Medical marijuana as a treatment for epilepsy has been a hot topic in recent times. A cannabis becomes legal over more of the country, we are exploring more and more of the positive medicinal effects. Research is promising, but in short stock due to legality itself. Each study you come across shows some positive benefit associated with sufferers of epilepsy. So, the problem presents itself— how do they gain access?
Epilepsy and Medical Marijuana: Limited Access for this Medical Community
Those exploring the option of medical marijuana as treatment typically start in the same place. They start with those pharmaceuticals given to any patient suffering from epilepsy. But the tough part starts when those medicines don’t give them their desired results. Whether it be the side effects or the medicine just, plain not doing its job— when you get desperate for relief, you begin to search elsewhere.
Some states have put into effect a law for ‘compassionate access’ for those who have given a hard fought effort to use the medicines put into place by the traditional providers. This allows for those approved individuals to gain access to cannabis as a form of treatment for their disorder. In doing so, they are provided an alternative treatment that can help those roughly 30% of people with epilepsy who cannot find relief in traditional medicines.
Putting a limit on research
Because legality is still so split from state to state, we are missing out on a lot of research. While the research that we do have has shows promising and positive effects, the lack of representation within the science community still leaves cannabis as an outlier. The excuse for not giving it a try is often rooted in a lack of evidence to support positive claims. Therefore, for many, an attempt at treating in a more holistic fashion will not be an option.
State-by-state legality as a gatekeeper and a potential danger
For those who want access to this medicine to treat their epilepsy, not being in a legal state can be life-threatening in a number of ways. Some will not even consider seeking access due to the laws. But, there are many who will take the risk and go at it illegally. This can put them in danger of arrest, robbery, kidnapped, and worse. Some patients will use their lack of access as a reason to either relocate permanently, or risk transporting material back to their home state.
Stacking up the side effects
A huge benefit for some suffering from seizures is the difference in side effects in cannabis compared to tradition medication. There are many different options when it comes to seizure medications. And some side effects are less than others— but a few that show up quite constantly are as follows. Headache, fatigue, nausea, itchiness, loss of appetite, liver toxicity, weight gain, hair loss, and so on— these are only a few of those mentioned on the Epilepsy Foundation’s page on medications, here.
When it comes to medical marijuana, it affects everyone differently. But, there are also a few side effects that can present themselves based on how your body interacts with the medicine, much like other epilepsy medications. Some side effects that may occur are as follows. Dry mouth, dry/red/glassy eyes, increased appetite, anxiety, short-term high-blood pressure, and so on.
When it comes to choosing a medicine…
There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to treating an issue of any kind, especially a neurological disorder. So you have to find what works for you. We wish you luck in your journey to finding an acceptable and effective treatment.