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Medical Marijuana for children

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by BartmanPDX, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    It’s been a while since I posted on TB (Hi everyone!), but I felt I had to share this story:


    I’ve met both Jason and Jayden, and even got a hug from the little guy. Jayden takes a form of medicinal marijuana to control his seizures. He suffers from Dravet (“Dra-VAY”) Syndrome (DS), a catastrophic form of epilepsy characterized by intense seizure clusters and even status epilepticus (a seizure or a near-continuous seizure episode lasting longer than 30 minutes). These types of seizures are life-threatening, and DS as a result has a high mortality rate. DS is notoriously resistant to effective control by most AEDs (anti-epileptic drugs), and most kids with Dravet continue to have terrible seizures despite taking large doses of meds. As a parent of a child with a closely related disorder, I’m part of a DS support group. It’s emotionally tough to check in there; these kids are really sick, and every so often someone in the group loses their child.

    At this point, it might be useful to reiterate a few facts the video treats quickly:
    1) Jayden does not smoke or inhale anything. The MMJ he is given is taken orally, as an oil. It is also lab tested to ascertain potency.
    2) Jayden is not getting “high” off the marijuana. The anti-epileptic agent at work is cannabidiol (“CBD”), which is NOT psychoactive (doesn’t get people “high”). The special strains of marijuana that the high-CBD ratio meds are made from have almost no THC in them. These strains are extremely rare, being of no use recreationally (MJ that doesn’t get you high isn’t terribly popular), and only limited use medically (since most people are specifically seeking to take the THC).

    Prior to going on the high-CBD MMJ treatment, Jayden was hospitalized over 40 times for seizures. They had tried nearly every AED on the market worldwide, going so high in dose at times as to make Jayden almost unresponsive. He could not walk or talk, and he was barely able to eat.

    Since going on the high-CBD medicine, Jayden has not had to be hospitalized a single time; his seizures have been drastically reduced in number and severity. Moreover, as a result of decreasing the high doses of the pharmaceutical meds he was on, he is now able to run and is starting to talk.

    Some of you may be tempted to dismiss this as coincidence, or maybe as just BS. And I’d probably be in agreement with you if I didn’t know Jason personally, AND know of several other children with similar conditions who are also benefiting enormously from this treatment. Unlike Jason, the parents of the other kids are keeping a very low profile (for obvious reasons). It’s also kind of hard to argue that a “placebo effect” is at work here: the effects of the medicine are seen in the reduction of seizures, which is quantifiable, as opposed to measuring a “sense of well-being.” When you have several developmentally delayed children experiencing a 80-90+% reduction in seizures, it’s kind of hard to imagine a placebo effect at work.

    Before this inevitably devolves into a debate on legalization, I want to make my position clear: Outright legalization doesn’t concern me much. But I think it’s LONG past time marijuana be removed from Schedule I so that research can be done about its potential benefits and risks. Opium, cocaine, and meth are all Schedule II drugs, and you will find few (if any) experts who will argue that marijuana is somehow more dangerous or addictive. It is unconscionable that we may have the key to helping some very sick people close at hand yet continue to play political games. Some people will argue, as does the doctor in the video, that “we don’t know what the long-term effects of marijuana use on the developing brain are.” That’s certainly true, which is why we need research to be done.

    But it should also be noted that we also don’t know what the long-term effects are of having a child on high doses of barbiturates and other powerful meds, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for years at a time. My own daughter has been on that for over a decade. It took us four years to get her off Phenobarbital, as she was essentially addicted to it. It may well have saved her life at the time, but IMO it certainly has not come without a terrible cost to her intellectual development. The anti-epileptic drugs that we have had to use are very dangerous drugs with some potentially horrific and even fatal side effects. Many of them have not been tested in children, yet we have to try them anyway, for lack of anything else to try.

    Re-schedule it, and start doing the research!

    I’ll get off my soapbox now.

    I hope everyone here at TB is doing well. I haven’t browsed the photoshop threads in months, and I could use a good laugh.
  2. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    Bartman - welcome back and once again, thank you for posting your insight. Wow, I feel like printing this out and handing it to every damn person in this country.
  3. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Thanks, Relic! Just peeked in on the Kwesi shop thread and realized how much I miss this place. :D
  4. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    It's always good for a laugh ain't it? :)
  5. nutdog

    nutdog when I'm a good dog they sometimes throw me a bone Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    in the dog house
    Yep. Way past time.

    But if they've figured out a way to get the medical benefits without the high there's going to be a big loss in enthusiastic support.;)
  6. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    Can't check it now at work, but I'll take a look later. Just wanted to say it's good to see you back and I hope your daughter and the Super Dog are doing well.
  7. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member


    Both are doing well:

  8. No doubt! Very good read considering I'm stuck at work with nothing to do..

    Couldn't agree more though.
  9. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Hey BARTMAN!! Good to see you back. I couldn't agree with you more on all points. Schedule 1 drugs aren't even available for research without a big bureaucratic process. Ridiculous that marijuana is on this schedule. I would love to see this aspect be researched. Glad to see you and your family are all good. Once again, thanks for sharing the pics too.

    I'm going to share this on Facebook. Thanks.
  10. saw a story on CNN that seemed similar to this a few weeks ago, taking place in Israel. All I have to add.
  11. some very interesting stuff bartman

  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    It's hard for me to figure out why, in a society where morphine can be prescribed, marijuana (as THC) can't (under federal law).
  13. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Bartman, good to see you back! Glad that your daughter and her faithful companion are doing well.

    Thanks for the interesting topic, I will surely check this out tonight.
  14. colcifer

    colcifer Esteemed Nitpicker Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    A Galaxy Far, Far Away
    What Greg said!
  15. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Good to hear from you, Maki!

    Munji: There actually is a combination CBD/THC spray that is made by a British Company (GW Pharma) for spasticity in MS patients, available in Canada and other countries. They seem to be the main company driving research in this field at this point, and I think they're moving to try to bring products to the US, so they may be lobbying for reclassification as well.
  16. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    Just read your post, I will have to check out the video tonight. I think it is great these kids are getting help from marijuana. Is there really anthing to debate on this? Thanks for the good post.
  17. That's really cool, also sounds like a fair amount of planning has gone into it too (i.e. it isn't just something you'd pick up from a corner dealer).
  18. Simo98


    Jun 18, 2009
    QLD, Australia
    Great story! I think in a lot of cases medical marijuana is simply used as a sort of pseudo-legalisation, and that many patients that do get a medical card are more interested in the recreational aspects than the medicinal ones (Hey, I can't blame them!) but medical marijuana definitely has a lot of potential as a form of medicine and it's great to hear from someone who's seen its effects experienced to a life-changing degree.

    I think a lot of research should be done into the effects Marijuana on children, but when you are talking about a few specific cannabinoids that have been extracted for medical purposes it's a very long way from simply smoking up. I'd be amazed if the side effects could be even half as bad as what I've seen experienced by kids on Ritalin, among other substances.

    Drugs are drugs, I believe that there are no "good" or "bad" drugs, and that they can all be used safely and responsibly for different purposes, medically or recreationally. The more research we do to document and discover their effects, the better off everyone is. Having drugs that are illegal to research is one of the most ridiculous concepts I've ever heard of to be honest.
  19. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    They aren't illegal to research. There is a substantial amount of research on every recreational drugs and the actual effects they have. There is a substantial amount of literature about the effect of marijuana on a developing brain, and it's not fantastic.
  20. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    As with any other topic, ignorance causes people to not want to listen to facts. They're so set against the possibility of anything good coming from something that has been taboo for only a short time that it would require them to need it for their own condition. Not only does it work for glaucoma, it helps MS sufferers, too.

    Pot is one thing, medicine is another. Too bad politicians don't understand this.