Would you let your child take a cannabis product if it could help save their life? The thought might sound absurd, but just ask the parents of Charlotte Figi who were instrumental in creating the famous cannabis strain known as Charlotte’s Web. The two parents, Matt and Paige Figi, had been searching for a solution for years since their daughter had been experiencing seizures at only three months old. They found that a strain of cannabis high in cannabidiol (CBD) was incredibly useful for preventing seizures. Charlotte had been diagnosed with a severe and incurable form of epilepsy called Dravets Syndrome which cannot be treated with regular anti-seizure medications.
A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine confirms that CBD is one of the most effective ways of treating children with Dravets Syndrome. The study looked at 120 participants ranging from two to eighteen. Those participants suffered from anywhere between 4 and 1,717 seizures each month.
Participants took their normal anti-seizure medications along with either a placebo or a CBD product called Epidolex for fourteen weeks. For those on Epidolex, serious seizures with convulsions had dropped to half their usual rate while three participants had become totally seizure-free. On average, those taking Epidolex saw a 39% decrease in seizures whereas those on the placebo saw no change.
The study’s lead author, Dr. Orrin Devinsky, said that cannabis has been used to treat epilepsy for 3,800 with the earliest records dating back to Sumeria in 1,000 B.C. He noted that CBD was not a cure-all for seizures as patients still experienced side effects like nausea and fatigue, but that CBD has proven itself as an incredibly effective drug for those suffering from Dravets Syndrome.