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Use of Cannabis in the Treatment of Epilepsy in Children

January 12, 2019

Dr. Orlando Carreño Moreno, Pediatrics and Neurology Professor at Universidad Bolivariana in Colombia, told us that “three out of ten patients suffer from a type of epilepsy known as difficult-to-control epilepsy, and in them, the medications usually administered do not work, but we have observed that cannabis oil is actually able to control convulsive crises.”

We already know marijuana has been used for more than 5,000 years as a medicinal treatment (this due to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory power); however, its use has been prohibited because of the occurrences of addiction it has been linked to.

“Science is once again putting its eyes on cannabinoids, given their very high therapeutic value, not only for epilepsy, but also for glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and terminal cancer, conditions which are not responding to conventional medications.”

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We already know marijuana has been used for more than 5,000 years as a medicinal treatment (this due to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory power), however, its use has been prohibited because of the episodes of addiction it has been linked to.
“Science is once again putting its eyes on cannabinoids, given their very high therapeutic value, not only for epilepsy, but also for glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and terminal cancer, conditions which are not responding to conventional medications.”

Is it addictive?

For those wary of its use, let us inform you that cannabis does not equate to marijuana since the therapeutic oil for kids extracted from the plant is not the same component that is smoked; therefore, it does not generate an addiction. The use of therapeutic oil is not administered the same way recreational use is administered.

“Little by little we are gathering more and more information and research in the world of neurology in regards to cannabinoids. In Colombia, for instance, it is administered orally as oil, and through oral sprays, the latter in adult patients only,” explains Carreño Moreno.

History

Carreño Moreno points out that while the use of cannabinoids with medical purposes has existed for hundreds of years, it was only until 20 or 30 years ago that its use started being taken advantage of in the world medical market, by being tested under a great number of international laboratory tests, which little by little they have passed successfully.

However, there are varied opinions regarding its use, this due to an old belief which directly links this plant to addiction, which in most cases has proven that consumption of it is not the problem the problems and the personality of the person consuming it are.

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Its greatest challenge: illegality 

“We, pediatric neurologists, know that cannabis oil works against epilepsy, some parents also understand that. But we do not have a medication that has been exclusively produced for the treatment of this condition, so people buy the product illegally,” says Carreño Moreno, speaking about the great challenge they have to face.

Since this is a product that is still considered illegal, there are no controls to regulate its farming, since “many plants are really bad quality, and may contain pesticides and harmful heavy metals. Some parents, in their desperation to see their kids get better, even have them smoke marijuana. They do whatever is in their hands.”

It is because of this that “we have had cases of patients with symptoms of poisoning, and they believe the product is to blame, when in fact it is the wrong administration of the product and not the cannabis oil. In some cases, these are oils that do not even contain cannabinoids. That is, charlatans sell hemp oils, or oils extracted from other plants, and they tell their customers it is cannabis.”

Another unavoidable problem is related to the high costs linked to this product. Because it is illegal, the product has to be imported from other countries, and even if the patient happens to obtain it in the country, it is still expensive.

We also cannot forget, that many patients suffering from epilepsy come from less privileged communities. “The black market is the place where most, if not all, patients go to for their cannabis supply. There are still not enough physicians (pediatricians) aware of the benefits of cannabinoids. It is the responsibility of doctors of the medicine programs in every university in Latin America to be abreast of the progress of medicine and of cannabis oil. We cannot wait until someone instructs us,” concludes the expert.

No doubt there is a lot to discuss on this topic, and fortunately, more and more people are understanding the benefits of cannabis oil for epilepsy. If you had a case which could benefit from this product, would you recommend using it as a therapy?

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Comments 1
  1. Jessika Brito says:

    great

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