by Ben Sensi on 22/08/2012 | Medicinal

The effect of cannabis on epilepsy

epilepsy Dr Ben Whalley, who is leading the research at the department of pharmacy at the University of Reading, said tests in animals had shown the compounds effective at preventing seizures and convulsions while also having less side effects than existing epilepsy drugs.

Researchers at the University of Reading have discovered that three compounds found in cannabis can help to reduce and control seizures in epilepsy.

The effect of cannabis on epilepsy

Dr Ben Whalley, who is leading the research at the department of pharmacy at the University of Reading, said tests in animals had shown the compounds effective at preventing seizures and convulsions while also having less side effects than existing epilepsy drugs.
He said: “There was a stigma associated with cannabis that came out from the 60s and 70s associated with recreational use, so people have tended not to look at it medicinally as a result.
“Cannabis is thought of being a treasure trove of compounds that could be used for pharmacological development. We have a list of around a dozen potential candidates for epilepsy and have tested three that show promise.
“These compounds are very well tolerated and you are not seeing the same kind of side effects that you get with the existing treatments.”

Epilepsy is caused by sudden bursts of electrical activity in the brain that disrupt the normal way in which messages are transmitted. This can cause debilitating seizures and fits that can lead to sufferers injuring themselves.
Dr Whalley, together with his colleagues Dr Claire Williams and Dr Gary Stephens have been working with drug company GW Pharmaceuticals to develop and test new treatments for the disease from cannabis.
Two of the compounds they have identified, one called cannabidiol and the other called GWP42006, have been highly effective at controlling seizures in animals and the researchers now hope to begin clinical trials in humans within the next three years. Neither of the compounds produce the characteristic “high” associated with cannabis use.
The scientists, whose latest findings on the compounds are published in the scientific journal Seizure, believe they work by interfering with the signals that cause the brain to become hyper-excitable, which leads to epileptic seizures.

Until now the main medicinal use that has been explored for cannabis has been in treating Multiple Sclerosis and for pain relief in cancer patients.
Mark Rogerson, from GW Pharmaceuticals, said: “Medicinal cannabinoids can treat a wide range of diseases like MS and pain.
“The work by Dr. Whalley and his team is taking us into a whole new area where there is a real unmet need. The stigma is counterbalanced by the fact that it is a serious medicine for a serious condition.”
A spokesman for Epilepsy Action said: “Epilepsy is a condition that can be very difficult to treat. We are aware of some people with epilepsy who have used cannabis for medicinal purposes. However, it should be noted that although taking cannabis may reduce seizures in some people, it could actually increase seizures in others.
“We therefore welcome research into this treatment area. It could help our understanding of alternative therapies and may prove useful in the long-term for people whose epilepsy does not respond to more traditional methods.”


Source: University of Reading

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Hello, I have such disease, as epilepsy. Doctors argue that this disease at me because of the marihuana use. But I precisely know that it not so. Where truth?



I have tried to get a Dr to sign my papers it is like haveing a flea fart knocking over a wall. It is great that papers are able to to get you to be legally allowed to smoke cannabis for medicinal reasons,but try and get a dr to sign the papers it is almost impossable. I have Epilespy that they have tried to control and it is impossable to get it under control. I feel like a lab rat with all the drugs they have tried on me. Also after takeing so many pills since I was 14 I ended up when I was 37 haveing to have emergency surgery. There was ulcers all the way down my esphogus and the reason for my emergency was a hole in my stomache that after so many yrs of takeing pills had burnt the hole in my stomache. When are they going to learn that chemicals aren't always the answer. I need to use the pot because when i use that i don't have as many seizures at all. Come drs sign the papers.



I feel so bad for you my mother also had the same i found a dr in michigan that gave her marinol it worked wonders for her i wish u all the best



I live in tuscany , Italy . The local law allows the use of cannabis for medical purpose , but it is not easy . I know many wich are in need of alternative of drugs . This region (Tuscany) consumes more than 50% of drugs more than the rest of the peninsula , the way of mental disease . I would like to ask if Bedrocan or Sativex work like Aldol or Seroquel or Risperdal . Does the cannabis can be used the same way of typical neuroleptics ? Sure our revolution is great , long live cannabis !



I lost my job to a seizure!

Marijuana could control my seizures but its illegal. Federal law takes precedence over state law Thus, medical marijuana is a trap. I researched the law about this issue. Naturally, I am elated about any cure for seizures, but I wouldn't get any medical treatment in prison.

F*** the government. I have to endure this fucking bullshit because of their prohibition laws. If not for this police state, I could buy the cure for my seizures. I'm not taking any risks on going to jail. Maybe when I was young and naiive. I've seen the government turn other harmless citizens into criminals. I'm not going to be their next prison bitch. These days, instead of trying to function at the expense of risking my freedom, I'm considering anarchy!

Got guns? I think that's the cure. Revolution.

Then I can grow my own medicine and to hell with the crappy side effects of pheno. Not that phenobarbital is as effective anyway.


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