Epilepsy is a neurological condition which affects approximately 1 in 100 people. Depending on how wide spread in the brain the neuroligical disturbance is (the focus), there are a range of possible seizures from lapses in consciousness (absence) or convulsions (Grand Mal) to grimacing or repetitive movements (temporal) to just odd sensations (auras). Epilepsy is as individual as the people who have it and everyone has their own patterns of seizures. There are sometimes triggers for seizures such as sleep loss, low blood sugar, stress or even boredom. Some common causes of epilpsy include head trauma, birth injury, hormonal imbalances, and viral attacks.
Some kinds of epilepsy can be well controlled by anti-convulsant drugs, but a few forms do not react well to these. Anti-convulsant drugs have potentially serious side-effects, including bone softening, reduced production of red blood cells, swelling of the gums, and emotional disturbances. Other occasional effects include uncontrollable rapid eye movements, loss of motor co-ordination, coma and even death.
Cannabis has long been known to have anti-convulsant properties, and these were investigated in the 19th Century. Cannabis analogues have been shown to prevent seizures when given in combination with prescription drugs. Patients report that they can wean themselves off prescription drugs, and still not experience seizures, if they have a regular supply of cannabis.
Epilepsy Association of New Zealand
09 373 4312
7a Taylors Rd
In 1980 I had my right thumb torn off in an accident, for which I underwent 14 hours of general anesthetic to have it re-attached. All went as well as expected, I got my thumb back but a few months later started having grand mal seizures; bad one’s. I’d have them about one or two a month. Medications (dilatin, tegretol, etc) helped reduce it to a few a year, but these are toxic medications. I have to visit my doctor every month to check the level of the medications in my blood stream. The have also caused nautiousness, diziness and other unpleasant effects.
I smoked marijuana infrequently throughout my teen years but was also taking prescribed medications. I finally got sick of the blood tests and medications that didn’t work, I refused to let these seizures run my life so I gradually stopped all medications. After this, having marijuana on occasion I noticed I didn’t have any of what I call “bad days”. I was 16 at the time of the accident and I’m 34 now. Over these years, having a “medication” that’s available infrequently, I’ve been able to notice a definite difference during the months with, and months without and one thing remains contant; if I smoke marijuana, I don’t have seizures, guaranteed.
I have a real job, real friends, I’m not a drug dealer, I don’t drink and I don’t beleive kids should be stoned at school. I don’t have to, at a minutes notice, wonder which hospital I’ll wake up in with my head split open from the fall. I have joints that pop out of their socket from the physical havok that is wreaked from these things, and I don’t feel I should go to jail for not wanting to endure it. I smoke pot daily, have a normal life, and am constantly complimented on my work by customers where I hold a respectable job.
I’ve seen both a family doctor and a neurologist over the years. I mentioned this to my neurologist once, he could do nothing but listen and nod. I wanted to discuss it with him but I realize it’s illegal for him to do anything but sit and listen. I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s a cure or that it’s for everybody but for me it works, 100%.