Medical marijuana is an effective alternative for a laundry list of ailments and conditions, and epilepsy is one of those diseases that is highly responsive to medical cannabis. Some epileptics who cannot tolerate other anti-seizure medications have been able to use marijuana to successfully control their seizures. Substances in marijuana called cannabinoids affect cells in the body called cannabinoid receptors. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of those substances that may affect the body in a way that helps reduce seizures. Unlike THC, which creates the “high” feeling, CBD does not cause psychoactive effects. This lack of psychoactive effects allows patients to live with fewer seizures without dealing with the high feeling if they prefer to avoid it. Many patients suffering from epilepsy and other seizure disorders have found great relief from medical marijuana, either taken on its own or in conjunction with other epilepsy medications.
A studied concluding in 2017 found that medical marijuana can be beneficial for treating children and adolescents with epilepsy. Dr. Shane Shucheng Wong, MD and Timothy E. Wilens, MD from Massachusetts General Hospital conducted a study that studied the effect of medicinal cannabis in the adolescent treatment of epilepsy and chemotherapy-induced nausea that included randomized controlled trials, case reports, retrospective chart reviews, and open-label trials. They found that cannabinoids far out-performed other drugs in reducing in the frequency of seizures.