Video Credit: The Pulse Channel
According to the latest statistics, it’s estimated that 0.6 percent of children aged 0 to 17 have epilepsy. This works out as being 470,000 children in the U.S as a whole. Treating children with epilepsy proves to be difficult, with medication seriously harming them in the long-run.
It’s been a long battle for cannabis to receive the funding for research. Early studies and anecdotal reports have long claimed that CBD oil could be a key ingredient in controlling seizures. Many parents are now using it for their own children, and recent studies are backing it up.
ER physician, Dr. Thomas Minihan, and self-proclaimed conservative Christian, has chosen to speak out in hopes to raise awareness of medical cannabis. His 11-year-old daughter, Mallory, suffers from a severe type of epilepsy that was not responding to prescription medications.
The last medication he gave his daughter had severe side effects that resulted in shaking and trembling — “like an alcoholic going through withdrawal”, as Dr. Minihan describes. Admittedly, he struggled and felt helpless. Being both a dad and a doctor, Dr. Minihan tried everything he could for his daughter.
Dr. Minihan’s cousin suggested he check out a documentary on CNN about kids with epilepsy and medical marijuana. Like many people, he held negative connections to marijuana and seen it as something people used for recreational purposes. After noticing how cannabis oil helped Charlotte Figi with her seizures on the documentary, he debated his former stance on cannabis. Since his daughter had not been showing any improvement, he decided to open his mind.
From his research, he discovered there were no reports of death from the mistreatment of cannabis. With the medication that his daughter was currently on, the string of side effects could lead to serious long-term damage. After this, Dr. Minihan learned about CBD and its non-intoxicating, healing effects.
Faced with 30-40 seizures a month, Mallory would never have a normal or independent life. He talked to his specialist, who said he had two choices: A new medication, or trying medical cannabis.
Firstly, Dr. Minihan looked into medication — one side effect could cause death — and decided to try medical cannabis. For all her life, Mallory suffered from numerous seizures. She had to be home-schooled, missed out on social activities, and was regularly injured through her falls. Now, after treatment with the CBD oil, Mallory is back in school, she is aware, alert and healthy. Her family feels like she is a different kid. To them, she is “awake” again, thanks to the medicinal properties of CBD.
As of 2018, news made headlines when the FDA officially approved the first-ever cannabis-derived medicine for epilepsy: Epidiolex. A study done by the New England Journal of Medicine backs this up. The subjects that were brought into the study were diagnosed with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome — a severe case of epilepsy. Researchers from the study discovered that CBD oil drops were able to significantly reduce the number of seizures in both adults and children. Since its legalization, and the incredible amount of funded research, treating epilepsy has become more manageable.