Given the rapid increase in cannabis-based medical research over the past few years, amazing data has been collected regarding the potential to help children suffering from rare seizure disorders. In an article originally written by Andre Bourque of Entrepreneur, researchers are shocked by the cases of medical cannabis helping children in ways not currently available with conventional medicine.
Among the many cities which have rapidly been expanding in the fields of technology and research, many would not be so quick to identify Pittsburgh as a contender. However, Pittsburgh has rapidly added roughly 1,600 new technology firms which have generated $20.7 billion in annual salaries. Due to this immense growth and financing, the city has quickly become to be a prominent hub in the cannabis research space.
Pittsburgh’s role within medical cannabis research was first made possible on April 17, 2016, when the Pennsylvania governor signed its first medical cannabis program into law. While Pennsylvania was the 24th state which permitted medical cannabis distribution within its borders, the state wasted little time establishing research programs geared towards identifying the effectiveness of cannabis in treating 17 known medical conditions.
This research was initially started by the Pittsburgh School of Medicine, who was able to successfully disprove many stigmas which have surrounded the plant within the medical space. This research eventually encouraged the World Medical Cannabis Conference and Expo (WMCCE) to hold a two-day conference within the city. Physicians interested in using the plant within their own practices flocked to the conference in record numbers, allowing many to walk away with a fresh perspective on the plant’s medical potential.
Among the many presentations on the healing properties of cannabis, the most prominent were the cases of three children who have found immediate relief from their rare seizure conditions by using cannabis-based products.
The first of cases these was about Lillyann Baker, a girl who suffered from routine seizures do to a brain injury which occurred she was seven weeks old. While her mother attempted to use prescription drugs, such as Apitom, Felbatol, and Carbatrol, the young girl received no relief from her seizures. Finally, after her mother tried a high concentration hemp oil, the girl eventually found herself seizure free for an entire year. According to HempMeds CEO Dr. Stuart Titus, “The electric properties of hemp are responsible for seizure reduction.”
Harper Howard was another child who suffered from seizures which could not be treated by conventional medicine. After being born with CDKL5, a rare genetic disorder which causes uncontrollable seizures at any point during the day, Harper’s parents were desperate to try a CBD regimen. The CBD treatment successfully eliminated Harper’s seizures, allowing her and her family to experience a much better quality of life. While Harper passed way in early 2016,
her story lives on to show parents that their child does not have to suffer at the hands of rare conditions like CDKL5.
The third child presented about at WMCCE was Grace Elizalde. Grace was born with an extremely rare condition known as Lennox Gastaut Syndrome (LGS), a form of childhood epilepsy which can be utterly debilitating. After Grace could not be treated by 19 different prescriptions and brain surgery, her father Raul knew something else had to be done. Raul not only used CBD extracts to successfully treat his daughter, he also sued the Mexican government for his right to use the substance for medical purposes. His case was eventually a huge success, prompting the Mexican government to pass a bill which permitted growing cannabis for medical use and research purposes.
While there are still many who have their doubts regarding the medical potential for cannabis, the cases of these three children prove that the plant has a firm leg up on conventional medicine. Only with continued cannabis education events, such as the WMCCE, will physicians and the public be able to shed the pointless stigmas which have surrounded cannabis use for decades.