cannabis program. As of now, cannabis is still illegal under federal law.
To determine if you or someone you love qualifies for medical cannabis to treat seizures, check your state's laws
to find out if there is a medical marijuana program. If so, you will likely have to see a doctor that recommends you for the program and then be approved. If approved, you will be issued a medical marijuana card or certificate and be informed of the regulations of the state.