02/23/2016 | Health + Wellness

Seizures and Medical Marijuana

For many who have followed the legalization of medical marijuana in different states, the story of Charlotte’s Web has come up on the radar. At only three months old, a child named Charlotte started having intense seizures, with no cure in sight. Though there were multiple possible diagnoses, Dravet Syndrome was the culprit. This condition is extremely rare and is a severe form of epilepsy that cannot be controlled through prescription medication.

By the age of two, Charlotte was declining physically and mentally, and was on seven different types of drugs. The family tried a myriad of treatment options, from a ketogenic diet to experimental anti-seizure drugs. Though certain things helped for a small period of time, the seizures always came back. At the age of five, Charlotte was having, on average, 300 grand mal seizures a week and doctors were unable to do anything more.

The family, though initially against legalizing medical cannabis, were willing to try anything. In 2012, after attempting to find doctors that would approve a medical marijuana card for a five year old, the family was finally able to receive medical cannabis that was high in CBD and low in THC and extract the oil. After her first dose, Charlotte was seizure-free for a week. Eventually, the family found a group of brothers that were breeding a strain that was right for Charlotte-low in THC and high in CBD, which means that it is high in medical properties and is without psychoactivity.

Overall, the family is able to receive this strain, now called “Charlotte’s Web,” and give Charlotte the oil in her food twice a day. She has two or three seizures a month, typically in her sleep, and is able to ride her bike, speak, and laugh-none of which she could do prior to medical cannabis.

Though there are some reservations about a child that young receiving medical cannabis, the alternative, for Charlotte, was death. Time will tell what, if any, long-term effects occur, but the family understands that without this life-saving treatment, they would not have their daughter today.

Seizures are one of the approved conditions in Illinois if you are looking into alternative treatments for your epilepsy. Once you have your registry identification card, visit Greenhouse!

Courtesy of: CNN