On August 17, 2006, a precious baby boy named Jayden was born. Jayden appeared and behaved like a healthy newborn baby. For months, his parents, Jason and Katie, experienced the typical trials and tribulations of life with a newborn. Then one day, their lives changed dramatically.
When Jayden was only four months old, he had a grand mal seizure, causing him to lose consciousness. Sadly, it would be the first of thousands yet to come. Doctors eventually diagnosed Jayden with Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy (SMEI), or Dravet Syndrome. Dravet Syndrome is a serious form of epilepsy that begins in infancy and affects approximately 1 in 40,000 children.
Unfortunately, Jayden was having up to 300 seizures a day. For years, Jayden took prescription drugs, but they did not stop his exhausting and terrifying seizures. In addition to being unhelpful, the synthetic medications Jayden was taking had unpleasant side effects for him. A physician finally suggested that they try CBD oil, and they agreed. Much to the family’s amazement, after taking the CBD oil, Jayden went four days without having even one seizure … for the first time since he was a newborn! (1, 2)
What is CBD Oil?
For thousands of years, people have been using various segments of the marijuana plant for health purposes. The cannabis Sativa plant, the plant from which marijuana is derived, has more than 80 chemicals. Some of these components have no intoxicating effects, while others are responsible for the “high” that marijuana is known for. Cannabidiol, also referred to as CBD, is just one of many ingredients in cannabis. CBD is a property in marijuana that does not make people feel intoxicated. On the contrary, it is possible that CBD may help some people treat addiction. In addition, CBD might even be helpful in treating inflammation as well as some mental illnesses. Research has also indicated that CBD could be used in conjunction with radiation to strengthen the effects of radiation in killing cancerous cells (3, 4, 7)
Is Medical Marijuana Legal?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved medical marijuana because there have not been enough clinical studies on the whole plant yet to approve marijuana. However, the FDA has run studies on the chemical properties within the marijuana plant, and some of those studies have led to FDA-approved medications. Two of the cannabinoids that have been approved by the FDA are Dronabinol and Nabilone. In clinical studies, both eased nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. Additionally, Dronabinol helps AIDS patients have a better appetite and halted weight loss compared to patients taking a placebo. (4, 5)
Other Uses for Cannabinoids
There is simply not enough evidence yet to know all of the benefits, side effects, or risks to using cannabinoids for medical or health purposes. However, people have claimed that cannabidiol (CBD) is helpful for anxiety, bipolar, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease, schizophrenia, and much more. At this time, there is not enough FDA-approved scientific data to rate whether or not CBD is indeed effective in managing any of these medical conditions. Side effects of using CBD can include low blood pressure, dizziness, and drowsiness and, as with many medications, liver injury could be possible as well. An additional area of medical interest is in the use of cannabinoids as cancer treatment. At this time, scientists have not yet proven whether cannabinoids are in fact anti-cancerous, although studies on this are ongoing. (7, 5)
CBD and Epilepsy
The FDA has recently approved cannabidiol (CBD) to treat some forms of epilepsy. Epidiolex is a new, highly promising drug. Doctors prescribe it to children who, like Jayden, suffer from early-onset seizure disorders. Scientists conducted studies on epileptic patients and concluded that, in patients who used CBD, seizures decreased by as much as 50%. Amazingly, five percent of the patients in the study were free from drop seizures altogether while taking CBD. (4, 6)
This brings us back to our story about Jayden, a little boy who has experienced great stress and trauma, but whose parents had the tenacity to find the best possible solution to ease their son’s suffering. When Jayden’s parents allowed their son to take prescribed CBD oil, they noticed the drastic decrease in their boy’s seizures and were given much-needed hope. For one family, Cannabis oil has made all the difference in their wellbeing.
- Jayden’s Story, https://www.facebook.com/jasonandjaydensjourney/app/190322544333196/
- SMEI, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1695145
- CBD Facts, https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana-medicine
- Marijuana Facts, https://nccih.nih.gov/health/marijuana
- Cannabis and Cancer, https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/patient/cannabis-pdq
- New England Journal of Medicine Study, https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1714631
- Uses for Cannabinoids, https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/1439.html