It’s official: cannabidiol (CBD) really can help treat epileptic seizures in children, even those with conditions that are typically treatment-resistant. The New England Journal of Medicine has just conducted a study on children with the rate and life-threatening Dravet’s syndrome. Dravet’s can cause frequent, severe, elongated seizures which can lead to brain damage. The participants were treated with CBD oil.
The treatment used was GW Pharmaceuticals’ cannabis-derived drug Epidiolex, which is potent in the antispasmodic and anti-seizure compound CBD. A total of 120 participants took part in a 14-week program – 60 were treated with Epidiolex while the other group was given a placebo.
Participants treated with Epidiolex enjoyed an average seizure reduction of 40 percent, according to the New England Journal of Medicine research, with three patients finding that CBD completely ridded them of their seizures.
Prior to treatment, the group administered Epidiolex experienced a drop from almost 12 monthly seizures to around six. When discussing the study and CBD, Dr Orrin Devinsky said that CBD wasn’t medical marijuana per se, but that the molecule was the “major non-psychoactive compound” found in cannabis.
For children who have tried countless anti-epileptic treatments without joy, CBD and Epidiolex is having an incredible effect, and improving their quality of life no end.
Devinsky said that some of the child patients with Dravet’s were wheelchair-bound, often emotionless and some even struggled to open their eyes. However, now, they are able to walk, smile and engage with others. Devinsky added, “It’s like a different human being in front of you.”
UK-based GW Pharmaceuticals is currently going through the bureaucratic and hopeful process of having Epidiolex approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Medical marijuana saves 13-year-old with epilepsy
Jack Ziokowski, 13, is the perfect example of a child epilepsy patient whose life has turned around for the better thanks to medical cannabis.
Before Ziokowski’s parents became aware of CBD, Jack would suffer from a possible 20 seizures per month. But since starting a CBD medication plan, his seizures disappeared overnight, with mother Jenny noting that Jack went six months without a single seizure after beginning to take CBD oil.
While CBD is becoming more popular, much of the American public is yet to realize how transformative the compound could be for the marijuana industry. Now cannabis can be taken for its benefits in non-psychoactive fashion, it’s overall appeal is set to broaden significantly.
And Washington needs to wake up to. Doctors are desperate to investigate the potential of medical cannabis further, but as long as the compound remains a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act, the barriers to research will remain raised. But keeping CBD is surely now an untenable position, with the cannabinoid demonstrating a clear medicinal value for a multitude of ailments. And in the case of intractable epilepsy, it is sometimes the only treatment that helps at all.
Cannabis reform is imperative, so we can hear about more amazing stories like Jack Ziokowski’s.