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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Medical Marijuana Treatment Epilepsy Report

In the wake of Sanjay Gupta’s special CNN report on the use of marijuana as an acceptable medical treatment, the journal Epilepsia has published a series of articles which investigate medical marijuana and pure cannabidiol for the treatment of severe forms epilepsy. In Gupta’s report he spoke with parents whose daughter Charlotte suffers from a severe form of epilepsy known as SCN1A-confirmed Dravet syndrome.

After extensive personal research the family, with the aid of Colorado-based medical marijuana group (Realm of Caring), started treating Charlotte with a high concentration cannabidiol/Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (CBD:THC) strain of marijuana, now known as Charlotte's Web, according to the report. As a result, Charlotte’s frequency of seizures reportedly decreased from 50 convulsions per day to 2-3 convulsions each month, dramatically improving the child’s quality of life.

Charlotte's case is not isolated; there have been others who have experienced similar results. However, the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) produced a report which reviewed all available evidence on the use of marijuana to treat brain diseases; they concluded that there is only limited evidence to support the use of medical marijuana beyond treating multiple sclerosis symptoms.

In the new Epilepsia articles, they challenge the conclusion of the AAN, citing case studies, like Charlotte’s. They point out that the strain of marijuana used on Charlotte is low in THC (the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana) and high in cannabidiol (CBD), she gets the medical benefits of marijuana without the heavy sedation.

"Colorado is 'ground zero' of the medical marijuana debate," claims article author Dr. Edward Maa, chief of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at Denver Health. "As medical professionals it is important that we further the evidence of whether CBD in cannabis is an effective antiepileptic therapy."
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