Epilepsy Patients In Australia Resort To Cannabis To Manage Seizures: Survey


There is no doubt that there is still debate on the medical merits of cannabis, but the varying information still does not stop many people from using cannabis to aid their conditions. A recent survey in Australia shows that people with epilepsy are included in this population.

Cannabis For Epilepsy

In a first nationwide survey on cannabis use among epilepsy patients in Australia, researchers found that 14 percent of people with epilepsy have used cannabis products to manage their condition when the current medicine for epilepsy do not work for them or rendered intolerable side effects. Significant success was reported among 90 percent of adult users and 71 percent of children users.

The partnership between The Lambert Initiative and the University of Sydney was published on March 9 in the journal Epilepsy & Behavior. Researchers surveyed 976 respondents and examined cannabis use, reasons for the usage, and self-reported perception of the benefits. Among the respondents, their main reasons for trying cannabis were to manage treatment-resistant epilepsy and to try another method of medication with a better side-effect profile compared to standard antiepileptic drugs.

"Despite the limitations of a retrospective online survey, we cannot ignore that a significant proportion of adults and children with epilepsy are using cannabis-based products in Australia, and many are self-reporting considerable benefits to their condition," said Anastasia Suraev of The Lambert Initiative and lead author of the study.

With these results, the researchers believe that proper education and safe access should be provided to people with epilepsy to ensure safe usage and lessen illegal black market reliance.

Cannabis Treatment

This case is not the first one that shows people resorting to cannabis for treatment when the more conventional drugs do not work for them. In January alone, a mother shared her and her son's journey as they tried different strains of cannabis to help him cope with his Autism Spectrum Disorder and a painful gut disease that had him throwing violent rages.

"It seemed like a miracle," said the mother of the treatment after seeing the improvement on her son in the seven years that they've been using it.

Pet owners have also been trying cannabis to help their ailing pets who are suffering from cancer or arthritis. In this regard, veterinarians still warn pet owners to be cautious in giving their pets cannabis as dogs are more sensitive to the components of cannabis and react differently than humans.

Recently, a comprehensive 400-page analysis on the medicinal value of cannabis has been released, showcasing both the pros and cons of the substance. Amid this confirmation on cannabis' pain relieving properties, caution should still be taken in ingesting and accumulating cannabis from proper sources.

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