Possible Target for Epilepsy Treatment ?

There are numerous neurological conditions that exist, and within the past five to ten years, an increase in the research for epilepsy treatment’s have happened. Much of this research is about the use of natural substance being used to treat numerous conditions. Marijuana has been the main thing looked at, but there are other natural substances as well. These may work alone, or with marijuana in the treatment of epilepsy. Here we look at one possible target for epilepsy treatment that may work with marijuana, possibly explaining at least one way in which marijuana works in the treatment of epilepsy and seizures.


What is it ?

One other natural product or substance that has been shown through research to have positive effects on decreasing seizures either with marijuana or alone is capsasin. This is part of the chyanne pepper or what most individuals know as the chili pepper. This is what gives the pepper it’s hot and spicy taste. The research has shown it to help in different ways not only with epilepsy and seizure treatment, but other conditions as well. These include things such as: Alzheimers disease, muscular dystrophy, general pain relief (1,4), blood pressure (9), diabetes (10), and even obesity (2,8).

When it comes to the pain relief, the use of acetomeniphen has been shown to have some anti convulsant properties that work through the TRPV1 channel.(22), making it good for more than just general pain relief. These other uses would make it a possible target for treatment in the area of general health and wellness as well.


Where is the target ?

There are many aspects to the cayenne pepper, just as have been discovered in the cannabis or marijuana plant. These substances have been shown either to work alone, or together with marijuana in the treatment of epilepsy and other conditions. Some targets being looked at when treating epilepsy include using: neuron channels, receptors, ions, as well as enzymes (14) . The use of capsacin in the treatment of seizures concerns the TRPV1 channel which is used by different substances that are produced. In many studies it has shown promising effects in the treatment of seizures when this channel is manipulated or changed. This also involves CBD which is the part of the marijuana plant which is non psychotic (12). Because of this, they may be related in some way when it comes to the anti convulsant effects seen through using the CBD found in marijuana.


How does it work ?

. There are two basic parts to the pepper. These include: capsacin, as well as capsacimin. These are the agonist and antagonist of neurons and ion channels. While capsacin turns on neuron channels, the capsacimin assists in turning them off. Activation of the TRPV1 channel, and an increase in capsacin has shown to play a part in controlling to neuronal excitability (19,5), while capsasimin will decrease the neuronal excitability (17). This shows using TRPV1 as a target as having promising possible treatment for many neurological conditions, and brain functions. (6). One of the main targets of treatment for seizures concerns the amount of calcium within the channels that a seizure occurs. When calcium builds up, it can be a trigger for a seizure to occur, and using a TRPV1 antagonist is thought to change these effects of any calcium buildup (16). The thought that TRPV1 may be a target for CBD when it’s effects take place is due to different reason. This includes the fact that an individual with temporal lobe epilepsy shows more TRPV1 channels when compared to those without epilepsy, suggesting it may be used as a main channel for calcium buildup (20). An increase in TRPV1 antagonist has been shown to increase the seizure threshold, meaning that it would require a higher amount to cause a seizure (24) The use of an antagonist for TRPV1 has also been shown that a decrease the amount of channel activity and the amount of calcium entering in them (18, 21). This makes the TRPV1 channel a promising target for the possible treatment of epilepsy. (25). Both the THC and CBD in marijuana have been shown to work through the TRPV1 channel (11), and It is also thought that CBD may be a possible manipulator of TRPV1 blocking and signal changing .(20, 23) So what are the effects of the changing of these channels and receptors ?



What effects does it have ?

Both capsacin and capsacimin have their place in being used, but there may also be positive, as well as negative effects for both depending on what is being looked at. Capsacin has shown mixed results concerning epilepsy treatment. In the majority of studies, it has been shown more for the capsacimin to have a positive effect in controlling seizures. It is even thought that TRPV1 may be involved in the onset and progression of some forms of epilepsy, while for others, a decrease in the channel showed an increase in seizures seen (13).

When capsacimin has been used, it has shown to decrease the intensity and frequency of seizures seen, while capsacin has been shown to be more pro convulsant, triggering a seizure. In some cases the opposite was true where when put together with an anti convulsant medication, capsasin all but eliminated seizures that were seen (15), More research may need to be done, but the use of a substance that will increase capsasimin and TRPV! antagonist, blocking and mediating the calcium channels (3,7), looks to be a promising target at treating epilepsy.



There are numerous targets that are used in the treatment of epilepsy, including: ion channels, enzymes, and others. The TRPV1 channel is a possible target for treatment of epilepsy and seizures. The two substances that activate and suppress the channel are capsacin and capsacimin respectively. These both come from the cayenne pepper, and an increase in capsapine has been shown in numerous studies to have positive effects concerning an increase in seizure threshold, as well as a decrease in calcium flow through the channel, which could both decrease the chances of a seizure occurring. Since CBD is thought to have some control over this channel, this may be one of many ways in which CBD and marijuana will assist in decreasing the frequency and intensity of seizures that occur.


1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21204507/

2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28104916/

3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25029033/

4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20826794/

5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28094445/

6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24887171/

7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30927254/

8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27227029/

9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30206938/

10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32652086/

11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32751761/

12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31372958/

13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27810513/

14. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24674273/

15. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32036609/

16. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25743251/

17. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25713512/

18. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30159798/

19. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24145133/

20. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32656346/

21. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26411767/

22. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30007240/

23. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28821005/

24. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25764210/

25. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19328632/