For Those with Chronic Illnesses, CBD helps to improve Quality of Life
In the case of adults with treatment-resistant epilepsy, CBD proved, in a recent study published by Epilepsy and Behavior, that it not onlfy aids with seizures, but also with quality of life. The emotional, social, and physical well-being of patients is being weighted more heavily as a clinical outcome. Chronic diseases can cause these areas to suffer which in turn can affect the progression of the disease and cause sufferers to be socially isolated.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects adults and children alike with unpredictable seizures. If it isn’t well-managed by treatment, quality of life suffers. Feelings of depression and anxiety can be brought on by the length of seizures as well as medication side effects. If either could be improved, the quality of life of the patients would follow. CBD has been proven in clinical trials to have therapeutic effects. There is even an FDA approved oral formulation of CBD called Epidiolex that is used as an antiseizure drug.
To determine the efficacy of CBD with patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy, the University of Alabama at Birmingham completed open-label studies. This meant that the patients knew what they were taking, and the information gathered can be used to help future and more rigorous studies. The CBD program was funded by the state and 53 adults completed the study. Those participating started with 5 mg of Epidiolex per kg of body weight, per day. Every two weeks, this was increased by 5 mg per kg, up to 50 mg per kg, per day. This treatment continued for one year and at the end, quality of life, mood, adverse medical effects, seizure frequency and severity were measured.
The researchers discovered that all of the measured metrics improved, and patients had less seizures, less adverse effects, improved mood, etc. CBD can therefore improve outcomes for patients who weren’t gaining relief from other treatments. What was interesting is that, these metrics were measured individually and not combined. The only two that correlated were quality of life and mood. What this proves is that regardless of seizure frequency and severity, CBD can affect the mood of patients thereby improving their quality of life.
Could these improvements help lower the impact on the healthcare system and trips to doctors and emergency rooms? Potentially, yes. The effects are numerous, but most importantly, if the lives of those who suffer from epilepsy can be improved, then that is what matters. Further and more controlled research is required in this area, but the recent results are positive and hopeful.