You’ve probably seen and heard a lot about CBD Oil recently.  It has featured in TV documentaries and been talked about a lot in regards to helping treat various health conditions, including epilepsy.  Like most of us however, you are bound to have many questions you want answered before you consider using it, especially for your children. After all, is all the hearsay true?  Can it really help to treat epilepsy or is it just another fad? That is the question… And what actually is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol or otherwise known as CBD Oil is extracted from the flowers and buds of marijuana or hemp plants and is often sold in the UK as a food supplement. 

Can CBD Oil be used for my child with epilepsy?

There have been several studies in which CBD oil has been used to help with the treatment of seizures in rare forms of epilepsy in children, such as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Epilepsy is one condition that CBD tends to display consistent potential in treating.  It has been said that a low dose of CBD liquid eases epilepsy seizures but shouldn’t be seen as a solution or remedy for epilepsy itself. It should be used for people with severe forms of epilepsy who have tried various other medications without success. 

A study undertaken last year found that children with Dravet Syndrome, who were using CBD oil alongside their usual medication,  saw significant improvements in seizures. Indeed in some cases  these seizures were reduced by as much as half, with some children even becoming seizure free. (Source: CTV News

An additional review has found similar in that “one in every 8 people taking CBD would have a 50% or greater reduction in seizures. A much smaller number (less than 1 in 150) would become seizure free.”  (Source:Epilepsy Treatment)

Whilst a suitable dosage will be prescribed based on the child’s body weight,  CBD cannot however be given to children under the age of 2.

What are the benefits of using CBD Oil?

There are several benefits of using CBD Oil, such as pain relief, reduction of anxiety and depression. At the same time, it may reduce acne, could benefit general heart health and, as we have seen above, can help to treat seizures. 

 Does it make you feel light headed as if you were high?

CBD Oil is a natural chemical found in cannabis. I know what you’re thinking…cannabis? will it make me high? The answer to this is absolutely not! CBD Oil doesn’t contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) the psychoactive compound found in marijuana, so it doesn’t have the same effect as if you were to ingest marijuana itself. It will, however, ease anxiety and make you feel more calm and relaxed, but not high. 

Is it dangerous and should I consult a doctor before using it? 

CBD Oil in itself isn’t dangerous. In fact it is generally safe. However, as with any new medicine or treatment,  it is best to discuss it with your doctor before use as it may interact with several other medications. Some people experience  reactions to taking CBD Oil such as diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and fatigue, but this is by no means everyone. 

So how can I get CBD Oil, is it something I can get prescribed through my doctor? 

It is not something you get prescribed by your GP, it is now readily available as a supplement at health food shops in any high street. Whilst there have been many studies and reviews into its use to treat severe forms of epilepsy, as a parent I do feel it is always prudent to seek medical advice first. 

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