What would you do if your child or loved one suffered from multiple seizures a day, and the one thing that could help them was illegal?
Many people each day face this dilemma. And that's one of the reasons that CURE, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy, are supporting research on a marijuana strain rich in cannabidiol, or CBD.
What is cannabidiol? First of all, it's not psychoactive, like THC. Secondly, it is an extract from the cannabis plant and does not need to be smoked. And many children with uncontrollable seizures have reported positive experiences with CBD, which has made many parents of children with similar problems desperate for more information and research.
One of the major stopping points in the promotion of treatment for these children using CBD is the fear that these extracts may increase the risk of "serious psychiatric disorders and long-term cognitive problems", according to the CURE website. But CURE also believes that the negative effects of long-term use of anti-epileptic drugs or, the alternative-a lifetime of intractable seizures-cannot be ignored. CBD may not be the answer, but the positive results that children have experienced show that it's worth further investigation.
Here's what people with severe epilepsy have to deal with: Mind-numbing medications, brain surgeries, electrical stimulation devices implanted in their heads, diets, alternative therapies-and the result? Most find little to no relief from this barrage of invasive treatment.
So while the potential for harmful effects from CBD may exist, many people-especially parents of children with severe epilepsy-are willing to weigh those risks against the dangers of the current treatments listed above, as well as the very real dangers these people face every day with multiple seizures. Many of these people have no treatments left to try.
So, why isn't more research being done? Mainly because of the tight restrictions put in place by the FDA and the DEA to classify cannabis a Schedule 1 drug. Schedule 1 is the strictest level of regulation for a controlled substance, putting marijuana on the same level as crack cocaine and heroin.
As you know, we at Glew & Kim are dedicated to the reform of marijuana laws, and attorney Christopher Glew has focused his career on criminal defense for narcotics offenses. He is both a student and frequent writer of drug law and policy, specializing in the cultivation, possession and sale of marijuana, and has defended hundreds of cases under Proposition 215.
So how many people would a successful treatment for seizures affect? According to the CURE site, an estimated 3 million Americans and 65 million people worldwide live with epilepsy. One out of 26 people in America will develop epilepsy in their lifetime.
That's a lot of cases. And in two-thirds of those cases, the cause of the disease is unknown. Here's another shocking statistic: Of the 2.2 million troops who have served in the current Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, an estimated 440,000 will experience traumatic brain injury (or TBI) and over 100,000 are expected to develop post-traumatic epilepsy.
Will this be another way for us to let our returning troops down? Or will we, as a nation, recognize the potential that marijuana has in a medical capacity to help those with epilepsy, and more?
If you or someone you know has had legal problems due to marijuana possession, medical marijuana or related issues, please call us today for a free case review. 866-416-2161