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Can Cannabis Edibles Help Pediatric Epilepsy? Insights for Parents

Pediatric epilepsy can be challenging and even mentally draining for children and their families. More than 11 million children under the age of 15 have active epilepsy worldwide, making it one of the most common neurological disorders in children. 

Finding effective treatment options for parents can be a process of trial and error. Due to these challenges, many parents are exploring cannabis-based treatments. 

If you are a parent looking for information on how to manage your child’s epilepsy with cannabis edibles, this blog is for you. 

We’ll explore cannabis edibles’ potential benefits for pediatric epilepsy, review the scientific evidence, and offer parents tips on where to buy edibles online.

Child Epilepsy: A Comprehensive Overview

Epilepsy causes sudden, uncontrolled brain electrical disturbances called seizures. Seizures vary in presentation, duration, and severity. Effective treatment and management of childhood epilepsy requires understanding its causes. 

Common Causes

The causes of childhood epilepsy include genetics, brain abnormalities, metabolic conditions, and unknown causes. Many children develop epilepsy due to genetic factors.

  • Hereditary Conditions. Epilepsy can be inherited from parents. These inherited conditions can involve single gene mutations or complex genetic patterns. 
  1. Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy (JME): Adolescents often experience myoclonic jerks, generalized tonic-clonic seizures, and absence seizures.
  2. Childhood Absence Epilepsy (CAE): It starts in early childhood with frequent absence seizures, which cause brief lapses in awareness.
  • Brain Malformations. Fetal brain malformations are structural abnormalities. These malformations disrupt brain function and cause epilepsy in children. 
  • Prenatal and Postnatal Injuries. Injury during or after birth can cause epilepsy. Birth trauma and brain oxygen deprivation can cause these injuries.
  • Infections. Epilepsy can result from central nervous system infections, causing brain inflammation and damage. These infections can happen at any age, but young children are especially at risk.
  1. Meningitis: Bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens can cause meningitis, a brain and spinal cord membrane infection. Inflammation from meningitis can cause seizures and lifelong neurological issues.
  2. Encephalitis: Viruses cause brain inflammation in this condition. Brain damage from encephalitis can cause seizures and other neurological issues.

The Science Behind Cannabis Edibles and Epilepsy

The research study by the British Epilepsy Association examined the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of CBD-enriched medical cannabis for children with epileptic encephalopathies

The researchers wanted to see how well CBD-enriched cannabis oil and standard antiseizure drugs (ASMs) reduced seizure frequency and improved daily life in these children over time.

Research Method

  • The prospective cohort study included 59 drug-resistant DEE-afflicted children aged 2–16.
  • These kids were in one tertiary center. 
  • They received CBD-enriched cannabis oil and used ASMs for a median 20-month follow-up.
  • The researchers monitored seizure frequency, side effects, and daily life improvements.

Results of the Study

  • Effectiveness: Most children (78%) saw a 50% reduction in seizure frequency after treatment. Additionally, 47.5% of children had seizures reduced by over 75%. Additionally, 11.9% became seizure-free.
  • Safety: The treatment was commonly associated with mild to moderate side effects, including tiredness and digestive difficulties. Severe side effects were rare.
  • Patient Profiles: The treatment worked for children with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), Dravet syndrome (DS), and other DEEs.
  • Long-Term Use: The treatment maintained seizure frequency reductions and daily life gains over time.
  • Individualized Dosing: Adjusting CBD doses for each child based on response improved therapy efficacy.
  • Zero Tolerance: CBD-enriched medical cannabis was effective without dose escalation because there was no tolerance.

Study Conclusion

When added to regular ASMs, CBD-enriched medical cannabis reduces seizure frequency and improves daily living in children with drug-resistant DEEs. It is safe and well-tolerated. 

The findings imply that this therapy method may help children with severe epilepsy who have not responded to traditional medicines. The study acknowledges its observational nature and limited sample size and recommends more research to validate and expand these findings.

What are Cannabis Edibles?

Cannabis users seeking medicinal advantages without smoking or vaping are turning to cannabis edibles. Cannabis-infused foods contain cannabinoids like THC and CBD. These products make cannabis consumption covert and easy without combustion.

Common Forms of Edibles

  • Gummies: Cannabis-infused chewy chocolates in various flavours and potencies.
  • Chocolates: Cannabis-infused chocolate bars, truffles, or nibbles provide a luxurious experience.
  • Baked goods: Brownies, cookies, and other baked foods using cannabis extracts make cannabis consumption easy and delightful.
  • Beverages: Users can satisfy their thirst with cannabis-infused drinks, sodas, and juices.

How They Work in Body

Absorption Process

The digestive tract metabolizes cannabis edibles. After eating, the liver metabolizes cannabis before it enters the bloodstream. This slows the effects of cannabis compared to smoking or vaping.

Interaction with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS):

  • The endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates vital physiological functions and maintains homeostasis. 
  • THC and CBD interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the CNS and peripheral organs.
  • Cannabis edibles affect neurotransmitter release, immunological function, and other biological activities.

How Long the Effects Last

Due to the slower onset and prolonged metabolism, cannabis edibles last longer than inhaled cannabis. Inhaled cannabis can peak within minutes and diminish within a few hours, but edibles might last several hours or even the next day. This depends on dosage, metabolism, and tolerance.

Microdosing Cannabis Edibles for Pediatric Epilepsy

Microdosing cannabis edibles entails administering small, precise amounts of molecules like THC and CBD. Microdosing for pediatric epilepsy reduces the euphoric effects of larger THC doses.

Type Starting Dosage Example Calculation Titration
CBD Edibles Start with 0.5–1.0 mg of CBD per kg of body weight/day For a 20-kg child, start with 10-20 mg of CBD/day Gradually increase by 5-10 mg daily weekly
THC: CBD Ratio Edibles Begin with a high-CBD, low-THC ratio, such as 20:1 CBD to THC. A 20-kilogram child should start with 5-10 mg/day CBD and 0.2-0.5 mg/day THC. Increase CBD slowly; adjust the THC: CBD ratio.
Customizable Dosages Start with the lowest effective dose Increase by 2.5-5 mg weekly Monitor response; adjust based on needs

Explore Cannanis Pediatric Epilepsy Care Today

Cannabis edibles may help manage pediatric epilepsy by reducing seizure frequency, improving seizure control, and reducing side effects. Their ability to influence the endocannabinoid system and various cannabinoid profiles make them attractive supplementary therapy for antiepileptic regimens. 

It’s important to empower children with epilepsy through informed decision-making while using cannabis edibles. Trustworthy sources like Sea to Sky Cannabis provide edibles for cannabinoid therapy. We exclusively sell high-grade products due to strict quality control, transparent labelling, and regulatory compliance. 

Parents may trust the potency, purity, and safety of cannabis products supplied to their children by browsing our selection online or visiting our store in Vancouver.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, talking to doctors and other medical professionals is essential. Their direction on dosing, monitoring the child’s response, and assistance navigating interactions with other medications can ensure a safe and effective treatment plan.

Specific gene mutations can cause epilepsy and other inherited conditions. Recent genetic testing has found many epilepsy-related gene mutations.

  • SCN1A: This gene mutation causes Dravet syndrome, a severe infantile epilepsy. It causes prolonged seizures and developmental delays in children.
  • PCDH19: This gene mutation can cause clusters of seizures in infancy or early childhood in girls.
  • DEPDC5: This gene mutation can cause familial focal epilepsy with variable foci (FFEVF), which can cause seizures in different brain regions.

The “high” from cannabis comes from tetrahydrocannabinol in THC edibles. Cannabidiol, the primary ingredient in CBD edibles, is not intoxicating but has many medicinal uses, such as reducing inflammation and seizures.

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