Epilepsy, the neurological disorder that causes epileptic seizures, can come unexpectedly to sufferers, sometimes without warning. Unfortunately, the cause of this disease is unknown. In other cases, worse news may be coming; perhaps that the symptoms are the result of a stroke, or brain trauma of some sort. There is no cure for this condition but it can be controlled with medication in as many as 70 percent of cases. This is promising news, and maybe all the more so, if a natural pain reliever could treat the condition – such as medicinal marijuana.
A 1997 British Medical Association Report covered a few individual case studies including Consroe and Snider and Consroe and Sandyk, and stated that cannabidiol could be a “promising candidate as an anti-epileptic drug.” The Journal cites its anticonvulsant properties, however, felt compelled to admit the research wasn’t conclusive because of a lack of continued studies.
Katherine Mortati, MD, a neurologist at SUNY Downstate Medical Center along with a research team, concluded that based on animal studies and clinical experiences, “marijuana or its active constituents may have a place in the treatment of partial epilepsy.”
John Brust, MD and Professor of Clinical Neurology at Columbia University, also went on record stating that “Marijuana use appeared to be a protective factor against first seizures in men.” He also confirmed that “marijuana contains numerous cannabinoid compounds that differ in convulsant and anticonvulsant properties.”
Interestingly, Brust even cited that marijuana was studied in the 1400s by Renaissance era doctors who noted its obvious anticonvulsant properties. The problem is of course, fear of the unknown, which is why more progressive studies haven’t been made. However, trends are suggesting that more authorities are easing up on medical marijuana, legalizing it in selected states. There needs to be more evidence produced for sure, but legalization for medicinal purposes must come first to allow these test trials to take place.