According to theresearchers at the University of Saskatchewan, preliminary results suggest medicinal cannabis oil can reduce or completely eliminate seizures in children experiencing severe and drug-resistant epilepsy. The study was funded by Jim Pattinson’s Children’s Hospital Foundation.
It monitored seven children with severe pediatric epilepsy, a debilitating condition that can cause children to suffer as many as 1,200 seizures in a month. The results of the study were quite nascent but encouraging, said Dr. Richard Huntsman, one of the study’s authors and a pediatric neurologist at the university’s college of medicine.
The overall reduction in seizures was measured close to 75% on an average which was amazing, given the potential of cannabis oil and how it could be so effective. While some people might look at it in a pessimistic manner saying that the results do not show 100% improvement, it is important to understand that medical science is not an overnight success journey. It takes time and innumerable research with multiple experiments to ensure a 100% safe and reliable treatment.
Apart from this, you also have to take into consideration these are kids that have failed multiple anti-seizure medications, multiple treatments and are finally responding to a drug known as cannabidiol. The chances of getting a good result with another medication is really, really low.
Three out of the seven children who participated in the study stopped having seizures altogether during the study. During the course of the study, these children were administered with typical medication in addition to the cannabis oil. No participant was administered a placebo.
After one full month of observing their seizures, the children received increasing doses of an herbal cannabis extract. The dosage was then gradually increased each month for six months.
A major concern that complicated the study was the notion that the cannabis based medicine would probably intoxicate the young kids who had participated in the study. But the actual medication consisted of 95% cannabidiol (CBD) and 5% THC (tetra hydro cannabinoid).
CBD is derived from hemp plants, a cannabis genus plant, which has anti-inflammatory and non-psychoactive properties. CBD or cannabidiol is known to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, pain, swelling, inflammation and also treat some severe ailments such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Though research and in-depth studies are still going on in the subject, it is reported by users that CBD has changed their life for good and relieved them of life threatening diseases.
THC or tetrahydro cannabinoid on the other hand has psychoactive components, it is this drug that is responsible to make you feel “high” when you smoke weed. According to the federal government, hemp derived cannabidiol is legal with a maximum of 0.3% THC concentration per unit. However, the FDA has only legalized one CBD based drug that is known as Epidiolex, which is used to treat severe seizures in children. Apart from this, the FDA is yet to set a regulatory framework for CBD infused edibles.
The agency even held a public meeting on May 31 to address the rising issue of unregulated CBD based edible products in the market. Many stakeholders, consumers, retailers, business leaders were seen participating in the meeting. Though the results remain unknown and pending as of now, it is estimated the agency will declare some of the highlights by the end of 2019.
Huntsman said that the study was able to reveal that even at the highest doses of CBD in the study, the THC levels were relatively low and way far from dangerous levels. Based on this study, it can be understood that the issue they are trying to deal with is way bigger than to worry about intoxication by THC as it is constantly monitored and observed. This preliminary data for seven patients of the study have showed great signs for improvement in overall health using CBD.
Part of the study attempted to outline a framework on how to regulate cannabis based medicines, as there was no evidence based dosage guideline, said Huntsman. There are many ongoing research that are experimenting with different doses of cannabis oil, ensuring that it is safe for patients to use without any drastic side effects.
Till now, it has been a revolutionary compound in the medical science, based on multiple studies. But, as per the researchers of this study, there is still a long way to go and unveil the true side of cannabis oil.