Best Cannabis Strains for Epilepsy
The best strains for epilepsy could go some way to treating the seizures caused by this neurological condition. Around 1/3 of epilepsy patients have seizures that are resistant to antiepileptic medications (according to a 2018 literature review published in Cureus). It makes sense that some patients may wish to search for alternative epilepsy treatment options.
There are several theories that seek to explain why medical marijuana helps with seizure disorders. For example, it may slow or block signals to the brain that result in a seizure, or it may help with seizures by reducing inflammation in the brain. Because some marijuana strains seem to be especially effective for treating seizures in some patients, it may be worth trying.
Best Weed Strains for Epilepsy
The best strains for epilepsy are typically high-CBD strains. However, it can be worth experimenting with different strains recommended in your local dispensary or by your physician as every epilepsy patient is different.
If you apply for and later renew your medical marijuana card, you can often obtain benefits such as an excise tax exemption when purchasing cannabis in the 31 states like Arizona where medical marijuana can be consumed legally to treat medical conditions like epilepsy.
1. Charlotte's Web
Charlotte's Web is considered the gold standard as far as cannabis strains for epilepsy go. This high-CBD strain is named after a child called Charlotte Figi whose Dravet Syndrome—a rare form of epilepsy—was relieved with high-CBD cannabis.
Charlotte's Web contains around 12% CBD and less than 1% THC. It is widely available in extract and other forms for patients who prefer a different consumption method to smoking.
Cannatonic is a popular strain for patients suffering from many different symptoms including chronic pain and anxiety as well as epilepsy. This strain contains around twice as much CBD as THC and the CBD potency can range from 6-17% depending on the harvest.
Cannatonic allows patients to relax but also offers an uplifting energy. Cannatonic can be taken at any time of the day as it doesn't make patients feel sedated.
ACDC is another CBD-dominant strain that is used widely in the medical marijuana community for its ability to alleviate symptoms of pain, anxiety, side effects of chemotherapy, and epilepsy.
ACDC is an earthy and skunky strain with anywhere between 13-20% CBD. This means that patients shouldn't feel any psychoactive effects but rather a calming yet uplifting energy.
4. Ringo's Gift
This strain is noted for treating some epileptic patients as well as people suffering from panic attacks, inflammation, muscle spasms, and aches and pains.
For some, Ringo's Gift is better taken in the evening as it produces a soothing high that can make them extremely relaxed or even drowsy. It contains around 1% THC and 10-15% CBD.
This is a sativa-dominant strain with a higher THC:CBD ratio than is typically used to treat epilepsy symptoms. Even so, Harlequin still has a fairly high CBD content, ranging from 8-15% with a 5:2 CBD:THC ratio.
Like other high CBD strains, patients often report an uplifted feeling before settling into a relaxed state. Harlequin is a popular MMJ strain for anxiety as well as among epilepsy patients and people suffering from chronic pain.
6. Sweet And Sour Widow
This indica-dominant strain has low THC levels so is a good choice for patients who are new to medical marijuana. Sweet and Sour Widow will leave you feeling happy and uplifted but also relaxed.
This strain is a good option for treating epilepsy as well as for relieving insomnia, stress, fatigue, muscle spasms, and chronic pain.
Indica or Sativa for Seizures?
There isn't currently any solid evidence to suggest that sativa or indica strains are significantly more effective than the other at treating seizures caused by epilepsy. Indeed, there are examples of both on this list and Ringo's Gift is an evenly balanced hybrid.
Generally speaking, indica strains will provide you with relaxing effects whereas sativa-dominant strains stimulate and energize. Their effects will dictate when it's advisable to consume a strain, as an extremely relaxing strain might not be advisable in the morning. Likewise, an energizing strain would not be advisable at night.
When looking for a strain to treat seizures, prioritize strains with a high CBD content that other epilepsy patients recommend.
Can Tinctures or Edibles Help With Epilepsy?
There is more than one way to consume medical cannabis. Some patients may prefer to avoid smoking or inhaling cannabis for health reasons or simply because of personal preference.
Edibles can be an effective way of treating seizures and have the advantage of providing slower-onset effects.
Consuming the strains you wish using extracts or tinctures is also a good option for patients who don't want to smoke cannabis.
CBD oil may be an effective treatment option for some epilepsy patients.
Epidiolex® is a standardized CBD medication that can be prescribed for patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), Dravet syndrome, or tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC).
Always be aware of the legal purchasing and possession limits for cannabis flower and concentrates in your state and consult a medical professional before combining cannabis with other medications.
Find Relief With MMJ
Suffering seizures caused by epilepsy can be distressing and affect your quality of life. Consuming medical marijuana gives some patients relief from their seizures and other side effects the condition may cause.
An MMJ card gives epilepsy sufferers in Arizona access to excise-tax-free cannabis and other benefits including home delivery. Consult a knowledgeable doctor to learn how cannabis can complement any treatment or anti-seizure medications you are already taking and to find out whether you’re eligible for a medical marijuana card.