For the parent of a child who suffers from seizures, every second of an attack feels like an eternity. There are so few options for children who have epilepsy or other disorders that cause seizures. Naturally, if one comes along and it has proven to work for other children, parents are going to seize upon it. In Colorado, an oil infused with a special pot strain is causing joy and controversy after it has reportedly helped several children who experience seizures. The pot is called Charlotte's Web because it is named after a child who had as many as 300 grand mal seizures a week, used a wheelchair, and went into cardiac arrest several times as the result of a rare genetic disorder called Dravet's Syndrome. After ingesting the oil, which doesn't provide a high like regular marijuana, Charlotte's parents say she can walk, talk, and has been largely free of seizures.
Some families are so desperate to get their hands on Charlotte's Web that they've actually relocated to Colorado. Naturally, their desperation has caused some awful people in the world, who are just looking to turn a profit, to sell bogus strains of the drug to parents. A widely-circulated rumor about how cooking marijuana in butter could cure seizures actually resulted in one child going into a heavy seizure.
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For the time being, a Colorado chemist who once worked for Pfizer is extracting the active ingredient, CBD, from marijuana plants, mixing it with olive oil so children can take it by mouth or through a feeding tube, and sending it to a third-party lab to be tested. As the demand grows, it will be necessary to legalize this strain in other states so that more families can have access to it and won't have to procure it through back alley means.
But doctors aren't ready to rally behind the drug because it hasn't been sufficiently tested and proven to work.
Parents have the right to make the ultimate decision about whether to give this strain of marijuana to their children. If they feel their child's quality of life could be vastly improved by administering this oil, they should be allowed to do so. Medical professionals would be wise to jump on board and dedicate time and money to researching it because too many parents are going to take matters into their own hands and listen to rumors or use illegal measures to procure this drug. Parents will do anything to keep their children from suffering -- if something out there exists that could possibly help them, it should be considered immediately.
Would you give your child this strain of marijuana to help with his or her seizures? Do you think states should legalize it?
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