Medical marijuana and marijuana extract has long been contested. But what if your child’s life was on the line? What would you do? Families have been moving across country, to states like Colorado, for legal high-CBD strains of cannabis, said to reduce intensity and frequency of some epileptic seizures.
Medical marijuana states legislation hasn’t quite caught up yet, but optimistic, hopeful, and, in some cases, pleading parents have implored politicians to pass bills that would allow them to administer potentially life-saving medication to their children.
And guess what? It’s working.
This kind of “mommy lobby” isn’t unique to medical marijuana or marijuana extract—you can just think about MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving—and neither is it isolated to more liberal states with a history of pro-cannabis legislation and heaps of medical marijuana dispensaries, on every other block or kitty corner to each other.
The Florida medical marijuana scene, for example, as well as states Utah, Georgia, Oklahoma, Alabama, and other states, have all displayed increased activity and campaigning by parents who are willing to do anything to help their children.
Unfortunately, up till now, these parents were taking serious risks, according to most doctors, since no empirical research on high-percentage CBD cannabis had been released at the time. CBD is a cannabinoid, one of many active compounds found in marijuana. What’s special about this one is that it is thought to help patients with serious, debilitating seizures, especially young children who might otherwise encounter significant developmental issues.
But even medical marijuana doctors, endorsing cannabinoids at large as medicine for certain conditions, couldn’t necessarily support CBD extracts as a treatment method—not without the right data. So in order to determine marijuana as a safe, effective treatment method for certain kinds of seizures, a rigorous and empirically designed study would be required.
How exactly will these drugs help—or hurt—children with epileptic disorders, has been a question regular physicians simply could not answer.
It’s no longer just about scoring a medical marijuana card, either, but giving families and patients across the country a chance at normal, healthy lives. See here how one boy and his family were saved by medical marijuana extract:
This past December (2015), in Philadelphia, the American Epilepsy Society presented results of a study that began in 2014. The trial was carried out over three months, involving 313 children and 16 epilepsy centers from all around the country, and leading neurologists on the team from New York University.
Of the 261 patients who continued on cannabidiol (CBD) through the entire duration of the study, about half experienced fewer seizures. Some even continued to experience the benefits on the CBD compound after the trial was completed.
However, some trial participants experienced adverse effects, such as greater frequency of seizures, onset by any increase in consumption of CBD. Of course some doctors say there might be a placebo effect at work, too, or an unknown confounding factor, which would not be uncovered without additional trials. So before we see this drug readily available in just any medical marijuana dispensary, there will need to be follow-up studies, full clinical trials, and a larger sample size.