Cannabinoids May Help To Regulate Seizure Frequency
Cannabinoid compounds are found in the cannabis plant. While researchers have been finding a variety of medicinal treatments from the cannabis plant (leading to the prescriptions of medicinal marijuana), recent evidence suggests that cannabinoid compounds are also an anticonvulsant.
While research has shown that cannabinoid compounds can become an anticonvulsant, very little research has been done to show how it can regulate seizure activity. A recent study was conducted using the rat pillow carbine model of epilepsy, where the THC marijuana extract was used. After applying the extracts, it completely abolished all epileptic seizures that occurred spontaneously. Further, the application of another cannabinoid increased the seizure duration as well as the frequency.
Specifically, epilepsy in the temporal lobe is treated through the use of cannabinoids. The data showed that there was anticonvulsant activity when the cannabinoids were applied exogenously and show that they can modulate the termination of seizure as well as the duration through the activation of a Cannabinoid receptor.
Here's an excerpt from the abstract:
Several lines of evidence suggest that cannabinoid compounds are anticonvulsant. However, the anticonvulsant potential of cannabinoids and, moreover, the role of the endogenous cannabinoid system in regulating seizure activity has not been tested in an in vivo model of epilepsy that is characterized by spontaneous, recurrent seizures.
Here, using the rat pilocarpine model of epilepsy, we show that the marijuana extract Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (10 mg/kg) as well as the cannabimimetic, 4,5-dihydro-2-methyl-4(4-morpholinylmethyl)-1-(1-naphthalenyl-carbonyl)-6H-pyrrolo[3,2,1-i,j]quinolin-6-one [R(+)WIN55,212 (5 mg/kg)], completely abolished spontaneous epileptic seizures. Conversely, application of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1) antagonist, N-(piperidin-1-yl-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamidehydrochloride (SR141716A), significantly increased both seizure duration and frequency. In some animals, CB1 receptor antagonism resulted in seizure durations that were protracted to a level consistent with the clinical condition status epilepticus.
Furthermore, we determined that during an short-term pilocarpine-induced seizure, levels of the endogenous CB1 ligand 2-arachidonylglycerol increased significantly within the hippocampal brain region. These data indicate not only anticonvulsant activity of exogenously applied cannabinoids but also suggest that endogenous cannabinoid tone modulates seizure termination and duration through activation of the CB1 receptor.
Furthermore, Western blot and immunohistochemical analyses revealed that CB1 receptor protein expression was significantly increased throughout the CA regions of epileptic hippocampi. By demonstrating a role for the endogenous cannabinoid system in regulating seizure activity, these studies define a role for the endogenous cannabinoid system in modulating neuroexcitation and suggest that plasticity of the CB1 receptor occurs with epilepsy.
After conducting the research, it demonstrates that the endogenous cannabinoid system will regulate seizure activity and that there is a role for the cannabinoid system to play in neural excitation. This is the first round of testing to show how cannabinoids can play a role in epilepsy. While they are positive, a number of more tests and clinical trials will need to be carried out in order to prove the efficacy of cannabinoids on the temporal lobe as a way to control frequency and duration of epileptic episodes.
If further research continues to be positive, medicinal marijuana may soon be offered as herbal medicine for those who suffer from epileptic seizures. Medicinal marijuana is a ready being prescribed for a variety of other health issues including glaucoma, chronic pain, digestive issues, and much more.