Epilepsy — a recurring neurological disorder known for frequent, unprovoked seizures — affects 1% of Americans as reported by the Michigan Epilepsy Foundation.
Epilepsy can loom shadow over every aspect of a person’s daily life. The abrupt tremors caused by a seizure attack can pose a serious threat to the individual’s health. Not only that, but people with epilepsy are also more likely to suffer from sleep issues, anxiety disorders, depression, and migraines.
Up to 40% of all epilepsy forms are drug-resistant, meaning that the patient doesn’t respond to antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). For these patients, AEDs simply don’t have any effects, or the side effects are too dangerous to continue the treatment.
Many people turn to natural resources to silence the symptoms of their condition. Ketogenic diet is believed to have a positive effect on epilepsy; however, the long term effects aren’t as satisfying as researchers initially hoped them to be.
Of all natural methods, CBD oil holds the greatest promise for people with epilepsy. Its anti-seizure effects have been thoroughly studied by scientists.
In this guide, I’ll reveal every benefit of using CBD oil for epilepsy — and share the top vendors that sell the best CBD products as of 2019.
Best CBD Oil Brands for Epilepsy & Seizures
No two CBD oils are made the same. There’s a large degree of difference when it comes to the quality of CBD products. Some brands sell premium CBD oil made with organic ingredients and tested in independent laboratories — while others import cheap hemp from overseas and use hazardous solvents for making their extracts.
If you want a clean and potent CBD product, you need to find a manufacturer that makes organic oils with valid Certificates of Analysis.
Don’t have time for researching different companies? Don’t worry, I did that for you.
Here are my absolute top 3 brands that make premium CBD products for different types of consumers.
1. Royal CBD (Winner)
- Sourced from organic hemp grown on American farms
- Extracted with supercritical CO2
- Contains full-spectrum CBD
- Available in three potency options: 250 mg, 500 mg, and 1000 mg
- Up to 33.3 mg of CBD per mL
- Suspended in premium MCT Oil
- 4 flavors to choose from: Natural, Mint, Berry, and Vanilla
- Lab-tested for potency and purity
- Priced higher than the competition, although justified
About Royal CBD:
Royal CBD is a premium brand that makes high-quality CBD products from organic hemp plants from the finest American regions, such as Colorado, California, and Oregon. The company was started by a group of hemp advocates who just wanted high-quality, honest products with simple formulas that work.
Royal CBD currently offers CBD oil drops, softgel capsules, and gummies. The oil drops and capsules are full-spectrum; gummies are made out of 99.9% pure CBD isolate.
The Royal CBD oil is sold in three different strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg, and 1000 mg — with the strongest version giving the user 33.3 mg of CBD. I would recommend this bottle for stronger symptoms because the weaker options may be cost-prohibitive.
If you don’t like the taste of CBD oil or don’t have time for measuring your doses, you can switch to Royal capsules. Each capsule is infused with 25 mg of full-spectrum CBD in an easy-to-swallow form.
Royal CBD sends its products to third-party laboratories for testing to ensure consistent CBD levels and that there are no contaminants inside the extracts.
2. CBDPure (Runner Up)
- Made with organic hemp from Colorado farms
- Extracted with CO2
- Available in 60 mL bottles
- Tested by 3rd-party laboratories
- 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed — customers can return their order for a full refund within 90 days
- Narrow product range
- Less potent than other brands in this ranking
CBDPure was launched in 2016 by a group of cannabis aficionados from Colorado, with a simple mission — to make premium-quality CBD oil from organic hemp.
This company has a very narrow product range, but each of the two products — CBD oil and capsules — have been perfected. All extracts from CBD Pure are made with organic hemp, extracted with CO2, and third-party tested for potency and purity.
The oil isn’t as potent as the other brands in this ranking, but if lower doses work for you, their 60-mL bottles are a good option to supply yourself for a few months. I would recommend this oil for general health care or to help with mild symptoms.
If you want a more potent product, try CBDPure capsules. Each capsule comes with 25 mg of full-spectrum CBD for easier dosing and extra portability.
CBDPure offers a Satisfaction Guarantee program, so if you’re not satisfied with your product, you can return it within 90 days for a full refund.
3. CBDistillery (Most Affordable)
- Sourced from Colorado-grown hemp
- Available as full-spectrum or isolate
- Impressive product selection
- 3rd-party tested for potency and purity
- Highly affordable
- The hemp isn’t organic
Founded in Denver CO, CBDistillery has been selling high-quality CBD oil products for over 5 years. The driving force behind the company’s philosophy is to make CBD oil for every budget without compromising the quality. CBDistillery also promotes research and education among CBD users all over the country.
CBDistillery’s product selection is impressive, to say the least. You can find sublingual tinctures, gummies, capsules, topicals, and vapes. The oil is available as either full-spectrum or isolate, coming in two different sizes — 15 mL and 30 mL.
The potency of the 15 ml bottle ranges between 150–1,000 mg of CBD. The 30 mL bottle contains 2,500–5,000 of total CBD.
This potency range makes CBDistillery’s products suitable for different types of consumers and different dosage needs. My only concern is that the company doesn’t use organic hemp. However, it’s difficult to find a similar ratio of price to quality on the market, so CBDistillery definitely offers the best CBD oil in this price range.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is a liquid extract with high levels of CBD. This product can be made from both marijuana and hemp, both of which belong to the cannabis plant family.
Marijuana CBD oil has significant concentrations of THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid that gets users high. CBD oil from hemp has below 0.3% THC and thus cannot produce psychoactive effects.
That’s because unlike THC, CBD doesn’t directly bind to the CB1 receptors in the brain.
CBD oil has a long list of health benefits, including anti-seizure effects — one of the best-documented evidence thus far coming from human epilepsy trials.
Can CBD Oil Help with Seizures?
The earliest research on the effectiveness of cannabinoids in the treatment of convulsions came from animal models in the 1970s. The scientists investigated the anticonvulsant effects of both CBD and THC oils, noting strong effects on mice from both extracts.
Early experiments suggested that the frequency and severity of seizures may in part be modulated by the endocannabinoid system — the prime network in our bodies consisting of cannabinoid receptors and neurotransmitters known as endocannabinoids.
How Does CBD Produce Its Antiepileptic Effects?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) controls nearly every homeostatic function in the body, maintaining chemical balance and modulating biological processes, from appetite to pain perception, sleep, appetite, and inflammation.
The endocannabinoid system has its way of communicating with the body. It sends signals to various bodily systems using its own messengers — endocannabinoids. These compounds engage with the cannabinoid receptors which are located in the brain and throughout the body. Endocannabinoid signaling is the core mechanism behind the endocannabinoid’s system functioning.
Once endocannabinoids have brought the balance back, they get broken down by enzymes to reach normal levels again.
CBD is a phytocannabinoid, meaning it’s a plant-derived compound. Its chemical structure is almost identical to endocannabinoids produced by the body. When you take CBD, it interacts with cannabinoid receptors on top of acting on a few other routes.
While scientists are still trying to understand how exactly CBD oil works for seizures, they’ve come to the following conclusions so far:
- Endocannabinoids have strong neuroprotective properties, lowering the risk of neurotoxicity-induced pleasure. When ingested, CBD helps the body maintain higher levels of endocannabinoids by blocking the enzyme that breaks them down — potentially improving the functioning of the endocannabinoid system with their neuroprotective effects.
- The endocannabinoid system can also modulate neuroexcitation, a process responsible for triggering seizures. A healthy endocannabinoid system, enhanced by cannabinoids from CBD oil, may block the overexcitation of neurons.
- CBD has strong anti-inflammatory properties. The frequency and severity of seizures may be increased by brain inflammation. Reducing neuroinflammation allows CBD to reduce both the severity and frequency of seizure attacks.
In the next section, I’ll cover what science says about using CBD oil for seizures.
Scientific Research on CBD and Seizures
The lion’s share of specific case studies from the early 2000s investigated the effects of THC/CBD extracts on epilepsy. But, since marijuana (and thus THC) is still illegal in most places, the eyes of modern scientists turned to CBD.
In June 2018, the FDA gave its approval to the first CBD-based drug. The oral spray, Epidiolex, consists of 99% pure CBD. It has been tested on treatment-resistant forms of childhood epilepsy, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
Both diseases start to develop during early childhood and often result in delayed or poor development of the child’s language, motor skills, intellectual capacity, and the ability to communicate with others.
Epidiolex was tested in three randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials that involved patients with either form of epilepsy. When administered in conjunction with other medications, Epidiolex reduced the participants’ frequency and severity of seizures compared to the placebo group. CBD also eased other symptoms for the participants, such as sleep, anxiety, and cognitive impairment.
As of this writing, Epidiolex is officially approved to treat these two types of epilepsy, although recent findings point to CBD as a potential aid in other forms of epilepsy as well.
For example, a 2015 research paper assessing the reports from Epidiolex patients from 11 epilepsy centers across the United States showed that a 13-week treatment resulted in a 36.5% decrease in the frequency of seizures.
All subjects suffered from severe, childhood-onset epilepsy, including Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. The researchers started with 2–5 mg/kg of CBD per day, gradually increasing the dosage to 25–50 mg/kg per day.
Can You Develop a Tolerance When Using CBD Oil for Seizures?
People with treatment-resistant seizures often enter a “honeymoon” period when switching between different therapies. This means that the new treatment loses efficacy over time, typically after a few months. A study from late 2018 found that the same pattern can be observed with CBD treatment.
The study analyzed the records of nearly 100 patients, of which 33% developed a tolerance to the effects of CBD. The tolerance started to build up about 7 months after the therapy started. From that moment, patients had to increase the dose to feel the previous effects. However, that method didn’t have a 100% accuracy. In fact, roughly half of the examined sample went back to their previous response level.
On the positive note, two-thirds of participants managed to maintain their initial effective dose in the long run.
How Do People Use CBD for Seizures?
CBD is available for sale in many forms. Epidiolex, the only approved CBD-based drug for epilepsy, is an oral spray made out of 99% pure CBD.
If you want to see how whole-plant extracts will work for your symptoms, you may try one of these products:
- Sublingual drops: the most common form of CBD. The drops contain a CBD-rich hemp extract suspended in some carrier oil — most often MCT oil. They can be administered under the tongue using a dropper attached to the oil’s bottle. The CBD gets absorbed through special membranes into the bloodstream. CBD oil has a relatively fast onset; the effects usually take hold after about 15–20 minutes.
- Capsules: CBD capsules are sold as softgels and pills. You just take them like any other capsule. They contain a fixed dose of CBD per serving, making this form easier to dose than the oil. Plus, capsules are flavorless and odorless.
- Vape oils: also known as CBD e-liquids, this form of CBD is inhaled through a vape pen or vaporizer depending on the format. Many people choose vape oils over other products because they like their flavorings and find the act of inhalation very soothing. But the most important feature of vape oils is that they deliver more CBD to your system than the two above methods.
CBD Oil Dosage for Epilepsy & Seizures
The dose-finding process is not so obvious with CBD and may vary between individuals. I recommend taking a safe approach to dosing and start with low amounts to increase it by smaller increments until you find the dose that works for you.
The optimal dosage for each individual will depend on factors such as:
- CBD potency
- Cannabinoid spectrum
- Consumption method
- Metabolism rate
- Physical activity
- Medications that could interact with CBD
Below I share CBD dosage recommendations for childhood-onset and adult forms of epilepsy based on the guidelines from Dr. Karen Keough, Chief Medical Officer at Compassionate Cultivation.
Recommended CBD Dosage for Children
Children may go through low-dose initiation and high-dose initiation, depending on how frequent they experience seizures and how severe they are.
|Low Dose Initiation||High Dose Initiation|
|Starting Point||0.25 mg/lb/day||0.5 mg/lb/day|
|Minimum Dose||10 mg||10 mg|
|Target Dose||1–5 mg/lb/day||1–5 mg/lb/day|
|Average Dose||1–3 mg/lb/day||1–3 mg/lb/day|
|Dosing Increments||0.25 mg/lb/day every two weeks||0.5 mg/lb/day every two weeks|
Recommended CBD Dosage for Adults
Considering their age, weight, and metabolism, adults with epilepsy need more CBD in their routine than children. Use the table below to reach an effective dosage.
|Low Dose Initiation||High Dose Initiation|
|Starting Point||25 mg twice daily||50 mg twice daily|
|Minimum Dose||25 mg||25 mg|
|Target Dose||100–300 mg twice daily||200–500 mg twice daily|
|Dosing Increments||25 mg/dose every 1–2 weeks||50 mg/dose every 1–2 weeks|
CBD for Epilepsy & Seizures: Where to Find the Best CBD Oil for Sale
You can find CBD oil in cannabis dispensaries or online retail stores. Dispensaries offer high-quality CBD extracts but these are priced much higher than products sold online. On top of that, a cannabis dispensary may not have the best product selection out there, not to mention that the CBD oil bottles could have been staying on shelves for months. Poor storage causes CBD oil to lose potency over time.
That’s why I prefer buying CBD oil online. The majority of CBD products are sold this way, so you can choose between more brands, product types, potencies, flavors, and formulas.
It’s also easy to do your research on the company you want to buy from. You can read user reviews, ask for third-party lab reports, and learn everything about how the company makes its extracts to avoid poor decisions.
Final Thoughts: Is CBD the Answer to Seizures?
The anticonvulsant properties of CBD have been well proven by human studies conducted in the golden standard — double-blind randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials.
Still, the FDA refuses to acknowledge these qualities in hemp-derived CBD oil. So far, the agency only approves Epidiolex, which is a synthetically isolated CBD.
If you want to see how CBD oil from hemp works for the management of your symptoms, I recommend trying one of the top brands I’ve mentioned. But before you buy any CBD product, remember to make an appointment with your doctor to consult the validity of this treatment and find a good starting dosage.
Do you know people who are successfully using CBD oil for seizures? Let me know in the comments!