Patients across America with epilepsy, autism and other serious conditions are finding that CBD hemp oil is able to treat their condition much more efficiently than any existing medication. This trend is also beginning to show across the world, but how likely are governments to be supportive of CBD medication?
The non-psychoactive cannabinoid has had a massive impact on alternative medicine, with people using CBD to self-medicate various physical and psychological complaints. However, for patients with Dravet syndrome, an epilepsy which most often affects children, CBD can be the difference between life and death.
Kalel Santiago, 9, of Puerto Rico has non-verbal autism. However, he too, has enjoyed an improved quality of life from CBD treatment. Having been diagnosed with neuroblastoma, an unusual childhood cancer, at the age of 10 months, Kalel has suffered from reduced sensation, movement and thinking due to the damage that the condition does to neuroblasts, which are essential for a well-functioning sympathetic nervous system.
Neuroblastoma is very rare, with less than 20,000 people globally diagnosed with the cancer each year.
Kalel managed to beat neuroblastoma, but the result was another debilitating condition: non-verbal autism. This happened when he was just three years old.
Kalel’s father Abiel Gomez Santiago noted peculiar behavior from his son while still at the hospital getting over neuroblastoma. He stopped speaking, started walking on tip toes and flapping his hands. However, these behavioral oddities were not of significant concern until Kalel had beaten cancer.
Surf therapy for Kalel
Kalel’s parents were intent on finding their son relief from his autism symptoms, and started educating themselves about all potential treatments, including experimental ones. Kalel had special therapy, his parents got involved with support groups – they found everything. However, it wasn’t until they looked into “surf therapy” back in Puerto Rico that fortunes began to pick up.
Surf therapy gave the Santiago family an enjoyable activity to get involved with, but it was at a fundraising event for the therapy where they first heard about CBD. The family was given a sample bottle of CBD-rich hemp-derived cannabis oil, treating Kalel with it twice daily. Kalel’s condition started to improve immediately, and he was speaking after just two days of treatment. Before hearing about CBD, Kalel’s parents were unsure whether he would ever speak again.
Who manufactured Kalel’s oil?
Kalel’s school noticed that his performance in class was improving significantly, and that the only lifestyle change was CBD oil. The oil that the Santiago family uses to treat Kalel is made in California by a company called Hemp Health Inc.
There are several anecdotal stories now concerning treating children with CBD, and now the World Health Organization has concluded that the treatment is safe and not addictive. The cannabinoid can be used to treat a myriad of chronic illnesses, including epilepsy, yet the compound is still yet to receive federal recognition in the United States. As of 2018, CBD (derived from cannabis), along with every component of the cannabis plant, is a Schedule I substance – this means it’s considered to have “no medicinal value.”
Not only is CBD yet to receive FDA approval as a medicine, companies are also unable to market the compound and CBD products as dietary supplements. The federal government is prepared to make the distinction between hemp and marijuana (hemp can contain no more than 0.3 percent THC), they have so far refused to divulge about the medicinal properties of hemp-based products.
Furthermore, companies that have gone overboard with claims about CBD products have been warned by the FDA about their marketing practices, ordering them to be amended.
About Charlotte’s Web oil
Charlotte’s Web is a famous CBD-rich hemp-derived oil made by CW Botanicals. This type of oil has benefitted many children with conditions similar to Kalel’s. The company is named after child medical cannabis patient Charlotte Figi, whose Dravet’s syndrome is successfully controllable with CBD. Before being introduced to CBD oil, Charlotte could suffer from 100 or more grand mal seizures per day. However, cannabis cultivators and medical experts in Colorado worked to develop a special high-CBD strain, from which an essentially non-psychoactive, medicinal extract could be made.
A CBD dose of 3 or 4mg/lb has proven to be effective at clearing up the life-threatening seizures that would affect Charlotte daily.
Charlotte Figi and Kalel Santiago are two of thousands of children across the world who are being able to have an enhanced quality of life thanks to CBD. This compound is totally different to THC, the other key cannabinoids in the Cannabis Sativa L. plant – basically, using it won’t make you high. Furthermore, CBD creates unique interactions in the endocannabinoid system, releasing endocannabinoids to calm overactivity in the brain. This relaxing effect helps to reduce stress, regulate immune system function and more.
The future of CBD as a medicine looks very bright, although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is yet to give the go ahead. Some, however, believe that giving the FDA control over CBD will only benefit big pharmaceutical companies such as GW Pharmaceuticals that are hoping to profit from the legalization of medical cannabis. It’s an age-old debate in the world of cannabis: should this naturally-growing plant with immense medicinal potential really be the preserve of big businesses and governments, who more often than not seem to be working in tandem.
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