Phytochemicals and Cannabinoids from Cannabis Spp. implicated in the treatment Epilepsy

Epilepsy refers to a group of neurological disorders characterized by recurrent seizures. There are various types of epilepsy and seizures with causes mostly unknown. Seizures vary in length, some so brief that they are nearly undetectable, others are characterized by long periods of vigorous convulsions. There is currently no cure for epilepsy but the disease is controllable with medication.

Ganja constituents have been implicated in the management of epilepsy:


Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): HU-211, an analogue of THC, was shown to stimulate NMDA (N-methyl-D-Aspartate) receptor blockade leading to anti-tremor and anti-seizure effects.

Several studies have shown that THC may produce convulsions which were attenuated with CBD.

Cannabidiol (CBD)

Several studies have demonstrated the anticonvulsant activity of CBD.  CBD has also shown equal potency as phenytoin in anticonvulsant activity in mice. In a recent study administration of CBD with phenytoin or phenobarbitone has shown synergism in the antiseizure activity in mice and unlike phenytoin. CBD did not exacerbate petit mal epilepsy.

Other cannabinoids such as Tetrahydrocannabivarin, Cannabidivarin, Cannabinol and Cannabigerol have also shown some anti-convulsant activity.

Cannabis Terpenoids:

D-Linalool: D-Linalool has shown anti-convulsant and anti-seizure activity via modulation of GABA and glutamate neurotransmission.  Inhibition of GABA and glutamate transmission reduces the excitability of the neurons resulting in control of epilepsy seizures.

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