National Epilepsy Awareness Month

National Epilepsy Awareness Month

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:

CannaMoms

Mothers Supporting Cannabis

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

Child Receiving 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.

Mama Cultiva

Chile Marijuana Protesters
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.

Generous Growers

Epileptic Marijuana Patient
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

Applications Available Now for CBD Oil Patients and Producers in Missouri

Applications Available Now for CBD Oil Patients and Producers in Missouri

Throughout the years of marijuana prohibition, the state of Missouri has handed down some of the most severe sentences to marijuana offenders in the United States. Possessing any amount could result in a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to one year in prison and hefty fines.

Missouri is keeping up with the changing times, though. In July 2014, Governor Nixon, signed the bill for a new law that allows epilepsy patients to use cannabis oil for medicinal treatment. It includes specific guidelines regulating the cultivation of the cannabis as well as the production of the oil. The levels of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannbinol (THC) for each plant will be tested to ensure a consistent product. Plants may contain no more than 0.3 percent THC, and must be high in CBD. The THC is the cannabinoid in cannabis known to have psychoactive properties, whereas the CBD is known more for it’s medicinal value.

Now, applications to cultivate cannabis and produce high cannabidiol (CBD) oil are available through the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Completed applications may be submitted beginning November 3, 2014, and submissions will be accepted for thirty days.

Only two applicants will be granted licenses to cultivate and produce. The facilities must operate as a non-profit organization, and may not be stationed any closer than 2,000 feet from residential neighborhoods, child care facilities, and schools.  No dates have been set yet for the opening of the facilities or when the product will be available to patients.

This bill received great support, largely because Missouri Senator, Eric Schmitt, has a son who suffers from epilepsy. During a discussion of the bill, Schmitt addressed the room,

“The promise of CBD oil is real. I don’t know if this will work. We’ve had hope before. It might or it might not.”

Applications are currently being accepted for patients who want to participate in the program. The state estimates 1,000 epilepsy patients will take advantage of the new medical cannabis oil law. In order to qualify to participate in the program, a patient must provide certification from a neurologist stating that at least three other forms of treatment have been tried.

photo credit: High Times

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