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Increased Demand for CBD Epilepsy Treatment

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1 Increased Demand for CBD Epilepsy Treatment on Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:22 pm


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Increased Demand for CBD Epilepsy Treatment
By Maxwell Lawrence on December 12, 2014 Health & Medicine, Medicine
Parents of children experiencing epilepsy and/or seizures both in the United States and abroad are clamoring to acquire a new Cannabis-based treatment.  In 2013, five brothers in Colorado invented a way to extract high Cannabidiol (CBD) material from a special strain of marijuana known as “Charlotte’s Web” into an oil-based tincture that can be utilized to treat children suffering from epileptic seizures.  The oil, high in CBD but low in THC (the psychoactive element in Cannabis) is sweeping the globe as it has been found to suppress pain and dramatically reduced the number of epileptic episodes without causing users to experiencing the psychoactive “high” feeling. To say that the CBD oil has been a success would perhaps be the understatement of the year. There is currently a 12,000-person worldwide wait-list for the oil, and signs indicate that many parents are increasingly turning to this alternative treatment. The treatment is being sought after by a wide range of interested parties.
The University of Alabama is currently playing the waiting game as it seeks approval from the FDA on its ability to initiate research and development on CBD oils in relation to pain suppression and epileptic treatment. Merely a few months ago, the University was given approval by the Alabama State Legislature in the form of a 5-year, $1 million research grant, leaving Federal law as the only stumbling block towards progress.  Roughly 80 days have come and gone without the university hearing back from the FDA.  The FDA claims that they are in the process of sending a reply letter, but to no avail so far.  It’s not difficult to understand the need for scientific and medical research involving new treatments-especially when there is so little knowledge about their longterm implications. Time is is of the essence as many parents are waiting to see if they can use CBD as a solution for their children sometimes having 200 seizures a day. As such, this ethic of compassion is not isolated to the states but also expands internationally.
Parents in Canada are fighting to navigate the archaically outdated legal infrastructure surrounding the usage and intake of Cannabis-based medical treatments. Liam McKnight, a six-year-old boy from Ottawa, Canada has Dravet Syndrome and experiences extreme epilepsy.  After being placed on a treatment plan consisting of CBD oil, he went from having 67 seizures a day to having only 1 seizure in the ten days after the treatment began.  Unfortunately for the McKnight’s, Liam is breaking the law each time he consumes the therapeutic oil because Cannabis consumption in Canada is only permissible in the form of vaporizing or smoking.  In essence, Canada’s laws make it so that Liam, a six-year-old, must smoke weed as the only legal means of accessing his medication. Say what you will about adults making the choice to smoke plant matter, but as Liam’s mother says, “Who’s going to expect a six-year-old to smoke weed?”  Smoking and/or vaporizing marijuana has the potential of releasing respiratory irritants which is the last thing that a six-year-old with an already debilitating illness needs. Upon writing to the Canadian Health Ministry, Mandy McKnight received a reply indicating that not enough clinical study had been done on the consumption of Cannabis oil and that the risks associated with use were ‘unknown’.  In short, this is more of the same rhetoric without the requisite action.
As various state, local, and federal governments begin to understand the gravity of the demand for these alternative treatments, thousands wait in hopeful agony as they watch their loved ones suffer unnecessarily despite their being available medication.

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