Health, Law & Politics, The Daily Dope

Medical Monday:Cannabis and Epilepsy Pt. 2
Power to the Plant
By: Ryan Burke

Medical Monday: Cannabis and Epilepsy Pt. 2: Power to the Plant

With continuous pro-cannabis campaigns sweeping the country, more and more states are falling under the legalized umbrella, despite the current federal legal forecast. From this, more scientific studies are beginning to unveil the power of marijuana, specifically cannabidiol (CBD), within the medical community. CBD’s non-psychoactive elemental properties have created an entirely new platform of acceptance within the once marijuana-resistant consensus that held form for so long. Because of the notably significant data surrounding CBD and medical benefits, scientists are beginning to gain better insight into the relationship between epilepsy, CBD and wellness.

Parents of children who suffer from epilepsy have begun to lead the march in fighting for what they view as necessary medicine. As every parent strives to provide their child with the best life they can give them, the proponents enveloping marijuana’s properties within victims of epilepsy have yielded an entirely new branch within the cannabis community. This has created national awareness towards progressing a society that welcomes cannabis and encourages proper diligence for availability.

I had the privilege of sitting down with the mother of Jessie, who has battled idiopathic epilepsy for her entire life. Jessie has been on a series of drugs to combat her severe epileptic activity since she was born; these drugs include: Phenobarbitol, Tegretol, Depakote, Klonopin and Lamictal. Her seizures continued through the years however, and her body began to develop other ailments due to the effects of the drugs. At twenty years old, Jessica was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy that is widely known for the lack of treatment available. Charlotte Figi, the widely-known pioneer patient of CBD’s breakthroughs in epilepsy is also a victim of Dravet Syndrome. Through the Dravet community, Jessica and her family were introduced to the idea of treating the condition with cannabis.

Following diligent research, Jessica’s family decided to move forward with treating Dravet Syndrome with CBD. After four months of being placed on a dosed regiment by Elysium, her seizures decreased by 35 percent and there was a noticeable increase in verbalization and cognition. Jessie also began to get fuller nights of sleep, resulting in decreased inflammation, a main proponent diseases thrive off of within the body. With noticeable improvements in all areas, her family decided to wean her off Klonopin, a drug that she has been on since the age of two. It has been 27 months and Jessie has now reduced her Klonopin intake by 75 percent, and her seizure count has continued to decrease despite her long history of relying on the drug. Jessie’s mom conveyed the importance of slowly moving away from pharmaceutical drugs, and creating a regiment that eventually leads to minimizing the intake of these harmful drugs to optimize wellness and improve all areas of life.

A major area of concern within the medical community is trying to grasp where the untreatable epileptic behavior stems from. We have come to learn that the drugs that have been prescribed to epileptic individuals play a major role in learning impairments and cognitive survival. Cannabis offers an escape from the drugs that handcuff the victims of epilepsy from learning and living life as normally as possible. Jessica and her family are exemplary to the medical marijuana community, and further the structure of bond and love that make up the foundation of cannabis.


Also published on Medium.

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