As the final days of November wind down, we wanted to make note of this month as National Epilepsy Awareness Month in the United States. Epilepsy affects around 3 million people in the United States alone, with around 65 million suffering from epilepsy worldwide. Every year, around 200,000 individuals are diagnosed with epilepsy. That’s more than multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s combined.
In recognition of this month, we’ve put together some of the top headlines from this month in epilepsy. From mothers in Chile uniting for access to CBD oil to farmers in Oregon donating precious medicine to sick children, efforts to treat epilepsy with CBD are rapidly expanding. Here’s what this month brought in epilepsy awareness:
Three moms in Florida got together in an effort to advocate for the right and option to utilize cannabis in the care of their critically ill children. The moms were traveling out of state to get the medicine that they need for their sick children and were heavily involved in the effort to legalize medical marijuana in Florida. Though Amendment 2 did not not pass in Florida, the CannaMoms still have access to the life saving CBD oil and will push even harder for medical marijuana in 2016.
Clinical Testing For Cannabis Oil
Three different cities in the United States will soon begin testing cannabis oil in the treatment of Dravet Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy. Texas Children’s hospital will be among the first to test the cannabis compound Epidiolex. The drug is a purified CBD oil with no psychoactive effects and will be tested on children between 4 and 10 years old who are afflicted by Dravet’s Syndrome. Georgia and Illinois will be hosting future studies.
A worldwide movement? Perhaps. Similar to the CannaMoms of Florida, this group of Chilean Mother’s just put together a group of over 100 moms in order to exchange information about the use of CBD oil in the treatment of epilepsy. Though cultivation of cannabis remains illegal in Chile, these mothers found this treatment to be exponentially more effective than others at 1/8th of the cost.
An Oregon-based grow-op called TJ’s Organic Garden is treating Oregon children free of charge. Pictured above is 8-year-old Forrest Smelser who is one of the organization’s patients. Forrest was suffering from epileptic seizures up to every 15 minutes before he began using the CBD oil. After receiving the cannabis-based CBD pills, Forrest has now gone over 9 weeks without a seizure. TJ’s owner Jim Murphy vows to give out the medicine for free and has enough to supply around 500 patients.
As epilepsy awareness month draws to an end, let’s take time to celebrate the victories in the treatment of epilepsy and remember that there are millions still suffering. More research is on the way, and you can do your part by spreading this valuable information or donating to The Epilepsy Foundation here.
Photo Credit: Enduring Epilepsy
Eugene based TJ’s Organic Garden is offering up free medicinal marijuana to children suffering from epilepsy. TJ’s owner Jim Murphy says that they are aiming to supply about 500 children with the non-psychoactive medicine at absolutely no cost. Murphy said, “To be part of the fix is pretty special. It’s a payment within itself.”
The look on Jim Murphy’s face says it all; he’s proud to be helping suffering children. It seems that it’s Murphy’s sense of social responsibility that beckoned his generous donations. “It would be wrong of us not to do so,” Murphy says. With a glimpse of what’s at stake, its no wonder he feels this way.
“Now that I’m on this medication, I feel like a normal boy.”
Those are the words of 8 year old Forrest Smelser, one of the children receiving free medicine from TJ’s. On bad days, Forrest would suffer from a seizure up to every 15 minutes. His mother Tanesha says that in the case of seizures lasting more than 15 minutes, Forrest would begin suffering from brain damage.
Shortly after his 8th birthday, Forrest began suffering from epileptic seizures. The seizures were extremely damaging to the life of the rambunctious young boy. After multiple trips to the emergency room, doctors prescribed the anti-seizure drug Trileptal. The drug proved to be ineffective and didn’t provide the quality of life that a child this age deserves. Forrest became angry and violent on the drug, even hitting himself at times.
After a family friend’s suggestion, Forrest’s mother Tanesha began treating her son with non-psychoactive CBD pills. The results were remarkable. Young Forrest has been seizure free for over 9 weeks now. His mother Tanesha says, “I have my son again. He’s not this fog of a child. He’s not this angry child. He’s my child exactly.”
Forrest is one of 195 medical marijuana patients in Oregon under the age of 18. His mother Tanesha says, “I know it sounds scary and unconventional, but it’s working.” That seems to be the resounding message for parents with children afflicted by epilepsy. Children as young as 4 years old have been enrolled in Oregon’s medical marijuana program.
With more and more success cases being reported across the United States, CBD treatments for epilepsy are becoming increasingly common. TJ’s Organic Gardens has received inquiries from as far away as West Virginia. Murphy encourages parents to contact him, saying, “Get a hold of us. If we can help that’s great. If we can’t, we may be able to point you in the right direction.”
If your child is need of help, you can contact Jim Murphy at [email protected]
via Komo News
The CannaMoms and CannaBabes landed back in Florida last night after spending two weeks in San Francisco, California on a mission for medical marijuana education and treatment.
These moms have been forced to seek medical marijuana treatments for their children outside of their home state because the plant is not currently legal in the state of Florida, even for medical use. The CannaMoms, along with many others, are hoping that will change after election day next week when Floridians have the opportunity to Vote Yes on Amendment 2. Amendment 2 will allow medical marijuana dispensaries to cultivate, produce and distribute medical marijuana to patients with qualifying medical conditions. These families just want safe, consistent access to medical marijuana for their children, and they want it to be available in their home state of Florida to avoid having to move or travel just to obtain medication.
The CannaMoms organization consists of a “group of passionate mothers advocating for the right and option to utilize cannabis in the care of their critically ill children.” The three strong moms who started the organization, Jacel Delgadillo, Moriah Barnhart and Renee Petro have children who suffer from severe medical conditions such as brain tumors and different types of epilepsy, and they are frustrated with the horrible side effects caused by the pharmaceutical medications prescribed by physicians to treat their children’s symptoms.
During an interview with 5KPIX San Francisco at the Steep Hill Lab, Renee Petro explains some of the harm caused by pharmaceutical medications given to her son, Brandon, who suffers from epilepsy. She explained that when Brandon is on the pharmaceutical benzo drugs he has bad side effects that make him want to commit suicide. He has asked her several times to kill him, but with the medical marijuana treatment, at night, he asks for a bag of Cheetos instead.
Back in Florida last night, at the Tampa airport, Petro shared the good news about Brandon (pictured below) with WFLA,
“He’s been seizure free for two weeks!”
Brandon has been using a mist spray form of medical marijuana that contains equal amounts of CBD and THC. Petro was filled with feelings of both thanks and anger because there is an injustice that no one realizes, which she explained to WFLA,
“It was very upsetting not knowing what I know now, that something could have possibly spared him the amount of pharmaceuticals he has taken and the horrible side effects. It angers me, why something that is available in other states, that is available and legal, is not legal here [in Florida].”
Moriah Barnhart and her young daughter, Dahlia, who has a brain tumor, were also on the trip to California for medical marijuana education and treatment. Dahlia has also seen success in using cannabis oil treatments while in California. After landing at the Tampa airport in Florida last night, Barnhart told WFLA that they have seen immediate results in Dahlia that include,
“Sleeping through the night, eating and she is no longer being threatened with a feeding tube.”
Floridians against medical marijuana fear that the risks are too high to vote yes on Amendment 2. For the CannaMoms and many others, the only risk associated with Amendment 2 is if it is not approved by voters next week. Not allowing the use of medical marijuana in the state of Florida risks a future filled with a good quality of life for these children and many others who suffer from debilitating medical conditions.
photo credit: steephilllab, Facebook/Cannamoms