I started a thread not long ago about
how the FDA had finally approved a "drug" with extracts from the MJ plant, which apparently is far superior to the previously existing prescript
ion drugs available for that disease. Of course, this has been readily available in the(illegal) plant form for decades, no billions of $ in development and study costs needed. Although getting children high might not be a good idea- but neither were the side effects of some of the powerful drugs use to treat children with seizures. A question I had was: how many people were severely harmed over decades by our government and medical authorities refusal to consider the possible medical benefits of this plant? Harmed by their disease and SEs of some of the only somewhat effective drugs? I still think that is a good question, since it has only been a very few years since the gov ruled that MJ had: "“no accepted medical use” and should therefore remain illegal under federal law ".
It turns out one of the families involved with the recent rule changes and increase in research had the same question. They had to use their 6 year old daughter as a guinea pig when all medical approaches had been exhausted, and they were told nothing more could be done. I will just link to and quote some of this CNN article, last updated in 2013, the story of 6 year old(at that time) Charlotte Figi. I will quote partially from the article but I suggest clicking and reading the entire article, if interested:/www.cnn.com/2013/08/07/health/charlotte-child-medical-marijuana/index.html
...........At that time, the Figis said, Charlotte was still developing normally, talking and walking the same day as her twin. But the seizures continued to get worse. The medications were also taking a toll. She was on seven drugs -- some of them heavy-duty, addictive ones such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines. They'd work for a while, but the seizures always came back with a vengeance.
"At 2, she really started to decline cognitively," Paige said. "Whether it was the medicines or the seizures, it was happening, it was obvious. And she was slipping away."..................When Charlotte was 2½, the Figis decided to take her to Children's Hospital Colorado. A neurologist tested her for the SCN1A gene mutation, which is common in 80% of Dravet Syndrome cases. After two months, the test came back positive. .........They were quickly running out of options. They considered a drug from France. Doctors suggested an experimental anti-seizure drug being used on dogs. ............By then Charlotte had lost the ability to walk, talk and eat.
She was having 300 grand mal seizures a week.
Her heart had stopped a number of times...............Doctors had even suggested putting Charlotte in a medically induced coma to give her small, battered body a rest.
She was 5 when the Figis learned there was nothing more the hospital could do.
That's when Paige decided to try medical marijuana. But finding two doctors to sign off on a medical marijuana card for Charlotte was no easy feat. She was the youngest patient in the state ever to apply.
Scientists don't fully understand the long-term effects early marijuana use may have on children. Studies that show negative effects, such as diminished lung function or increased risk of a heart attack, are primarily done on adult marijuana smokers. But Charlotte wouldn't be smoking the stuff.
Childhood is also a delicate time in brain development. Preliminary research shows that early onset marijuana smokers are slower at tasks, have lower IQs later in life, have a higher risk of stroke and increased incidence of psychotic disorders, leaving some scientists concerned.
Is medical marijuana safe for children?
"Everyone said no, no, no, no, no, and I kept calling and calling," Paige said.
She finally reached Dr. Margaret Gedde, who agree to meet with the family.
"(Charlotte's) been close to death so many times, she's had so much brain damage from seizure activity and likely the pharmaceutical medication," Gedde said. "When you put the potential risks of the cannabis in context like that, it's a very easy decision."
The second doctor to sign on was Alan Shackelford, a Harvard-trained physician who had a number of medical marijuana patients in his care. He wasn't familiar with Dravet and because of Charlotte's age had serious reservations.
"(But) they had exhausted all of her treatment options," Shackelford said. "There really weren't any steps they could take beyond what they had done. Everything had been tried -- except cannabis."
Paige found a Denver dispensary that had a small amount of a type of marijuana called R4, said to be low in THC and high in CBD. She paid about $800 for 2 ounces -- all that was available -- and had a friend extract the oil.
She had the oil tested at a lab and started Charlotte out on a small dose.
"We were pioneering the whole thing; we were guinea pigging Charlotte," Paige said. "This is a federally illegal substance. I was terrified to be honest with you."
But the results were stunning.
"When she didn't have those three, four seizures that first hour, that was the first sign," Paige recalled. "And I thought well, 'Let's go another hour, this has got to be a fluke.' "
The seizures stopped for another hour. And for the following seven days.
Paige said she couldn't believe it. Neither could Matt. But their supply was running out.
Paige soon heard about the Stanley brothers, one of the state's largest marijuana growers and dispensary owners. These six brothers were crossbreeding a strain of marijuana also high in CBD and low in THC, but they didn't know what to do with it. No one wanted it; they couldn't sell it.
Still, even they had reservations when they heard about Charlotte's age. But once they met her, they were on board. ..........Gedde found three to four milligrams of oil per pound of the girl's body weight stopped the seizures.
Today, Charlotte, 6, is thriving. Her seizures only happen two to three times per month, almost solely in her sleep. Not only is she walking, she can ride her bicycle. She feeds herself and is talking more and more each day.
"I literally see Charlotte's brain making connections that haven't been made in years," Matt said. "My thought now is, why were we the ones that had to go out and find this cure? This natural cure? How come a doctor didn't know about this? How come they didn't make me aware of this?".......
That is a very good question, IMO. The plant was there all the time, as long as there have been doctors. Now many claims, false or true, are being made for other benefits of this whole plant or it's extracts. Time will tell. But, if you are like me, you have always known of people who did not consume this plant to get high(though that might be why they started with it), but because they claimed it had this or that medical benefit, with maybe fewer SEs, better than the drugs their doctors gave them. Were they actually on to something? Who knows how many decades before there are RCTs that actually tell us.
I doubt this new FDA approved drug- based on the extracts from this always available plant- came about
because the pharmaceutical companies wanted to put out a drug that people can potentially get without having to go through them first, paying the typical exorbitant price most likely. (though the patients will be more certain of what they are paying for, an advantage). I think rather they finally looked into it because, with the increased availability of medical or recreational MJ in multiple states, the word is out. I.E, that there is indeed a natural product that can be a big help for one or more ailments- apparently so in at least 1 case, hence the FDA approval. (Also, opioid OD deaths have increased impressively in states where MJ is available, so that is another, thousands of lives saved) And if the word is out, then they need to be in on it if possible. But if word had not got out about
the natural product, a plant? Would this new FDA approved drug be available?
Post Edited (BillyBob@388) : 7/23/2018 10:34:32 AM (GMT-6)