Epilepsy Patients Are Smoking Pot

Thread starter #1
Helen Fields, U.S. News & World Report
December 6th, 2004

Even though there's not a lot of evidence that it helps, many patients with epilepsy use marijuana, hoping it will reduce their seizures. Researchers in Alberta, Canada, asked epilepsy patients if they were smoking pot.

What the researchers wanted to know: How common is marijuana use among epilepsy patients?

What they did: Patients seen at the University of Alberta Epilepsy Clinic were called and asked about their condition and whether they use medical marijuana.

What they found: Of 136 subjects, 48 (35 percent) had used marijuana in the past month. Nearly half had used it at some time in their lives, and four were determined to be dependent on the drug. People with frequent seizures or who'd had the disease longer were more likely to use marijuana frequently–which could mean that using marijuana makes seizures happen more often but could also mean that patients whose disease was worse were more likely to try alternative treatments. Not surprisingly, people who used other illicit drugs were also more likely to smoke marijuana.

What the study means to you: Many people with epilepsy seem to think marijuana helps. Animal studies have come up with conflicting results–in some, marijuana increases convulsions, while in others it has an anticonvulsant (somewhat more desirable) effect. In any case, if many patients are using marijuana, it seems worth studying more.

Caveats: This is one clinic in Canada, so the findings probably don't apply to everyone with epilepsy, especially if they live in places with stricter marijuana laws. (Medical use of marijuana is legal in Canada under certain conditions.)

Find out more: The people who run the website the Science of Medical Marijuana are–no surprise–in favor of medical marijuana. They list a few reports and studies: Medmjscience.org - Medmjscience and Medical Marijuana

Go to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for information and resources about epilepsy.

Read the article: Gross, D.W., et al. "Marijuana Use and Epilepsy: Prevalence in Patients of a Tertiary Care Epilepsy Center." Neurology. June 8, 2004, Vol. 62, No. 11, pp. 2095—2097

Source: Epilepsy Patients Are Smoking Pot


New Member

A lot of messages on this subforum, but apparently no... responses.

Anyone here who also has E. and care tot tell how Cannabis effects their epilepsy ?

Personally I do have E., but don't notice much difference in the number of seizures using cannabis.

My story...
Strange thing is that I probably had E. all my life, but never knew that until I was 28. My seizures all are accompanied by memory-loss, (also didn't know that), but suddenly at age 25 my small seizures became Grand Mals with loads and loads of memory-loss up to half a year per seizure.

Memory became quite a study for me after that and slowly I realized that without grandmals I was also forgetting differently as most people.
Why I had so many problems learning despite of an high IQ, something I've been struggling with whole my life, also was a big question until a neurologist finally caught 11 small seizures on EEG at age 28. Since I have had no seizures while awake nobody had noticed the smaller ones.

Luckily I haven't had a Grandmal in more then 14 years now (I'm 47), but do have strong indications that I still have smaller ones, which are quite nasty to detect. Nobody notices them, I can only detect 'm by external factors and like everyone else I also forget like other people do.

Using weed doesn't seem to have much effect on my E., but... having E. does effect me quite a lot. Biggest problem, finding some mental challenge in work. Not being able to follow long theoretical studies, having a high intelligence and a monster in my skull that's constantly looking for a mental challenge, I'm bored to severe depressions within a matter of days/weeks in most jobs.

In that respect Cannabis is a great way to fight the side-effects of my Epilepsy. I do like a joint as well though when I'm not bored and making music or do something else that has my interest. :;):


New Member
I have had epilepsy for ten years now, and with increased marijuana use the frequency and severity of seizures is abolished. It doesn't help if you toke up every once in a while though, you have to use it quite a lot, every day, especially depending on the severity of your seizures. my seizures have practically gone away and it's pretty cool.

Happy Kitty

Well-Known Member
I use MMJ daily and I believe it helps me with my seizures and the side effects of the anti-seizure medicines I take.

Many epileptics suffer from depression as a result of this condition, MMJ is a wonderful option to help with that. Several anti-seizure meds also have the side effect of loss of appetite, Since nothing tastes good it's easy to skip a meal or two, or three. MMJ can definately help with that. It can also help with sleeping at night. MMJ helps give you that opportunity for good nutrition and sleep epileptics need to help control seizures.

It has helped me immensely after a gran mal for my nausea and headache better than anything. It is the ONLY thing I have found that gives me any relief after a gran mal.

I have met very few mainstream doctors who are willing to talk about the benefits of MMJ and it's something you'll have to decide for yourself what will work best. Anyone who is unsure if MMJ can help them with their epilepsy problems only need read over the articles that have been provided here to at least give it a try or encourage loved ones to. For myself the meds I have been given don't work, they make me feel terrible, and too many other side effects to mention. It helps my appetite and frequent nausea. I'm able to complete tasks that I wouldn't have because I didn't feel well, and I'm not sitting around nervously anticipating that next seizure.