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A Hope For The Future: Hemp CBD and Childhood Epilepsy

Raechel Donahue

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A Hope For The Future: Hemp CBD and Childhood Epilepsy
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Serious childhood illness is possibly the most heart-rending tragedy that parents must endure. Seeing your children suffering from constant seizures and hideous pain causes trauma for the entire family. Unfortunately, little kids can't take the kind of medications that adults commonly use for controlling epileptic seizures. But there may be some good news on the medical front. Cannabidiol, known commonly as CBD, has shown truly amazing results in controlling epileptic seizures, of which there are many kinds, in children. Although it is extracted from a cannabis product, hemp-derived CBD doesn't deliver a “high” but instead instills a calmative reaction in the patient. It's not “pot” but is instead a natural relief for young children afflicted with seizures.

What Is CBD?

CBD is cannabidiol and is extracted from either marijuana or hemp. The marijuana version contains THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the stuff that gets you high. The hemp product, however, does not contain notable amounts of THC and thus are technically outside the control of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (the DEA) and are becoming more and more common. It is this CBD extract that has been put into use for children who suffer from epileptic or other types of seizures.

How Does CBD Work?

The dosage is a little tricky depending upon the individual's endocannabinoid system, that nifty little set of receptors that control, well, just about everything in the body's nervous system. CBD likes to attach itself to serotonin, often known as the “neurotransmitter of happiness” as well as to anandamide, dubbed the “bliss molecule.” These and other 5-T receptors are in charge of stuff like relief from anxiety, pain, nausea, and headaches. These receptors also control blood pressure and heart rate, depression, and many other functions yet to be revealed. According to the National Institute of Health CBD is anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, antiemetic, antipsychotic, and has neuroprotective properties.

How Is CBD Administered to Children?

The FDA has actually already approved a cannabis-based drug for certain rare forms of epilepsy. The drug, Epidiolex, has shown in trials to cut convulsive seizure activity by as much as 50% in children with Dravet syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy that begins in infancy. This particular application is an oral liquid, but older children and children with different types of seizures are often given tablets or capsules.

Is CBD Marijuana?

CBD can be derived just the kind of weed that people smoke, vape, and ingest for a high. But it doesn't have to be: hemp-derived CBD will not have any psychotropic effect, an important point when administering such a drug to children. Reputable sources for hemp CBD are available, often through your own family doctor.

***Precautions***

Try to find professionals and doctors to work with you on prescribing CBD for your child. Don't just order from the internet because the price is right. Consult with your doctor and have her recommend a specialist to obtain a specific prescription for your child's diagnosed condition. Research, research, research.

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