What would you do if your child had a serious form of epilepsy that was resistant to treatment by conventional methods? If a form of liquid cannabis was available that had proven results for reducing your child’s debilitating and painful seizures by 53%, wouldn’t you obtain that medicine by whatever means possible? Here’s the only problem – it still isn’t legal in many states.
A new study has shown that a liquid cannabis medicine could help control the seizures of children with severe epilepsy. When 213 individuals took the medicine ranging in age from toddlers to adults, all having severe epilepsy caused by Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and none of them responding to conventional drugs or other treatments – they all responded positively to the cannabis medicine. Only 10% had to stop taking it due to tiredness, diarrhea, and decreased appetite.
The drug is made from cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive part of the marijuana plant that usually gives people a ‘high.’
137 people completed the 12-week study to see how the drug would be tolerated, and the number of convulsive seizures experienced by the end of the study was reduced by 53 percent.
The 23 people with Dravet syndrome who finished the study, realized 53% fewer seizures, and the 11 individuals with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome experienced a 55 %reduction in the number of atonic seizures, which cause a sudden loss of muscle tone.
Only 12 people stopped taking the cannabis medicine due to mild side effects.
Another case where marijuana helps treat seizures can be seen with a little girl named Charlotte. At age two, she was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, a seizure disorder that is untreatable with modern medications, one where the patient experiences long, drawn out seizures back-to-back-to-back.
After finding that nothing could treat the seizures, Charlotte’s mom decided to give medical marijuana another look. In the first hour of receiving her first dose, Charotte had no seizures. In the second hour she didn’t either. Charotte didn’t have a seizure for seven days after her first marijuana treatment. The Figis family was convinced of the benefits of medical marijuana.
The marijuana strain Charlotte uses has been named in her honor. It’s called “Charlotte’s Web”.
Dr Orrin Devinsky, of New York University Langone Comprehensive Epilepsy Centre who lead the study remarked that larger trials are now needed to measure the effectiveness of the drug, and that it could be very effective fro parents looking to treat their children’s symptoms.