Cannabis & Children with Epilepsy: Giving Quality of Life and Freedom from Seizures

Earlier this year, it was announced that an 11-year old girl would be suing Attorney General Jeff Sessions for legal access to medical marijuana. Alexis Bortell, now 12, lives in Colorado, where she moved from Texas in order to be able to access the cannabis oil that’s allowed her to live seizure-free for over 2 years. Before cannabis, Alexis couldn’t live the life of a normal child due to the frequency of her epileptic seizures.

Alexis’ story is just one of the many stories that have emerged in support of medical marijuana for epileptic children, a discourse that’s adding strength to the overall medical marijuana movement.

Effectiveness That’s Hard to Deny

When you look into the discourse on epilepsy and cannabis, it’s hard to deny that this is one medical condition that cannabis has had a drastic effect in treating. With epilepsy being the most common childhood brain disorder in the United States, some could argue that it’s epilepsy that is building the strongest case nationwide for medical marijuana.

Many advocacy sites, and now mainstream media, are sharing videos of both children and adults in mid-seizure, and when administered cannabis oil (usually via a tincture), seizing immediately ceases.

Peer-reviewed journals are now starting to publish more data and clinical studies about cannabis and epilepsy, which is building the efficacy of the medical marijuana movement for this particular medical condition.

A study conducted last year by three scientists in California, Washington, and Maine, examined 272 epileptic patients using artisanal (non-FDA approved) cannabis products. Of the participants, 86% reported some degree of seizure reduction through cannabis, with 28% experiencing a 76-99% reduction in seizure frequency and 10% experiencing no seizures at all.

The study concluded that medical cannabis for epilepsy would have more effectiveness with a combination of different terpenes and cannabinoids rather than just having concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD).

The call for more research is stronger than ever, especially with so many stories emerging of the effectiveness of cannabis on children’s epilepsy.

More Success Stories

Annalise Lujon

12-year-old Annalise Lujan of Arizona was suddenly struck with the inability to walk while she was participating in a gymnastics competition. The next day she was seizing so much that she was rushed to the hospital, hooked onto a ventilator, and put into a medical coma to manage her suffering. This was when Annalise was diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy affecting one in a million called Febrile Infection-Related Epilepsy Syndrome, which is a rare form of epilepsy connected to the autoimmune system and inflammation in the body.

Medics at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital where Annalise was being treated sought permission from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to administer cannabidiol (CBD). 48-hours later, Annalise’s seizures stopped and she woke up. Her family is currently seeking funding to continue Annalise’s treatment of her seizures through cannabis therapy.

Billy Caldwell

Earlier this year, the cannabis community threw their support around a little 11-year-old boy from Northern Ireland, Billy Caldwell, who sought support for his severe epilepsy at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, where he received a prescription for medical marijuana.

At its worst, Billy’s epilepsy had him having up to 100 seizures a day, and setting to about 25 per month before the family sought support from medical marijuana. They were first able to receive it in Northern but supplies ran out, prompting the trip to California.

As a result of his medical marijuana prescription, little Billy Caldwell experienced a reduction to 8 seizures a month in the first few months of use and has experienced 3 months seizure free when reporters last checked in.

Charlotte Figi

It was the strain Charlotte’s Web that emerged earlier this decade as the strain people were talking about. Charlotte’s Web was created through the efforts of the family of Charlotte Figi, who was diagnosed with the severe seizure disorder Dravet’s Syndrome at age 2 and a half. By age 5, Charlotte was having 5 grand-mal seizures a week and had lost the ability to walk, talk, and eat.

After retrieving very expensive low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oil from a Denver dispensary, the results of the cannabis were stunning. Charlotte’s seizures immediately stopped and she was seizure free for the 7-days following administration of the cannabis. The family partnered with the Stanley brothers, area marijuana entrepreneurs, to create the Realm of Caring Foundation and cultivate Charlotte’s Web strain, which has now been lauded as a revolutionary change in the treatment of epilepsy.

Parents Advocating for Medical Marijuana for Epilepsy

One quick Google search into the efforts surrounding people advocating for medical marijuana for epileptic children will prove that parents are seeing the effectiveness of medical marijuana for their children and are willing to fight for access.

So-called “mommy-lobby” groups are emerging across all states for the fight for access for their children. Parents over all states, both where cannabis is legal and still in illegal status, are emerging with the bravery to tell the stories of their children finding their childhoods through cannabis.

How Cannabis is Used in Children

In the advocacy efforts that are mounting towards gaining access for children to medical marijuana for relief from epileptic seizures, it’s important to understand the ways it’s being administered.

Parents are very intentional about the CBD and THC content of the cannabis they administer to children using cannabis therapies for epilepsy. THC is usually kept to zero to small amounts, with THC being a helpful tool in small doses to help kids who experience a strong aura or dots in the eyes, which is the warning sign of a seizure, like in the case of Alexis Bortell.

Dosing is very well monitored and is kept at regimented times throughout the day. It’s most common for children to be administered medical marijuana through tinctures, drops, or capsules. Some, like Alexis Bortell, use THC sprays that can be sprayed in the mouth with the onset of the feeling of an aura or spots in her eyes.

Explore the Possibility of Medical Marijuana for Children with Epilepsy

There is a severe stigma that still exists around administering cannabis in any form to children. MyCannX looks past that stigma in recognition of the effectiveness of cannabis for children who suffer from the debilitating effects of different forms of epilepsy. With MyCannX, you’re safe to explore cannabis therapy for your child.

The evidence within the research community will soon catch up to the empirical evidence that we are seeing emerge before our eyes with the dozens of stories that are being told about cannabis and epilepsy. We are dedicated to making that connection strong, to help children find the quality of life away from epilepsy in order to enjoy the childhoods they deserve.

Connect with MyCannX today to explore how you can make an appointment with a cannabis doctor to explore getting a cannabis card for your children.