Which CBD Option is the Best? A First-Timer’s Guide to CBD Products

We’ve come a long way since CBD’s early days. Initially, customers had a few suppliers to choose from. Now, vendors are endless, as are the product choices they offer.

Gone is the era of untested, crudely-made CBD oil. Although oil is still a staple – if not the backbone – of cannabidiol sales, customers now have a slew of innovative choices, along with a few novelties. 

But the differences between CBD products aren’t just geared for preference. Everyone’s symptoms are different. If you hope to add CBD to your life, the type you buy can make or break your experience. 

Recap

We covered a lot of this information before, so let’s quickly revisit that. For the full story – and more – check out our post of the top 10 CBD questions.

Hemp vs. Marijuana

Contrary to popular belief, “hemp” and “marijuana” are words that have no basis in science. Both refer to the Cannabis sativa L. plant.

However, the terms are used to differentiate between federally legal “hemp” (under 0.3% THC) and illegal “marijuana” (over 0.3% THC). 

Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, and CBD Isolate

There are three categories of CBD to choose from, with some being more common than others. All have advantages and disadvantages, so keep those in mind to find the best fit. 

  • Full-spectrum retains all the whole-plant compounds, including up to 0.3% THC. Excellent potency but THC may be an issue. Strong “hempy” taste.
  • Broad-spectrum undergoes a similar extraction process to full-spectrum, but removes all traces of THC. 
  • CBD isolate is up to 99% pure CBD with no additional compounds. Least potent, but also flavorless and mixes well with food. 

Is CBD Legal?

Federally, CBD is legal – as long as it maintains no more than 0.3% from sourcing to extraction. However, some states enacted restrictions on CBD and hemp-derived products. If you’re unsure, check your state’s cannabis laws.

Is CBD Dangerous?

So far, there’s no evidence suggesting CBD is dangerous on its own. However, it can seriously interact with many medications. Don’t add CBD to your health routine without a green light from your doctor. 

Does CBD Have Side Effects?

CBD rarely has side effects. In those cases, they’re mild and short-lasting. Some include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Appetite changes

CBD Products

Now that we covered the basics, let’s look at our options. If you’ve had a chance to shop around, you’ll find some products are pretty plain and health-focused, while others try to add a little recreational novelty.

Once we unpack these, you’ll have a firmer grasp on which cannabidiol you choose. 

Bottles of oil with dropper on table. What are the side effects of CBD oil? is CBD safe for headaches? how much cbd oil should I take? best cbd oil online. how much cbd should i take?

CBD Oil and Edibles

CBD oil consists of full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate extract. Manufacturers then suspend the cannabidiol in a carrier oil, like MCT, coconut, grapeseed, or olive.

Some vendors offer flavored oils. If you need something to mask the taste of your tincture, natural flavoring can provide a nice addition. 

If oil isn’t your thing, gel capsules also let you get your daily dose without potential spills, smells, or unpleasant taste. 

And of course, everyone loves gummies – including us. These products are the perfect solution. Gummies and similar CBD snacks offer the benefits of oil with mess-free, accurate dosing, and natural flavor. 

Pros

Edible CBD’s popularity is well-deserved. Companies have gone above and beyond to ensure quality and – in the case of Tessera Naturals – improve bioavailability. 

If oils and other edibles are on your radar, here are a few things that make them great: 

  • Easy, accurate dosing
  • Smokeless
  • Usable in some recipes
  • Lasts up to 8 hours

Cons 

Oil isn’t the perfect format for everyone. Before you consider this product, keep the following in mind:

  • Low bioavailability (unless it’s nano-CBD)
  • “Hempy” taste (except isolate) 
  • Can take at least 15 to 30 minutes before triggering effects

Who Should Use CBD Edibles?

Because of CBD oil’s delayed, generalized effects, the product is best as a daily health supplement or for non-focal symptoms. 

If you need quick relief, edibles aren’t your best choice. 

Smoking and Vaping

CBD vaping gained popularity as e-cigarettes also became mainstream. Now, many companies offer vape liquids and prepackaged oil cartridges.

However, some producers decided to take advantage of hemp legalization and offer dried hemp flower or pre-rolled joints. 

Although Tessera Naturals understands the appeal and value of such products, there are still too many unknowns about the long-term effects of vape oils or cannabis smoke. 

Pros

Inhalation offers a vastly different experience compared to its edible counterparts. That experience brings a unique set of benefits, these include:

  • Higher bioavailability than standard oil or edibles
  • Takes effect in minutes
  • Authentic smoking experience
  • Many formulas and flavor options

Cons

Vaping or smoking CBD has its advantages. For some, it’s the only option. However, this format has some issues:

  • Shortest duration of effect (2 to 3 hours on average)
  • Nearly impossible to dose 
  • Long term use could be harmful
Elderly woman's hands getting arthritis CBD pain cream. does cbd pain cream help with pain? does cbd cream help with arthritis? does cbd pain cream help with shoulder pain? does cbd cream help with back pain? does cbd pain cream help with knee pain?

Topicals

When we imagine topicals, things like creams and balms come to mind. But this simple niche has since branched out substantially. Although some niche products aren’t available everywhere, 

Muscle rubs and moisturizing creams are two very common topical examples. But some businesses sell things like CBD bath bombs, shampoo, massage oil, and even timed-release patches. 

Pros

Although the effects of edibles and smoked CBD share some common ground, topicals are in a league of their own. Here are a few reasons to try them. 

  • Focal effect – rub directly onto the affected area
  • Nearly instant relief (in some cases)
  • No chance of THC ingestion
  • Many product options
  • Can be infused with other beneficial skincare ingredients

Cons

  • Messy
  • Can’t precisely dose
  • Won’t relieve generalized symptoms

Choose Wisely

Disappointment is something many new CBD users experience with their products. But sometimes, all you have to do is switch things up. 

Every option has advantages and disadvantages. You have to consider which advantages fit your needs, and decide which – if any – drawbacks are dealbreakers. 

Key Takeaways

  • CBD products can be ingested, smoked, or applied topically.
  • Ingestion offers long-lasting, generalized effects, but they take time to materialize
  • Smoking is fast-acting, with a shorter duration and potential health risks
  • Topicals are meant for external use and offer focal relief
  • There’s no perfect choice, so choose options based on your needs.

Could CBD Help Fight Lung Cancer? The Remarkable Results of a Promising New Case Study

People have claimed (and continue to say) CBD helped slow down or even cure various forms of cancer. Unfortunately, the only sources they cite are their own experiences.

While we can’t ignore anecdotal evidence, a lofty claim like this needs further investigation. Unfortunately, studies on CBD for cancer barely scratch the surface – until now. 

But before you get too excited, the new evidence we have – while compelling – isn’t definitive. The case we’ll discuss, however, gives us a lot to think about.

Studies on CBD and Cancer

Over the years, certain limited studies on cannabis and tumor proliferation were chronically inconclusive.

For example, the National Cancer Institute offers an excellent overview of several animal and cell studies in different types of tumors, investigating things like colon cancer, lung cancer, and breast cancer, to name a few. 

Unfortunately, CBD’s potential anti-tumor properties don’t always shine through. The study’s principal author, Dr. Kah Ling Liew, tells Medical News Today:

“Multiple studies so far in animal models have shown conflicting results, with some cases reducing cancer cell growth and others finding an accelerating growth in cancer cells.”

Also, keep in mind that the recent case study isn’t comparable to a clinical trial or preliminary research. 

Case reports like the one featured here are akin to a friend who says, “CBD helped my co-worker get rid of his cancer.” They may have observed the process and results, but there are many unknown variables. Until we can account for those, we should treat this as another reason to increase CBD research.

According to medical oncologist Dr. Jack Jacoub: “From the strength of scientific evidence standpoint, a case report is about the weakest strength, and so you have to consider what you’re reading in that context.”

Case Report

The October 2021 article published in BMJ Case Reports follows an 80 year-old British woman with lung cancer.

She also smokes one pack per week, and continues to do so. Additionally, the patient also has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and high blood pressure (possibly due to her habit), along with osteoarthritis. 

Doctors first noticed a tumor on the woman’s right lung in the summer of 2018. At the time, it measured 41 mm (1.6 in). Since the tumor hadn’t spread to the lymph nodes, doctors were confident they could fix the issue with surgery, chemotherapy, or other conventional treatment. 

Unknown to professionals at the time, the woman started taking 0.5 mg of CBD oil three times per day.

However, the woman refused surgery, and was also uncomfortable with radiation based on her husband’s bad experience. At that point, doctors decided to wait and watch.

By September, the growth reduced to 33 mm (1.3 in) and continued to do so for the 2.5 years of monitoring. In February 2021, the tumor was only 10 mm (0.4 in). 

During that final evaluation, the patient revealed her CBD intake to the doctors. It was a balanced oil containing 20.05% CBD and 19.5% THC. 

Variables

At this point, we need to look beyond the results and see if there’s anything between the lines. Were there changes that could’ve contributed to her health improving? Was CBD the reason or did it contain other minor compounds? What role did the THC play?

These are just a few questions – and problems – that arise with these case reports. But let’s remove some of these unknowns. 

One compelling fact is that, despite the gravity of her disease, she didn’t change her habits at all. In addition to cigarette use, the patient didn’t alter her medications, lifestyle or diet. 

Of all the key unknowns in the report, one of them is the role of THC. Assuming the oil was responsible for this woman’s incredible results, we still don’t know if the tumor regression was from CBD, THC, or both.

Product Factors

CBD and THC aren’t the only compounds believed to have medical applications. Terpenes and other cannabinoids can steer a product’s efficacy in any direction, including possible anti-tumor activity. 

The inclusion of THC and CBD indicates the woman used a full-spectrum oil that wasn’t derived from what we consider “industrial hemp” (cannabis with less than 0.3% THC). As a result, it’s likely that the product contained a diverse profile of cannabinoids and terpenes.

The problem is that any of the other substances (or a combination of several) could’ve played a crucial role in the cancer’s outcome. 

Risks

Before we go any further, let’s be clear that you should never forego conventional treatment for CBD, since doing so is – at best – an educated gamble. 

Pure CBD may be safe, but there’s no telling the impact – good or bad – of additional ingredients, such as the carrier oil and solvent traces.  

Despite a dedicated quality initiative by CBD vendors across the U.S.A., some companies still cut corners and sell substandard products. Such uncertainty leads to a variety of problems that, when left unchecked, can lead to serious consequences for consumers. 

Although this shouldn’t be the case, the FDA caught vendors doing things like mislabeling products or faking third-party tests. 

Until we have an established regulatory framework for the production, inspection, and sale of hemp-derived CBD products, it’s up to us – and our customers – to know what makes quality CBD oil. 

In case you’re trying to navigate the CBD landscape, keep a lookout for the following must-haves:

  • Full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD for additional cannabinoids and terpenes
  • Third-party lab tests from a verified, reputable lab
  • Organic, organically-grown, or Certified Organic hemp ensures no traces of chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers.
  • CO2 extraction for a solventless, clean, robust product
  • Nano CBD is preferable to conventional CBD due to its superior bioavailability

To be fair, a CBD company doesn’t have to offer all of these benchmarks. For instance, nano CBD isn’t a common product. Tessera Naturals uses it because it’s more versatile and effective than the average CBD oil formula. 

Key Takeaways

  • There’s some preliminary evidence suggesting CBD may fight tumor growth
  • Some studies observed cancer regression from CBD, while others noticed acceleration
  • An 80 year-old CBD-user’s lung cancer decreased substantially over the course of 2.5 years
  • Case reports aren’t unreliable, since they don’t account for a lot of unknowns
  • We don’t what – if anything – CBD does for cancer, but we should be cautiously optimistic

Traveling With CBD: Know the Risks Before You Leave

To most people, COVID-19 is the biggest travel concern. But depending on where you go, another term that starts with “C” can land you in worse trouble – much worse, as one U.K. man recently learned. 

There’s no denying that CBD oil and other cannabinoid products increasingly find acceptance throughout the industrialized world. But not every country is friendly-or even tolerant – to cannabis.

Considering the risk, it’s important to educate yourself about CBD and travel.

Traveling With CBD in the U.S. 

Let’s start with the easiest one. Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, industrial hemp is legal in all 50 states. However, some states may restrict or ban certain hemp-derived CBD products. 

How to Fly With CBD in the U.S. 

You can fly with CBD in the U.S., but there are a few minor rules to keep in mind, according to the TSA

Obviously the product has to contain less than 0.3% THC. The TSA allows exceptions for FDA-approved versions of an otherwise restricted substance, like the CBD Epilepsy drug called Epidiolex, or synthetic THC medication, like Sativex.

Assuming you meet all the requirements, you can bring the CBD product in your carry-on or checked baggage. Try to keep the product in its own packaging to prevent damage or spills. If you have oil, put its container in a small plastic bag to catch any potential leaks. 

The TSA also advises that they’re focused on security, so they won’t waste time checking for “marijuana” unless they suspect something. 

Bottle of CBD oil with hemp leaves. what is broad spectrum cbd? is broad spectrum cbd better than full spectrum cbd? is full spectrum cbd better than cbd isolate? where to buy broad spectrum cbd near me?

Is it Risky to Travel With CBD to Another Country?

Yes, it is risky to travel with CBD to another country if you don’t fully research your destination’s laws. While we can’t cover every nation, we’ll address one particular incident and see what you can do to avoid being in a similar boat. 

Even in cannabis-tolerant countries, crossing the border with CBD could complicate things. A prime example is Canada, which we’ll address soon. 

Trapped in the U.A.E.

According to The Guardian, Billy Hood – a U.K. football coach living in Dubai – was “caught” in the United Arab Emirates with CBD vape juice in his car’s trunk – a car he sometimes shared. 

Making matters worse, he had no idea how the juice got there, theorizing that it belonged to a friend of his who had recently visited. 

Regardless of who the CBD belonged to, it didn’t stop the Dubai police from torturing Hood to sign a confession in Arabic, which he doesn’t speak. Dubai sentenced the 24 year-old to 25 years in prison. Currently, his family and the government are both working to bring him back to the U.K. 

But it could be a tough fight. Billy Hood didn’t just get caught for possession in a cannabis-hostile country. According to High Times, U.A.E. is the most cannabis-hostile location. It doesn’t take much for drug offences to earn you the death penalty. 

High Times also explains that the U.A.E. goes to enormous lengths to detect marijuana traces. Even having THC in your bloodstream will likely get you arrested. 

Although Billy Hood’s ordeal is an extreme case, other countries could issue jail sentences, fines, and even executions for unsuspecting travelers. 

Remember that “due process” isn’t a term many countries are familiar with. 

Countries With the Strictest Cannabis Laws

Sneaking CBD internationally is a bad idea. But in some countries, it could be the worst idea you ever have. Always do your research, especially if you plan to visit any of the following seven places:

  1. United Arab Emirates
  2. Indonesia
  3. Japan
  4. France
  5. Singapore
  6. Turkey
  7. Saudi Arabia

Penalties range from huge fines or disproportionately long jail time, to corporal punishment and execution. 

What About Canada?

Many of us are eager to visit our neighbors to the north. It’s a lot closer, cheaper, and apparently safer in some respects, than a trip to Dubai. 

Marijuana has been legal in Canada since October 2018, so it’s safe to assume you can bring your CBD products with you, right? 

Nope. 

You’re likely wondering how recreational and medical cannabis can be federally legal in Canada, yet CBD extracts aren’t. 

Canadian cannabinoid products – including CBD – can only be grown, extracted, distributed, and sold by licensed producers; and government or private dispensaries. Consequently, many U.S. – based hemp CBD producers often are unable to send their items to Canada. 

The critical factor in this legal head-scratcher comes down to one thing: the source. All CBD in Canada is from what the U.S. would consider “marijuana.”

Furthermore, the lack of regulation for American hemp CBD products doesn’t sit well with Canada’s arguably over-regulated cannabis market. 

Fortunately, you won’t be thrown in jail for decades. At worst, Canadian border officials will confiscate the product and let you move on. 

Can I Bring CBD from Canada to the U.S.?

No, you can’t bring CBD from Canada to the U.S. Don’t even try it. If you think Canada’s cannabis regulations are intense for consumers, wait until you see the border’s take on marijuana.

Since these crossings are under federal jurisdiction, carrying cannabis from Canada to the U.S. – regardless of THC content – can complicate things. 

Will I be Arrested for Bringing CBD from Canada? 

A small amount of CBD or any other cannabis extract for personal use will likely be confiscated by U.S. customs agents. But if you happen to be a Canadian citizen, you’re far from off the hook.

Early after legalization, the U.S. made it very clear that no Canadian cannabis may enter the country, even if the state across the border also embraced marijuana reform. They took it so seriously that admitting cannabis use as a Canadian citizen can lead to a permanent ban from the U.S.

One Canadian man found himself on the wrong end of that policy. 61 year-old Barry Rough told officials that he hadn’t smoked marijuana in 18 years. This admission earned him a lifetime ban. 

That being said, we’re not suggesting that you lie to the border officials.Honesty is important when dealing with authorities. Simply be aware that you may be asked about cannabis consumption, and the consequences that could bring.

Should I Travel With CBD?

You can travel in the U.S. with CBD. However, other countries are a different story. Even if you do your research, laws are complicated and you could miss something. 

If possible, your safest bet is to simply leave the CBD at home. 

Key Takeaways

  • CBD is legal for domestic travel in the U.S., with some minor rules
  • It’s illegal to bring CBD products across the border to Canada 
  • Bringing CBD from Canada or admitting cannabis use can lead to a lifetime ban for non-U.S. citizens.
  • Some countries issue severe punishments for “drug possession,” which includes CBD
  • The only safe way to avoid a legal ordeal is to not bring cannabis when you travel internationally

The Easiest CBD Gummies You’ll Ever Make

CBD gummies are some of the most popular cannabis edibles. Why wouldn’t they be? They’re easy to dose, convenient, and – most importantly – delicious. That’s why Tessera Naturals is proud to offer them.

But for some of us, our love for CBD gummies might inspire something homemade. While these products are popular on store shelves, many feel gummies are challenging to make. 

However, nothing can be further from the truth. With a few clever shortcuts, it’s ridiculously easy to make CBD gummies at home. Besides, Tessera Naturals has what you need for the highest-quality homemade CBD edibles. 

A Word About CBD Gummies

CBD gummies are amazing, but there’s one problem. Conventional CBD extract is mostly metabolized by the liver, leaving behind – at best – about 20% for your body to use. 

Liver metabolism also adds extra time. Consequently, you have to take a higher dose and wait between 30 and 60 minutes to feel anything. 

If you don’t solve this problem, 80% of the CBD you ingest goes to waste. Fortunately, we offered the solution from the moment we opened our doors.  

Tessera Naturals: The Nano CBD Difference

Using such a small fraction of the CBD you pay for doesn’t seem like a sound investment. Yet for some reason, most vendors are fine with that. After all, they get paid either way. 

Tessera Naturals doesn’t feel these practices are fair, especially when we have the technology to make edibles more potent. 

Why Nano CBD?

“Nano CBD” is something that’s caused quite a buzz in the CBD industry. While it’s not predominant, customers are increasingly aware of nano CBD’s superior quality and potency. 

Nano CBD uses a process called “nanoemulsion” to change the way cannabidiol mixes with water. Cannabinoids are hydrophobic, meaning they don’t mix with water. 

Without getting too detailed, nanoemulsion allows CBD to become hydrophilic – meaning it’s attracted to water. Because our bodies contain 70% water, nano CBD absorbs more quickly and through different pathways compared to digestion alone. 

With that out of the way, we hope you have your favorite nano CBD oil handy. Let’s take a look at how to easily make CBD gummies at home. 

How to Make CBD Gummies in Your Microwave

Yes, you read that correctly. If you have the culinary skills to cook a TV dinner, you have what it takes to be the next great CBD chef!

This recipe is so easy, it’s likely you’ll have most of these ingredients lying around. If not, getting what you need will barely dent your wallet. 

You control the potency, so we can’t specify how much to expect. The strength depends on your CBD oil concentration. Make sure you consider cannabinoid content before you choose an oil.  

The following recipe is enough for 15 gummies – a practice amount. However, don’t let us stop you from cutting down or increasing the measurements as you see fit. 

Things You’ll Need

  • Microwave
  • Silicone gummy mold
  • Cooking spray
  • Baking sheet
  • Measuring cup
  • ½ cup (125 ml) of juice, lemonade, or sports drink
  • 2 packets (1 oz each) of gelatin (unflavored)
  • 1 tablespoon of corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of Tessera Naturals broad-spectrum CBD tincture

Step 1: Prepare the Mold

Lightly apply some cooking spray to the gummy mold. This prevents sticking. If you don’t have cooking spray, coconut oil will also do. 

For now, leave the greased mold on your baking sheet

Step 2: Mix

Combine the juice, gelatin, and corn syrup inside your measuring cup, and stir until well-mixed. 

There will be bits of undissolved gelatin floating in the mixture. These will disappear during heating, so don’t worry. 

Once everything is well-mixed, let the liquid sit for about 60 seconds.

Step 3: Cook

Place the measuring cup inside the microwave and heat on high for 30 seconds, then stir. Cook for another 30 seconds and mix again.

If all the gelatin is gone, you’re good to go. If not, just place the cup in for another 30 seconds and keep repeating until everything combines smoothly.

Set the cup aside for at least 15 minutes and don’t stir.

Step 4: Add the CBD Oil

After 15 minutes or so, the mixture should thicken and have a more jelly-like consistency. If it’s still watery, give it more time.

Once you reach the desired thickness, add 5 ml of Tessera Naturals broad-spectrum CBD tincture and stir thoroughly. 

Step 5: Pour 

Pour the mixture straight from the measuring cup  into your silicone gummy mold until all the sections fill to the top. 

Step 6: Refrigerate 

Place the mold back onto your baking sheet and leave it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

You’ll know the gummies are ready once they feel cool and firm. 

Step 7: Gather the Gummies

Now that the CBD gummies are set, it’s time to see what you accomplished. Gently twist and push the mold and the edibles should fall out fairly easily. 

And that’s it! Now you can make CBD gummies at home without using a stove. Feel free to experiment with different drink flavors and potencies.

Does CBD Help With Epilepsy? Clearing Up the Confusion

CBD’s anti-seizure benefits are well documented. A breakthrough in cannabis research led to the creation of Epidiolex, the first CBD prescription drug

CBD changed the lives of so many children with severe epilepsy, moving them from a state of bedridden cognitive impairment to living markedly better lives.

This is all great to hear, but there’s one problem. Many reputable sites list “epilepsy” or “seizures” as one of the symptoms treatable with CBD. However, what we need to clear up is where those therapeutic effects end. 

Cannabidiol may help with severe childhood epilepsy, but this led to the assumption that CBD helps will all forms of epilepsy. Just like many conditions, epilepsy comes in several forms with different causes and symptoms. 

Consequently, people with all kinds of epilepsy may be mislead into thinking CBD can help them too. So if you have epilepsy or know someone who hopes CBD will help with their seizures, take a moment to look at what science says. 

What is Epilepsy?

In short, epilepsy is a neurological disorder defined by reoccurring seizures. Seizures can occur in isolated cases for reasons other than epilepsy, so “reoccurring” is the detail that matters.

The frequency, severity, and types of episodes vary from one person to another. 

Similarly, there are common seizure triggers, but in many cases, those triggers can be unique to each patient. Some triggers include:

  • Rapidly-flashing lights (uncommon, contrary to popular belief)
  • Lack of sleep
  • Extreme emotion
  • Low blood sugar
  • Stress

A huge problem with epilepsy is that no two cases are identical. There are so many combinations of seizures and causes – like injuries or a chemical imbalance – that make treatment difficult. 

Sometimes, people don’t respond well to antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). This is the case for the small percentage of patients using CBD for epilepsy. 

When Does CBD Help With Epilepsy?

Again, CBD helps with epilepsy, but experts and organizations like the Epilepsy Foundation, say “In recent years, a number of studies have shown the benefit of specific plant-based CBD product in treating specific groups of people with epilepsy who have not responded to traditional therapies.” 

There’s no doubt that CBD helps control seizures in “specific groups of people,” but only to a limited extent. Currently, CBD therapy is effective against two specific seizure disorders.

Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome

Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) is a rare form of epilepsy that usually affects children between the ages of two and seven years. 

The condition can manifest itself in several ways. Short and long-term health consequences vary depending on the frequency, severity, and type of seizure. 

Unfortunately, this condition rarely responds to traditional AEDs. In many cases, children can suffer from things like mobility problems and brain damage.

Dravet Syndrome

Another rare and severe form of epilepsy, Dravet Syndrome also responds poorly to AEDs. But perhaps the most disturbing detail is the condition’s onset. While LGS can start at age two, Dravet Syndrome manifests itself in infancy.

Naturally, the effects of these seizures at such an early age can be catastrophic to development. Babies with Dravet Syndrome can inevitably experience a variety of problems, including behavioral difficulties, speech delays, motor issues, impaired coordination, and more. 

Unlike most epilepsy cases, 80% of Dravet Syndrome patients carry a genetic mutation that triggers the disorder. 

How Well Does CBD Work Against Seizures?

Research on CBD for LGS and Dravet Syndrome was promising enough for the FDA to approve it. But to what extent does it help? Let’s look at that next.

Dravet Syndrome

When tested on children with Dravet Syndrome, researchers noticed remarkable results. 

A 2017 study in the New England Journal of Medicine provided CBD to several children with Dravet Syndrome and compared the results to placebo. They found a clear distinction between seizure reduction in the CBD patients compared to the placebo group. 

For example, median monthly seizure frequency dropped from 12.4 to 5.9. Out of the CBD group, 43% saw a 50% reduction monthly episodes, with a noticeably reduction in all convulsive seizures. 

Most surprisingly, however, a lucky 5% of CBD recipients became completely seizure-free. But given how limiting Dravet Syndrome can be, any change is a huge milestone. 

Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome

LGS was also studied, using similar methods as the Dravet Syndrome research. 

2018 findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine saw the same promising results. In this study, the median monthly seizure frequency was 85 – substantially higher than the Dravet Syndrome patients.

Nonetheless, the results speak for themselves. The study used three groups. One was given 10 mg/kg, another received 20 mg/kg, and the third group was placebo. 

The study noted significant seizure improvements with CBD compared to placebo. The 10 mg group saw an average reduction of 37.2%, while those receiving 20 mg saw marginally higher success at 41.9%. The placebo patients, meanwhile, only saw a 17.2% seizure reduction.. 

What are We Missing?

So it’s prettly clear that Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome respond well to CBD treatment. But again, our problem is that CBD is considered beneficial to all types of epilepsy. 

Unlike the two conditions we discussed, there’s little evidence to support CBD’s use in other, more common epilepsy cases. 

Even the 2017 study on Dravet Syndrome mentioned above noticed something crucial, explaining that “The frequency of total seizures of all types was significantly reduced with cannabidiol (P=0.03), but there was no significant reduction in nonconvulsive seizures.”

In other words, patients who don’t experience convulsions – such as with absence seizures – saw no improvement. 

A 2020 publication from Frontiers in Neurology summarized the findings of the LGS and Dravet studies, ultimately explaining that “…CBD is effective as an adjunctive therapy in the treatment of drug-resistant childhood-onset epilepsy. Nevertheless, current evidence is restricted to rare and severe epileptic syndromes [emphasis added].”

Jumping the Gun

Now we see how the results of selected research spread like wildfire. But while we can’t fault the general public for not scrutinizing every study, it’s important for educators to set realistic expectations.

Epilepsy is a mysterious condition (most of the time), but it’s not one to take lightly. You should never try CBD or alter your treatment without a doctor’s input. Unless you have LGS or Dravet Syndrome, it’s likely a medical professional won’t approve – and for good reason. 

Hopefully, one day we’ll find a way to expand CBD’s benefits to other forms of epilepsy. But for now, we recommend you avoid this to treat other seizure disorders – at least until more evidence is available.

Key Takeaways

  • Epilepsy is a condition marked by recurring seizures
  • Epilepsy is not a universal condition, but rather a broad category 
  • No two epilepsy cases are alike
  • Current CBD research and efficacy appears to focus on severe, untreatable epilepsy and on-convulsive seizures
  • There isn’t enough evidence to recommend other epilepsy patients to try CBD