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Epilepsy – CBD

CBD for Epilepsy

There are an infinite amount of things in this grand universe in which we live, that seem to serve the singular purpose of being a bummer. Student loans, kidney stones, and catheters. Hell, might as well throw Apple dongles (or the lack thereof), speeding tickets, and geese in there, too. I really don’t like geese. But for me, one of life’s greatest bummers, is not being able to drive. Or rather, not being able to drive due to my epilepsy; however, a little substance called CBD has come into my life and it has changed everything.

Here are some of the best CBD oils for epilepsy & seizure disorders.

I’ve dealt with seizures my whole life. The first one I can recall, seeded deep within my memory, was when I was 5 years old. My grandmother had approached me to give me a hug. Next thing I remember, I was in a hospital – and I was also  missing one of my baby teeth which had already been loose. Apparently I bit down on my grandmother’s thick sweater and the tooth became lodged into it as I can began seize up. Fortunately one does not remember much during seizures. You’ll have little flashes of memory here and there. Like, a memory of you managing to crawl to the bathroom. A memory of vomiting on oneself. A memory of your drunken roommates, while pregaming for a college party, panicking while trying to figure if they should call an ambulance. Everyone else remembers the chaos of your seizure, but not you.

Obviously, the health risks of epilepsy and the inconvenience and awkwardness it causes to those around you is terrible, but for me, I simply hate the fact that I cannot get my drivers license. I know how to drive. I took driver’s end and have piloted vehicles on many occasions, but the severity of my epilepsy prevents me from legally being able to have a license. And I suppose it’s for the best. A few years back, my printer ran out of ink while working on a college paper super early in the am. I hadn’t had an episode in almost a year. My boyfriend at the time was asleep, who I gently woke up and asked if I could borrow his truck to go to the 24 hour Walmart (which was roughly a quarter mile away). Normally, he would have said no, but I think in his drowsy-stupor he just kinda said yes so he could go back to sleep.

I grabbed the keys and made the trip. Even bought the printer cartridge. I started the car up and the next thing I know, a few Walmart employees are standing around me in their coats, shivering, and looking stunned. I had driven the car into a pole. No recollection whatsoever of what happened. It wasn’t a bad episode, as I never actually left the seat, and apparently I tried to open the door. The cops came and obviously were not happy that I had did not have a license. Had to prove to them that I didn’t steal the truck and had to take a breathalyzer, too. I would end up walking away with a $200 ticket, a $300 tow-job, and the infinite shame of knowing I had totalled my boyfriend’s beloved S10. When he showed up to the crash scene, the truck was being hoisted on the tow-bed, the front end thoroughly crunched and the ground littered in oily truck entrails. He kept running his hands through his hair, as his face contorted into one of those “I’m not going to cry” expressions.

I made a huge, stupid mistake that I continue to impulsively justify. It was 0 degrees out, I’ve never had a seizure before while driving, ect… but the fact of the matter is someone, myself included, could have gotten killed. Hell, I managed to kill my boyfriend’s car (the pole was fortunately uninjured). To add even more insult, after giving him roughly $3000 to buy a new truck, he would end up breaking up with me. We had other problems, like, it wasn’t the the crash that caused the breakup, but it seemed to be the catalyst that would push us into splitting up. Both completely broke and single, I felt like an absolute moron.

I sank into what you might call a crippling bout of depression. I had recently moved out of my boyfriend’s apartment and was living on a friend’s couch, waiting for one of their graduating roommates to move out so I could take her place. Living on a couch in the middle of a college party house is basically hell. I had zero privacy and only a laptop to keep me company during my sleepless nights. Life has its fare share of ups and downs, but to date that was the lowest I had gone.

Being that I was essentially living out of my friend’s living room, people were always coming and going. No privacy, as I said, but there were always people around, which in some ways distracted me from my mind. I got into a conversation with one of the roommates one night. We had both enjoyed a few drinks while half-watching some crappy reality show when the conversation veered towards my experience with epilepsy. She mentioned that her brother was a severe epileptic and had been using CBD to treat it with really positive results. Like, he’d seen a 95% reduction in seizures since taking it.

She pulled up a video on youtube about a girl named Charlotte, who has a really severe form of epilepsy. This girl, only 5 or 6 years old, would experience multiple seizures a day while not on medication. Her parents had to stop her medication due to the fact that it would inadvertently stop her heart, among other side effects not well suited to the physiology of a child. Her parents were out of options. At the point of accepting there was no way for their child to live a normal life. That was until their doctor, an epilepsy specialist, recommended that she try taking CBD.

They would seek out a local caregiver who had created the highest CBD containing hemp plant they could find (the grower even named the strain after her, calling it Charlotte’s Web). Her parents were relieved to learn that CBD has no psychotropic effects, meaning that it doesn’t get you “stoned.” The video then shows them administering the drug to Charlotte via some applesauce, describing that this compound is nothing short of a wonder-drug. Charlotte saw a 99% reduction in her seizures. Her parents also said there were some other unexpected positive side effects, such as her mood seemed to be lifted, her appetite returned, she was sleeping better, and her overall behavior seemed to have been improved.

“I can’t possibly think of any negative side effects.” Her father states in the video.

Charlotte went from having multiple, crippling seizures a day, from being told that there are no other medical options, that this is her life from now on, to being 99% seizure free and free from risky seizure medications. She went from giving up on a better life, to being given her life back.

With my hand clasped over my mouth, eyes red and dripping, I turned to my roommate and said, “I need some of this stuff right now. Where do I get it?”

I had little knowledge of the stuff and honestly had never once smoked weed. Well, I did once back in highschool, but I don’t think I actually got high. I’m really quite the basic b****, my only inebriation coming from vodka cranberries. I’d always worried about using other drugs because of epilepsy, so I just never tried anything. We also live in Florida, where marijuana is super illegal. Everything that was not alcohol was outside of the reach of my substance lexicon. That being said, since it doesn’t actually get you high, it turns out that you can buy CBD at any health goods store.

I did considerable research before making the buy and consulted my doctor, who was more supportive than I thought she was going to be. It had never been brought up before in any of my visits, which seemed increasingly absurd to me as I researched case after case of epileptics being cured by CBD. I would eventually buy some from a dedicated CBD product store, which my friend drove me to. The owner, who was super nice, had decided to open the store after he started treating his migraines, which he began to experience after a bad car accident, with CBD. He described them as nothing short of a miracle (a good sales pitch, I know…), but I was already sold upon entering the place. Would leave with about $150 dollars of the highest quality products they had: three tubes of CBD goop, or distillate, as he referred to it. He said it it should last me about a month.

I did the math once. My seizure medications cost my insurance roughly $9000 a month – and while my co-pay was less than 1% of that, it seemed incredible to me that CBD could cost so little. Of course I hadn’t even tried it. I waited until I was in my car and squirted out a dose worth under my tongue and let it sit for about a minute, as he recommended. I gave a squirt to my roommate for good measure, too. He also told me to eat something with a little bit of fat content in it, as the CBD binds with fat or something like that. I just saw it as a good excuse for my friend and I to go get some ice cream on the ride back home. I went with plain ol’ chocolate. Accept no imposter.

While I didn’t notice any immediate effects, I can say that it has been over two years since that day and I have had all all but 1 seizure (and a mild one at that). It’s kind of mind blowing. Like, the curse is lifted. My epilepsy, at least compared to others, wasn’t that terrible. It was manageable, you know? But I felt like I got a new lease on life. It brings within my heart a deep, warm welling of joy when I think about not having to live with seizures anymore. My doctor, who was so impressed with my results, has begun informally recommending it to her patients.

They say that the alleviation of suffering is the greatest pleasure of all, so maybe I’m just feeling good because I’m mostly seizure free, but I do think that CBD is giving me an additional mood lift. I’ve also been sleeping much better and have been using it to treat the occasional headache (it’s a great hangover cure, by the way). And as Charlotte’s father said, I have noticed absolutely no side effects. I had grown up with the understanding that all drugs have less than desirable side effects.  And lord knows that epilepsy medications are some of the worst, ranging from nausea, to dizziness, to the worst: crippling lethargy. Sometimes it feels like there’s a terrible fog suffocating your mind with seizure meds. But with CBD? Nothing. No negative side effects whatsoever. This is probably the only case in my life that something that was seemingly too good ended up actually being true.

During my worst year, I had 25 seizures. With medication that decreased to less than a half dozen. It’s always strange to think that had I not been born in a modern age of medicine, I would likely be dead by now (or at least persecuted as a witch or a demon-possessed person). But here I am, taking a substance that has been cultivated by humans for 10,000 years and I am alive and well and 99% seizure free.

In Florida, you can get your license if you’ve not had a seizure for two years. In one month, I will hit the two year mark. I’ve already scheduled my driver’s ed course. Like I said, I know how to drive, but apparently I need to take a refresher course or something. Whatever. I don’t care. I am feeling better than I ever have. And if you’re an epileptic, I can’t recommend enough that you give CBD a try.