Approximately 100 families relocated to Colorado as ‘medical refugees’ and at least another 171 are to follow. They have traveled to acquire marijuana for their children who suffer from seizure disorders. It is alleged that cannabis oil containing the derivative, cannabidoil, has the potential to reduce seizures dramatically.
Colorado officials stated that they are planning to spend $7 million in research grants to determine the efficacy of cannabis in children with seizure disorders and the side effects that may accompany its use.
The most well-known case of cannabis aiding with pediatric seizures is Charlotte Figi. Charlotte has a rare and severe form of epilepsy, Dravet Syndrome, and previously experienced up to 300 seizures a week. Since being treated with a strain of marijuana later named after her, ‘Charlotte’s Web,’ the girl is now subject to less than one seizure a week.
Colorado doctor, Dr. Margaret Gedde, says that in 8 of 11 families, the child’s seizures were cut down by at least 98%.
Despite these examples, other researchers warned parents the high altitude in Colorado could actually increase seizures. Dr. Larry Wolk, Colorado’s state health director, classifies the information as anecdotal and noted that none of the side effects of the treatment have been studied.
Families with children who suffer from similar conditions have been contacting The Realm of Caring foundation in Colorado. This organization is responsible for producing the strain, Charlotte’s Web. Unfortunately, the non-profit has insufficient supply for the demand they are currently receiving from families nation-wide.
The foundation also offers relief for individuals with multiple sclerosis, cancer, AIDS/HIV, Parkinson’s, and more. Its website claims it is among the first organizations to offer the treatment at affordable rates.
The progress of patients is tracked and observational studies are conducted by trained physicians. These studies allow the Realm of Caring foundation to demonstrate the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis and gain acceptance for individuals practicing this treatment.
To see one family’s account of pediatric epilepsy and how marijuana could help their daughter, take a look at the video.