Medical Marijuana For Patients With Epilepsy In Minnesota
Can I Treat My Epilepsy with Medical Marijuana in Minnesota?
Yes, epilepsy is one of the qualifying conditions that can qualify patients to get a Minnesota Marijuana Card. And the Minnesota Legislature chose to include it for good reason; marijuana has been scientifically shown to be an effective treatment for epilepsy, according to the National Institutes of Health have reported.
People Have Been Treating Epilepsy Since the Dark Ages - Science is Finally Catching Up
Healthline reports that as far back as medieval times, marijuana was used as a treatment for epilepsy, but until recent years scientific research into cannabis’ medical value had almost entirely stopped.
Banned everywhere in the United States until a little more than a decade ago, and still prohibited at the federal level, marijuana has been so highly regulated that it has deterred scientific research.
However, research from less restrictive countries, combined with what domestic research there has been, combined with international findings, supports what the anecdotal reports of epileptic patients have been saying for years: Cannabis can effectively treat epilepsy.
Medical Marijuana and/or CBD?
In fact, an article in Cureus, a peer-reviewed medical journal, examined studies from 1978 to 2017 and found “that CBD use resulted in a significant reduction in seizure frequency.” Not only was CBD effective, but the researchers found that side effects were minor overall and diminished with increased use or modified dosages.
And in 2018 Epilepsia: The Official Journal of the International League Against Epilepsy published an article that reviewed clinical studies as well as case studies and determined that even though CBD might be effective, it is possibly inferior to more complete cannabis ingredients, such as the combination of CBD and THC that is found in medical marijuana.
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How Does Cannabis Help Epilepsy Patients?
It is well documented that CBD and THC bind to pain receptors in the brain, which blocks the pain signals and makes cannabis an effective pain reliever. But it appears CBD and THC bind to other brain receptors, working on other signaling systems within the nervous system and brain and thereby acting as an anti-inflammatory.
Although scientists aren’t exactly sure how medical marijuana lessens seizure severity and frequency, the best guess is that CBD and THC block signals related to seizures just as they do pain and other receptors.
Side-Effects of Medical Marijuana for Epilepsy Patients
Healthline notes that enthusiasm for medical marijuana is more pronounced among patients than among researchers. Scientists would rather wait until marijuana research was as abundant as the studies of more traditional treatments before they fully embrace cannabis.
For example, how medical marijuana interacts with other epilepsy medications is still unclear.
Also, like most other epilepsy drugs, medical marijuana can impair memory; researchers worry this might lead to missed doses and thus worsening symptoms. Finally, there has been little research as to how differences in the way medical marijuana is consumed can lead to variations in efficacy and side effects.
If you are going to use cannabis to treat your epilepsy, it should be under the supervision of a doctor who understands the interactions your medication may have and other side effects that can come as a result of medical marijuana.
So Should I Try Medical Marijuana to Treat My Epilepsy?
Choosing whether or not to give medical marijuana a try for epilepsy can be a hard decision to make, especially if your condition hasn’t responded well to more traditional treatments. Fortunately, you don’t have to make this difficult choice on your own.
Let us put you in touch with one of our knowledgeable, sympathetic marijuana doctors. Together, the two of you can review your history and symptoms, discuss your specific concerns, and decide if and how to safely treat your epilepsy with medical marijuana.
Reserve your evaluation now, and we’ll make an appointment for you with one of our doctors just as soon as we’re cleared to start making them. You’ll also save $25 off the cost of your evaluation!
You’ll meet with your marijuana doctor virtually through your computer or smartphone, so that together the two of you can decide if medical marijuana might offer the relief you need, and you’ll do it all without leaving the comfort of your own home.