Nearly one third of people with epilepsy and seizures experience little to no relief of their symptoms with any of the prescription drugs currently prescribed for epilepsy. Luckily, certain strains of cannabis do provide very significant relief from the frequency and duration of their seizures and other symptoms associated with epilepsy. In addition, most people with epilepsy who use medical marijuana experience no unwanted side effects unlike with many of the prescription drugs.
For example, in phase 2 of a research study dating back to 1980, fifteen patients suffering from secondary generalized epilepsy (with temporal focus) were randomly divided into two groups. Each patient received either 200-300 mg daily of CBD or a fake substitute (placebo) for experiment control purposes. CBD, or Cannabidiol, is one of nearly 100 active cannabinoids, or naturally occurring substances in marijuana, that provide medicinal benefits without making you feel “high”.
Patients received the CBD for up to four and a half months and they continued to take the anti-epileptic drugs their doctors had prescribed before the experiment began, even though these drugs no longer controlled the signs of the disease. All patients and volunteers tolerated the CBD very well with no signs of any serious side effects.
The significant results were that 50% of the patients (4 of the 8) who took CBD daily “remained almost free of convulsive crises throughout the experiment and 3 other patients showed partial improvement in their clinical condition. CBD was ineffective in only one patient.” (The clinical condition of 7 of the 8 placebo patients remained unchanged and the condition of only one placebo patient improved.)
In a recent study of CBD with animals that suffered epilepsy-type seizures the scientists concluded “CBD significantly reduced the percentage of animals experiencing the most severe seizures and these results support the anti-seizure benefits of CBD. When combined with a reported absence of psychoactive effects (no “high” was experienced), this evidence strongly supports CBD as a therapeutic candidate for a diverse range of human epilepsies.” 
A survey published in the December 2013 issue of Epilepsy & Behavior, compiled responses from 18 parents who had used a CBD cannabis extract to treat their child’s severe epilepsy. Of those surveyed, 83% of the parents indicated a reduction in their child’s seizures and in some cases the frequency of their child’s seizures was reduced by up to 80%. Parents reported little to no unwanted side-effects of cannabis treatment. 
As a result of these studies and many reports from people with epilepsy who experienced no relief from their seizures and symptoms with prescription drugs but did experience very significant improvements when they used medical marijuana, more epilepsy foundations are calling for increased access to medical marijuana and more mmj research. 
Since medical marijuana research is still in its very early stages it is important to note that with about 100 active components in mmj and since many of these components work better in combination with each other and in certain ratios, rather than with just one component like CBD in isolation, it would be wise for you to try medical marijuana strains that have been specifically bred to provide medical benefits for epilepsy. You can find that information on our website at strains and simply select “epilepsy” from the drop down menu in the “Conditions” tab. This information is being updated on a regular basis.
We would love to hear about your experiences with mmj for epilepsy so that we can share your experiences with our readers to help them. Please feel free to write to us at: http://www.liftmj.com/contact/
 Pharmacology. 1980;21(3):175-85. Chronic administration of cannabidiol to healthy volunteers and epileptic patients. Cunha JM, Carlini EA, Pereira AE, Ramos OL, Pimentel C, Gagliardi R, Sanvito WL, Lander N, Mechoulam R.
 Seizure. 2012 Jun;21(5):344-52. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2012.03.001. Epub 2012 Apr 19. Cannabidiol exerts anti-convulsant effects in animal models of temporal lobe and partial seizures. Jones NA1 MD, Yamasaki Y, Stephens GJ, Whalley BJ, Williams CM. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22520455