In No. 14 of the Cannabis Commerce + Chemistry Podcast, host Curt Robbins from Higher Learning LV and co-hosts Dena Putnam from Leafwize Naturals in Orange County, California and John Bailey from the Mindset Genesis in Las Vegas are joined by John Carver from Rather Neat Stuff in North Carolina to discuss a March 2022 research study that examined the potential medicinal efficacy of cannabinoids such as CBD and THC for epilepsy and seizure reduction.
Guest Carver shares his views of this important research and its implications for both childhood and adult epilepsy patients throughout the United States. Carver shares his observations regarding the real-world costs associated with FDA-approved drugs like Epidiolex versus artisanal CBD.
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Deep Dive: Prescribing Cannabis for Epilepsy
A March 2022 research study entitled "Expert Advice for Prescribing Cannabis Medicines for Patients with Epilepsy—Drawn From the Australian Clinical Experience" that was published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology stated the goal of developing "interim consensus advice for [medical] prescribers" and that this advice would provide "an informed overview of the different cannabis medicines currently available for use in the treatment of epilepsy."
According to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, epilepsy is a "central nervous system (neurological) disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations, and sometimes loss of awareness." The famous clinic reported that this disease afflicts both males and females equally and that people from "all ethnic backgrounds and ages" can have epilepsy.
According to the Mayo Clinic, epilepsy is a "central nervous system (neurological) disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures or periods of unusual behavior."
Epileptic Seizures Vary Widely
Seizure activity, as a symptom of epilepsy, varies widely among patients. "Some people with epilepsy simply stare blankly for a few seconds during a seizure, while others repeatedly twitch their arms or legs," noted the Clinic. It stressed that a single seizure does not necessarily mean that one has epilepsy. "At least two seizures without a known trigger (unprovoked seizures) that happen at least 24 hours apart are generally required for an epilepsy diagnosis," reports the organization.
Conventional treatments for epilepsy include "medications or sometimes surgery" that are intended to control (decrease) seizure activity. "Some people require lifelong treatment to control seizures, but for others, the seizures eventually go away," reported the Clinic. It noted that some, but not all, children outgrow the condition to live disease-free adult lives.
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy and it is one of the "most common neurological diseases." The organization noted that, from a global perspective, almost 80 percent of those with epilepsy "live in low- and middle-income countries."
"This equals approximately 3.5 million people with epilepsy in the U.S., which breaks down to three million adults and nearly half a million children."
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1.2 percent of the total population in the United States has "active epilepsy." This equals approximately 3.5 million people with epilepsy in the U.S., which breaks down to three million adults and nearly half a million children. It reported that 0.6 percent of children aged 17 or younger feature active epilepsy. "Think of a school with 1,000 students—this means about six of them would have epilepsy," reported the public health service organization.
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