Finally, Some Hard Science on MMJ for Epilepsy

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  Finally, Some Hard Science on MMJ for Epilepsy

Posted by CN Staff on September 04, 2014 at 04:55:09 PT
By Kate Pickert 
Source: Time 

Colorado -- For years, some parents have turned to medical marijuana to treat their children’s debilitating epilepsy, crediting the drug with dramatically reducing seizure activity. A groundbreaking clinical trial about to begin recruiting test subjects may finally provide some science to back their claims.In what is believed to be the first study of its kind, researchers at the University of Colorado, Denver will study the genes of those with a kind of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome who have been treated with a strain of medical marijuana known as Charlotte’s Web. The study will attempt to determine if specific genetic components can explain why some epilepsy patients see positive results from ingesting Charlotte’s Web, while others do not.
The plant, grown by five brothers in Colorado through a non-profit organization called Realm of Caring, is low in THC, the compound that produces marijuana’s psychoactive effects, and high in CBD, a compound believed to reduce seizures in those suffering from certain forms of epilepsy. It is administered to epilepsy patients, including many children, in the form of an oil. The plant is named after Charlotte Figi, a young girl who was the first epilepsy patient successfully treated with the strain.While anecdotal evidence suggests Charlotte’s Web can be highly effective in treating such conditions, scientific investigation of the product has been stymied by federal drug laws that severely limit marijuana research. Edward Maa, the principal investigator of the Charlotte’s Web study, says the new trial could be a first step toward building a body of research on how and why medical marijuana can be used to treat epilepsy. “This is the first attempt to get the information people are interested in that is observational in nature,” says Maa, an assistant professor at UC Denver and chief of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Programs at Denver Health.The new study will recruit epilepsy patients who have already taken Charlotte’s Web. The patients will be divided into two groups—those who have seen seizure activity reduced by at least 50 percent on Charlotte’s Web and those who have had less dramatic or no results from taking the marijuana oil. Genetic analysis of the patients in both groups will then be performed in hopes of discovering what genetic components may cause a patient to be responsive to medical marijuana. Interventional studies, in which patients would be given Charlotte’s Web to measure its efficacy, are far more difficult to conduct. “That would be the Holy Grail,” says Maa.Still, researchers on the UC Denver team will collect data on dosages used by patients in the study, for example, which could allow for further research down the line. “The more data we are able to collect in a large sample, the closer to the truth we will get,” says Maa. He says the study could allow children with Dravet Syndrome to be genetically screened before taking Charlotte’s Web so parents could know ahead of time if their children would benefit. It’s possible to conduct the study in Colorado because Charlotte’s Web is grown there legally and is home to many families who have moved to the state to specifically to access the marijuana strain.“Do you uproot and move your entire family to not have an effect? I think this could be very helpful to answer this question,” says Maa.Recruiting for the new study will begin within a month and data will be collected until February 2016.Source: Time Magazine (US)Author: Kate PickertPublished: September 3, 2014Copyright: 2014 Time Inc.Contact: letters time.comWebsite:   Medical Marijuana Archives 

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Comment #9 posted by Hope on September 08, 2014 at 14:40:34 PT
comment 8
I heard you... but I was wrong about what you were saying, I realized, when I reread it.So I didn't "Hear you".... but the rest still applies anyway. I know you love dogs, too.Bill Bennet, back when he was Czar liked to say "Where's the outrage?" He wanted people to be outraged at and hate drug users and dealers and such. The outrage? I've always been outraged about what was being done to the citizens of this country and others in the name of prohibition of drugs and particularly, the prohibition of cannabis.I'm outraged at the prohibitionists' lies and their extreme cruelty. Also, personally, I was a little put off by virtuous Bill's apparent outrageous gambling habits. Though that's none of my business. Still its seems frivolous and wasteful since he wants to publicly judge others so harshly.He can put his false outrage back in his pocket and go back to the house from whence he came.
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on September 08, 2014 at 10:25:11 PT
I hear you. And you forgot that stuff about corporations being humans.Sometimes it is a tangle to get around the nuances. I'm misunderstood in face to face relationships. It must be amazing how it could be mistranslated from print. I believe you are a good man... or at least as good as they can be. I don't believe you wish to harm anyone. I do believe you are very angry and righteously so.Here's that "Outrage" you liked to espouse, oh most virtuous of Bills.
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Comment #6 posted by runruff on September 05, 2014 at 10:19:28 PT

What was I trying to say in post #3
What I was saying got garbled. Sometimes I try to multi-task and I can't make coffee and toast at the same time. So, sorry for the nutsoid comment. 
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Comment #5 posted by Oleg the Tumor on September 05, 2014 at 09:03:07 PT

James Dickey once said,
"I want to SHAKE with Purpose!"I've been shaking like a paint-store shaker since 1979, but had no idea why until the MRI was invented.Think of your neurological system as "living wires" that are soothed by the properties of this plant. Cannabis has been used for this purpose for thousands of years. That is until Aug 2, 1937, when the American Congress decided that it knew better than to refuse the moneyed interests intent. This fraud has since been perpetrated, perpetuated, palivered, polished and pushed far enough.THE BALLOT WILL DECIDE THIS ISSUE. BUT THE ONES WHO NEED TO HEAR THE MESSAGE ARE DEAF TO THE PROCESS THEY CONTROL. THIS IS HOW THEY CONTROL THE PROCESS!
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Comment #4 posted by The GCW on September 04, 2014 at 20:39:40 PT

Hard Science: cannabis = less risk to begin with.
One of the bits of Hard Science revealed is that this particular plant has never killed a single soul. In that regard it is already better that the alternatives.While doctors practice, they do so with cocktails that have side effects which include death.As soon as You elevate from cannabis the risks go up. Not down.
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Comment #3 posted by runruff on September 04, 2014 at 19:39:49 PT

The CSA.
The Corporate State of America needs you to be taken out behind the barn and shot in the head like a rabid dog!
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Comment #2 posted by MikeEEEEE on September 04, 2014 at 16:22:35 PT

Pharm Corporation$
only care about money.A plant you can grow yourself, without them, doe$ not benefit the corporate $tate of america.
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on September 04, 2014 at 10:29:19 PT

"hard" science
ah yes, another attempt to apply the standards of western pharmacueticals to an herbal medicine.There's already a mountain of hard science proof of the efficacy of cannabis and cannibinoids. The pharma mentality of lusting for a standardized form of an herbal medicine is misplaced.There's no magical, "standard" strain that's going to revolutionize medical MJ.  It's a plant! Every one grown will differ slightly. We've known for years than cannibinoids are good for seizures. What's needed now is unfettered access to this herb. Patients should be able to choose from hundreds of suppliers. 3rd party testing can prove whether there's CBD in the flowers.This urge for to quest for an "ultimate" study with convincing "proof" of efficacy is just another way to maintain criminal prohibition for longer. Dozens of cannabis strains have CBD and can be made available to all, for cheap, within days of Prohibition being fully repealed. We've had proof for thousands of years of efficacy.These families with sick children (probably from our poisoned environment) don't need more studies or research. They need government law enforcement to leave us alone. End the police state if you want to help sick children.
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