Tags: marijuana | epilepsy | treatment | thc | cannabis

Does Cannabis Stop Epilepsy Seizures?

Tuesday, 25 March 2014 11:53 AM

Scores of families with sick children — many with epilepsy — have moved to Colorado in the last eight months hoping medical marijuana can help treat their kids, CNN reports. 
According to the organization Realm of Caring, more than 100 families have moved to Colorado looking for medicine to save their children's lives. The organization is run by marijuana growers and dispensary owners who have pioneered a strain of cannabis that is low in THC, the active ingredient that gets users high, and high in a chemical believed to have medicinal properties.
The families have come from as far away as Australia and Canada, as well as other U.S. states.
"Jordan had her first seizure at 6 months old. I had never seen a seizure before," her mother, Paula Lyles, told CNN. "We took her to the hospital. The doctors said that would probably be the only one she'd have and sent us home."
But when Jordan was 18 months old, she began having more seizures. Just before her 11th birthday, she was diagnosed with a severe form of epilepsy characterized by uncontrolled, continuous seizures. Traditional anti-seizure medications did not help her.
Lyles said she'd heard about the healing properties of cannabis, so six months ago she and her daughter packed up and moved from Ohio to Colorado, one of 20 states where medical marijuana is legal.
Doing so allowed Jordan to be treated with a strain of medical marijuana that's high in cannabidiol, or CBD, a chemical in cannabis thought to have medicinal benefits, and low in tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive chemical in pot that gets users high.
Today, Jordan is much happier, and the results, her mother said, are undeniable.
"We've been able to reduce her pharmaceuticals by 50 percent as a result of using [marijuana]," Lyles says. "It's ridiculous. I didn't want to do it, but now that I'm out here on the other side I know I'm where I'm supposed to be. I wanted to do anything to save Jordan's life.
"Nobody should be forced with that choice ... Now I have hope. There was no hope if I had stayed home. I would just be watching her die."
About 3 million people in the United States have epilepsy, according to the American Epilepsy Foundation, which supports clinical studies on the effectiveness of cannabis in treating the condition.
"We desperately need new treatments, and we need more research to get those treatments," Amy Brooks-Kayal, M.D., vice president of the group, told CNN.
"There are anecdotal reports in some people with epilepsy where marijuana derivatives seem to be effective. There are other cases where it seems not to have worked as well, and what we need to understand is who might benefit from marijuana and marijuana derivatives such as cannabidiol, how much we would give them, how often to give it (and) what the potential side effects might be."


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Scores of families with sick children - many with epilepsy - have moved to Colorado in the last eight months hoping medical marijuana can help treat their kids.
Tuesday, 25 March 2014 11:53 AM
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