Word is out about the benefits of high-CBD medical cannabis. Dr. Sanjay Gupta featured the strain Charlotte’s Web on the CNN documentary Weed, and suddenly legislators who had never supported medical cannabis before are coming around. Well, sort of. In Pennsylvania, Alabama, and Utah, bills have been introduced to allow just this one type of cannabis—renamed Alepsia to make it more palatable to marijuana foes—to be used to help children with epilepsy.
As great as it is to see support for this valuable medication come from unexpected places (Utah?!), let’s not forget that Charlotte’s Web is not the only strain of high-CBD cannabis out there. There’s no reason to start a frenzy over this one strain when so many others can help stop seizures.
And the larger issue is that high-CBD cannabis is not the only kind that helps sick children. Many parents have found that they have to play with THC levels to reduce seizures in their epileptic children. And children with other diseases—especially cancer—need THC. Instead of hysteria over getting children “high,” we need medical marijuana policies that give parents a range of options for treating their children’s ailments naturally.
Charlotte’s Web has been incredibly beneficial in treating epilepsy. Its namesake, Charlotte, went from suffering 300 seizures a day to just a few a week when she started using the strain. But many parents have found that this strain isn’t enough—they need to use other strains, including some with higher THC levels, to most effectively reduce seizures.
“My daughter has a severe form of epilepsy. CBD oil has helped tremendously, but it wasn’t until we introduced a small amount of THC that her seizures reduced to zero. I’m sure if you were to ask any parent, they would happily add a touch of THC to reduce their child’s seizures even more. It’s frightening to think that our government might solely focus on CBD when THC is known to have a remarkable affect on epilepsy.” – Martha T., Oregon
In states that only allow this one strain of cannabis, epileptic children will not get treatment that’s as effective as it should be. And children who suffer from other serious medical conditions will not benefit at all.
For example, THC has been shown to damage or kill cancer cells, and it also increases appetite in patients who are undergoing chemotherapy. Children who have leukemia or other types of cancer should have access to the most effective medication possible, and that may have a higher level of THC than this new legislation would allow.
Cash Hyde, a toddler with brain cancer, was weak and miserable from his chemotherapy treatments. His parents, Mike and Kalli, were amazed by the difference cannabis oil made.
“Cashy was a living example of the power of cannabis. He was frail, weak, and comatose—he was dying—before we gave him cannabis oil,” Mike said. “He came back to life and he beat cancer twice. That was no coincidence.”
Cash succumbed to the cancer when after his parents were no longer able to access the cannabis oil that had been keeping him alive. They founded the Cash Hyde Foundation in his honor to spread the word about the importance of full access to medical cannabis.
Many legislators are afraid of medical cannabis because they’re afraid of getting children “high.” Introducing high-CBD-only legislation is an easy out for them. It allows them to support only the “good” kind of cannabis, while still being against the “bad” kind. By supporting Alepsia, they may be further stigmatizing other kinds of cannabis.
Instead of dividing medical cannabis this way, we need legislation that recognizes the value of many strains of cannabis with varying levels of both CBD and THC. It is discriminatory to focus on one component when both have a dramatic effect on diseases. What’s best for patients is safe and legal access to a wide array of cannabis strains and extracts.
VIDEO: DR. SANJAY GUPTA: Here’s Why You Can’t Get The Medical Benefits Of Weed Without The High
If you or a family member has benefited from a medical cannabis regiment, we’d love to hear your story.
United Patients Group