Cannabidiol has Anticonvulsant Effects

E. Council, B.S. Research Biologist

Cannabidiol has been recognized for its anticonvulsant effects since the 1980s. Preclinical and clinical studies repeatedly confirm that cannabidiol treatment reduces symptoms of epilepsy. Not only can cannabidiol treatment attenuate recurrent seizures, but cannabidiol protects the brain from seizure-induced physiological changes. In epilepsy, the body attempts to normalize the brain’s physiological processes after a seizure. These attempts, including synaptic remodeling and neuroinflammation, cause harmful physiological changes that promote later seizures. Additionally, seizure-induced oxidative stress promotes later seizures and seizure-related neurodegeneration.

Though the exact mechanisms of action are unclear, research suggests cannabidiol has multiple mechanisms of action to provide anticonvulsant effects. Cannabidiol treatment attenuates recurrent seizures and protects the brain from seizure-induced physiological changes by normalizing intracellular Ca2+/glutamatergic transmission, reducing neuroinflammation, and reducing oxidative stress. Cannabidiol can modulate intracellular Ca2+/glutamatergic transmission through modulation of ion channels; reduce oxidative stress by action of its strong antioxidant properties; reduce neuroinflammation by interactions with peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors, adenosine receptors, and cannabinoid receptors. These characteristics of cannabidiol relay anticonvulsant effects.

This information was gathered from “Cannabidiol has Anticonvulsant Effects: A Narrative Review”. For more information see:

Council, E. (2019) Cannabidiol has Anticonvulsant Effects: A Narrative Review. Manuscript Submitted for Publication.