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Seizures

Medical Marijuana Card NY

MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN NEW YORK — A WAY OUT FOR SEIZURES AND EPILEPSY

Updated on July 28, 2021. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Fred Ashford, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

The inception of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), 2021, and the consequent legalization of cannabis usage in New York, has unleashed new avenues for new clinical trials and research findings for the effects of medical marijuana in preventing vis-a-vis treating seizures. Nonetheless, medical marijuana has received notable praises in the past for controlling and diminishing the effects of seizures and epilepsy. It has also been replaced as a promising alternative to traditional anti-seizure medications. Cannabis, therefore, is widely believed to bring quick relief and promote overall welfare for patients.

IDENTIFYING SEIZURES AND THE ROLE OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA

What causes a seizure is majorly unexplained but there are certain environmental as well as internal conditions that can elevate cases of seizures — brain injury, cancer or infection, electrolyte imbalance, low blood sugar, certain medications, usage of narcotics, alcohol abuse are some factors among the others. A seizure is typically caused by an abnormal imbalance in your brain's neuron that produces unusual and uncontrolled jolts of electrical activity in that specific part. These waves of jolts then send impulses throughout your body causing muscle spasming and jerking. When this abnormality happens in the motor area of the brain, the other side of the body starts shivering involuntarily. On the other hand, when it affects the visual part of the brain, it is accompanied by colorful flashing lights and patterns in their visual space. Most likely, seizures pause here. But in some serious cases, the abnormal neuronal activity can spread to the other side of the brain, causing convulsions in the entire body and loss of consciousness.

If you get seizures multiple times, over and over again, it is classified as an epileptic seizure. Epilepsy is the most commonly diagnosed seizure disorder, but it should be kept in mind that not all seizures are caused by epilepsy. Though the symptoms of seizures may vary from person to person, still some of the common symptoms are listed below:

  • Unmanageable and involuntary movements of the whole body, especially arms or legs. tongue or mouth. Contraction followed by loosening of limbs or muscles.
  • Loss of consciousness and abrupt fall to the ground.
  • Panic attack and confusion.
  • Extreme fear and ecstasy or euphoria, feelings of crying and screaming.
  • Sweating, nausea, rapid blinking.
The marijuana plant is composed of more than 400 different chemicals. Each one features a distinct effect on the body. Among these, the medical field and pharmaceutical industries are only concerned about the chemicals, known as cannabinoids, that respond to receptors in your body. There are two kinds of cannabinoids, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD), which ensure relief from seizures. These two neuro-active components influence the endocannabinoid system. While THC is the psychoactive chemical that produces the sensation of “getting high,” CBD is the non-psychoactive component that has proven to be useful in treating various neurological conditions. The marijuana found in the black market illegally contains a high THC concentration and little or no CBD. However, medical marijuana employed for clinical usage has high CBD content. Both CBD and THC stick with receptors in your brain, inhibiting the transmission of pain signals. Moreover, CBD can also affect other signaling systems in your brain such as giving anti-inflammatory responses.

After rigorous voices from the American Epilepsy Society (AES) and its counterparts, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the first CBD medication for seizure treatment in 2018. The medication, known as Epidiolex, was approved for the treatment of two rare and severe forms of epilepsy–Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. It is also the first-ever FDA-recognized medication to treat seizures in Dravet syndrome.

IS MEDICAL MARIJUANA EFFECTIVE?

Well, you might be wondering how this craze for medical marijuana, supposedly having some miraculous healing, really started. Evidently, marijuana was used to treat a range of conditions in ancient China as far back as 2,700 B.C. However, the more advanced trend in using marijuana for medical purposes is backed by claims of few laboratory types of research, clinical trials, and informal records of CBD or cannabinoids being one of the compelling chemicals to bring a halt to the game of neurons by affecting the brain signals and binding with other receptors throughout the body in a significant way. The conversation around CBD was ignited with the anecdotal narrative of parents of a girl named Charlotte Figi, who stated how medical marijuana helped their children tremendously control and drop the seizures attacks. This account of a five- year old created huge headlines across the state. Her namesake Charlotte's Web is among the most raved strain of medical marijuana used today for managing seizures and epilepsy. Other strains that are equally used are Bedford Glue, Larry Bird Kush, O.A.T., Grapefruit Kush, Kushberry, Black Bubba, Athabasca.

According to a December 2014 report from the American Epilepsy Society, Researchers found that one-third of nearly 60 children and adolescents receiving the cannabis extract had a reduction in seizures by 50% or more. In yet another pilot study, the cannabis extract, Epidiolex was given to 23 patients, who were of average 10 years of age and had critical forms of epilepsy, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. Interestingly, 9 of the 23 patients dropped down their seizures effectively by more than 50%, and one-third of the Dravet syndrome patients overcame seizures completely.

Therefore, medical marijuana has contributed enormously by treating and managing the myriad as well as complicated syndromes of seizures like nausea, anxiety attacks, muscle spasm, and convulsions, tightening and stiffening of the body, with minimal to zero side effects. Hence, medical marijuana is rightly classified as one of the lowest risk-possessing treatments for seizures and epilepsy available today. It also happens to help patients live their lives with full potential without causing any restrictive reaction in the body hampering everyday life. All in all, medical marijuana is increasingly becoming a more popular choice because of its higher effectiveness, favorable long-term effects, low addictive profile, and the last resort and hope against traditional treatment regimes. ( Around 30% of epileptic patients don't respond to conventional medications).

In addition, the efficacious functioning of medical marijuana is determined by the mode or process of infusing the cannabinoids used in the body. Patients can take medical marijuana in the form of:

  • Smoke it or use a device called a vaporizer that turns it into a mist.
  • Eat it, for example, edibles like brownies.
  • CBD oil and tinctures, by placing a few drops under your tongue.
  • Pills, supplements, and transepidermal patches.
There are distinct effects of each method. The results are faster when cannabis is inhaled in the form of smoke and therefore, can help target the symptoms of seizures immediately. When taken orally, the time frame of 1-2 hours is required to deliver the desired results. The side effects of medical marijuana, although rare in occurrence, should also be kept in mind. Some of the common side effects include bloodshot eyes, depression, dizziness, fast heartbeat, hallucinations, and low blood pressure. It is also important to keep in mind that not all CBD products used for medical purposes contain the same amount of activity. There are varying degrees of uniformity from product to product and batch to batch. Naturally, the expected results might be inconsistent from person to person.

IMPACT OF MRTA ON EXISTING SEIZURE PATIENTS IN NEW YORK.

We will first, address the lingering question regarding the implication of the new legalization law upon the existing medical marijuana cardholders. Before legalization, New York permitted only the use of marijuana for medical purposes through valid prescription only, that too for a limited number of approved diseases or conditions. Fortunately, Epilepsy was on the list of allowable conditions.

As the new law has reformed and allowed smoking as well as the cultivation of marijuana, it will highly benefit the existing cardholders to treat their symptoms more promptly– the accessibility of products will jump up with the establishment of more dispensaries. However, because it’s going to take at least a year to properly apply all these changes, it may still be beneficial for people to use medical marijuana versus recreational usage. Medical marijuana cardholders who have qualified symptoms of seizures can therefore also have the advantage of having access to dispensaries and benefits that aren’t open to the general public yet.

Secondly, Marijuana was listed as a “schedule 1” drug class in the U.S. in 1970. As a result, studying how safe and effective it is like a medicine for seizures has been a daunting and tedious task for researchers all these years. However, this particular constraint is completely nullified by the new legislation in New York, bringing a sigh of relief to all the suffering patients.

Hence, given the new changes in law, grab the opportunity of getting a sanctioned marijuana card in New York completely hassle free as soon as possible. Visit our website to book an appointment today - https://nymarijuanacard.com/.

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