Marijuana and ‘spice’ could trigger seizures, study says
While a number of studies have suggested that marijuana may be effective for reducing seizures, new research cautions that potent and synthetic forms of the drug have the opposite effect.
Share on Pinterest Researchers suggest that the use of potent cannabinoids have the potential to trigger seizures.
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba in Japan found that natural tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the psychoactive chemical in marijuana – and the synthetic cannabinoid JWH-018 caused seizures in mice.
Study leader Olga Malyshevskaya and colleagues say that their findings – which are published in the journal Scientific Reports – should serve as a “public alert” to the potential harms caused by high-potency and synthetic marijuana.
While marijuana remains that “most commonly used illicit drug” in the United States, it is becoming increasingly legalized in individual states for medicinal purposes, recreational purposes, or both.
There has been increasing research for the use of marijuana – particularly a cannabinoid in the drug called cannabidiol (CBD) – in the treatment of seizures in patients with epilepsy, though a debate surrounding its efficacy continues.
The new study from Malyshevskaya and team suggests that general use of high-potency marijuana – that is, marijuana that contains high amounts of THC – may actually trigger seizures.
The research also found that seizures could be prompted by JWH-018, which is a manmade cannabinoid that is the primary component of the synthetic marijuana known as “spice.”
The researchers came to their findings by analyzing the brain activity of male mice after they received THC or JWH-018.
THC was given to the rodents in doses of 10 milligrams per kilogram (the equivalent to around 0.8 milligrams per kilogram in humans) and JWH-018 was administered in doses of 2.5 milligrams per kilogram (the equivalent to around 0.2 milligrams per kilograms in humans).
The team implanted electroencephalography (EEG) and electromyogram electrodes into the brains of the mice, which allowed them to monitor any seizure-related electrical activity in response to the drug compounds.
The movement and behavior of the rodents was also monitored through video recording.
The study revealed that the mice experienced seizures shortly after administration with both THC and JWH-018, though seizure frequency was significantly higher with JWH-018.
Seizure-related brain activity persisted for 4 hours after the administration of each drug, the team reports, but brain activity had returned to normal by the next day.
Interestingly, the researchers found that pre-treating the mice with AM-251 – which is a compound that binds to the cannabinoid-1-receptor – prevented seizures in response to THC and JWH-018.
As such, the team suggests that cannabinoid receptor antagonists could be useful for preventing seizures in the case of marijuana overdose.
According to the researchers, their results “provide strong evidence” that both plant-derived and synthetic cannabinoids have the potential to trigger seizures.
“On the other hand,” the authors note, “a substantial body of literature on cannabinoids in animal models shows mostly anticonvulsive effects.”
“However,” they add, “few of these used EEG recordings to assess epileptic events and many of them induced seizures either electrically or pharmacologically, changing signaling pathways and brain states prior to cannabinoid application.”
The team cautions that the doses of THC and JWH-018 used in their study were high and may not represent the doses normally seen with medicinal or recreational use in humans.
“It would be interesting in the future to also test lower doses, typically used medicinally or recreationally to determine whether the effect is lost or diminished,” they add.
Still, they believe that their findings should be viewed as a warning of the potential dangers of cannabinoids, particularly synthetic marijuana.
High-potency natural and synthetic cannabinoids were found to trigger seizures in mice, say researchers, with the latter posing the strongest effects.
“ Our study is quite important because unaware of the particularly severe effect by those cannabinoids, people see marijuana as a soft drug, without dangerous health effects.”
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Re: Marijuana-Induced Seizure
well, hello I’m gabi. I smoke pot and it doesnt make me have grandmal seizures. but i dont know aboutthe peitimal at all. i know whne i smoke about an eighth amd im done. i start to feel my body get the twiches, and start to feel ‘out of it’. friends can tell sometimes with my additude, when i stand im shaky. i mean, it can be a comnplex partial or a absence seizures im having when im just hcillin. anyhow, i know that it can have different effects on everyone, some people it can help the sz and some it can have a neg effect. you just have to be VERY careful, i would talk about it with your neuro. where do you live, bc if you really want to try to out and what not, maybe you can get it medicaly precrided oor soemthing. well, have an questions, or whatnot, email me.
I have never had a problem
I have never had a problem smoking it, but i have never had seizures until one night i ate cupcakes with my friends, they were all fine, but i had 3 small seizures, was so out of it i felt like i had done other drugs but nobody else felt that way. And it was a trusted source. I never ate marijuana again and i have never had a seizure again. So im pretty sure i just had a real bad allergic reaction. Which is actually common, but everyone experiences different side effects of an allergic reaction.
Have you figured out what
Have you figured out what caused this? I’ve had similar things happen to me
Not sure if anyone will ever
Not sure if anyone will ever read this but this happened to me twice before a diagnosis. I had been smoking weed heavily for almost a year and then one night when my friends were over I started to feel so so tired and I didn’t know what was happening and the next thing you know I started convulsing for around 40 seconds. Had an EEG, ECG, MRI, and CT scan, but nothing showed up. I barely smoked after the first episode and then a few months later after I had smoked a couple bongs I started to feel the same symptoms from the last time and then I had the second fit and fell onto my face and almost broke my jaw. My neurologist then sent me for a 6 hr long EEG, 3 hrs awake, 3 hrs asleep. Turns out if I hadn’t been asleep for a EEG they wouldn’t have found out that I have frontal lobe epilepsy so always be careful because you never know if it is something serious.
This happened to me two days
This happened to me two days ago. I Was at the the cinema watching a movie with my wife. suddenly felt a wave of overwhelming high. Then I woke up with a dozen people around me. Wife said my eyes rolled to back of my head and I was convulsing. I was also vomiting but not heaving. Wife said the vomit was just bubbling out. Very scary but I’m fine.
okay.so i have this same
okay.so i have this same thing but only with dabs. i smoke weed all day all night no problem. one day i was at the lake with my boy and we were smoking dabs, it was my first time with dabs. that night i had a seizure. about two weeks later i smoked dabs, another seizure later that night. so i stopped smoking dabs but ever since then if i am not on my phentoin meds they prescribed me to prevent seizures, i would seize around every four weeks. i had every test done they could do but nothing showed. no seizure disorder, everything fine as far as they could tell. to this day they cant figure it out so im jus prescribed the meds for it because ive never had a seizure on the meds. its weird cause i never had a seizures before i smoked dabs. the doctor didnt know but said theres a chance it was a reaction to bho used to infuse dabs. they cannot confirm that but that was his best guess. not sure if anyone has anything similar?
Omg exactly what I experience
Omg exactly what I experience when eating edibles. It’s so scary and I don’t want it to happen at all but when it does I know what it is. Still scary as shit tho..and just happend again last night
This is EXACTLY what happened
This is EXACTLY what happened to me last night. It would last about 30 seconds or so, then relax for a few seconds or a few minutes. But it did that for hours. I had never been high before and I ate two cookies last night, so it was my fault. Just a scary feeling.
Sometimes when i smoke and
Sometimes when i smoke and start coughing. my whole entire body freezes up and my hands and arms have this jerk reaction. my face is stuck and cant move nothing. eyes. mouth. cant even speak. but i dont fully pass out and it last all about 4 secs then i come out of it
This literally happened to me
This literally happened to me the other night. It was different for me though. I was doing dabs with a friend and not even 5 mins later I start feeling like my movements are slow/robotic and I can’t seem to just do what I’m trying to do, it was like never-ending, like those dreams where you’re running but the destination keeps getting farther away, only it was me trying to get my backpack off the car floor. After like 2 minutes of that(it was literal torture. I thought I was in Hell) my body started seizing and that lasted for idek how long, it felt like forever but maybe 5 minutes? My friend called 911 and the ambulance got there right as I was started to regain control. But I never fully regained control and everything was still in slow motion, I couldn’t see at times and every movement strained and robotic, like how a movie will get blurry or skip when the connection is bad. When I was in the ambulance, my body started seizing again and my heart rate got up to 160 when this happened. They put an IV in me for liquids or meds or something. I ended up seizing another 3-4 times after I got to the hospital. I was in this state for 5 hours before I finally felt normal again. The scary part of it all was i was completely aware of everything the entire time, and I knew when body was seizing and I would scream “It’s happening again, please help me”They said I wasn’t having actual seizures but more of a bad reaction to the dab. The doctors said they’d never seen that type of reaction from marijuana(and I’ve done dabs before and never had a reaction like that) so they figured that the dab must’ve been laced or something. I honestly had no idea what was happening at first, I literally thought I had died and gone to Hell. Scary shit.Community Forum Connect Get Social! 24/7 Helpline Community Forums Seizure and Epilepsy News Contact Us Find an Epilepsy Specialist Find a Clinical Trial ]]>