More and more parents are moving to Colorado for the sake of their children’s health. Almost 3 million Americans are affected with epilepsy, a neurological condition that causes recurring seizures. Around 1 million of those people experience seizures unaffected by medication. Two-year-old Addyson Benton is one of these people.
In an interview with USA Today, Addyson’s mother Heather Benton said “Not one part of me is afraid to give Addyson medical marijuana, but I’m terrified to keep giving her the medications she’s been prescribed, that haven’t worked and have all these horrible side effects.”
Adam Benton, Addyson’s father, recently moved to Colorado and Addyson is now on a waiting list for a specific strain of marijuana commonly known as Charlotte’s Web that contains high amounts of cannabidiol (CBD). There is anecdotal evidence that CBD oil drastically reduces seizures.
A version of CBD oil that is derived from hemp, instead of marijuana, is available and it is legal in all 50 states. The real issue, however, is that while there are stories of individual responses to CBD, there is a severe lack of research and statistics to support CBD’s overall effectiveness.
Dr. Michael D. Privitera, professor of neurology and director of the the Epilepsy Center at the UC Neuroscience Institute, argues that research on CBD is necessary because it will help to better assess the risks and benefits, test whether it works better than a placebo, and help determine daily doses and formulation.
Strides are being taken towards MMJ research. Last Thursday, Alabama passed Carly’s Law with a vote of 97-0. This bill authorizes a study of CBD to treat epilepsy and seizures through the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The study will prescribe medication to those affected with severe epilepsy and seizures.
Until all states are on board, however, people like the Bentons are moving to Colorado where state policy allows MMJ doctors to prescribe medications to patients in Colorado Springs, Boulder, Denver, and beyond.