A small, frail autistic boy living in the UK faced sometimes up to 100 seizures a day due to his severe condition of epilepsy. The hard truth is, he was dying. It could only take one seizure to kill him, so every second, of every minute of every day was a gamble as well as a sigh of relief. His condition was intractable, meaning, there was no medication or diet on the market that could aid in subsiding his disease. Until, Billy began treatment with cannabis oil in the US where CBD marijuana was legal in 2016.
The medicine prescribed to him in the states was all natural with no synthetic compounds. Billy was monitored closely while taking this prescription. The results were groundbreaking. He was seizure free. The CBD medication was transferred back to his local doctor in Northern Ireland where he could continue use. Billy’s seizures had completely stopped for upwards of 300 days! It was also noted that the CBD oil improved his autism by giving him better eye contact, engagement with toys and even gave him the ability to focus on books and conversations.
Billy isn’t the only person suffering from conditions that were thought to be untreatable. In fact, there are approximately 50 million individuals worldwide that live with epilepsy. This neurological condition can be mentally and physically crippling. It decreases quality of life, increases depression and in severe cases can be deadly. The cause of the disease is due to irregular electrical discharges among brain cells resulting in body convulsions. The onset can be due to head trauma, autism, viruses, and many times it’s simply unknown.
Studies have been conducted on medical cannabis for years. One of the proven properties is the known anticonvulsant benefits CBD cannabis oil offers.
Getting a little scientific, CBD affects the neurotransmitters that are responsible for sending messages to the brain through CB1 receptors. This is done by altering the activity of the cells by switching how ions flow into and out of the neurons, ultimately subsiding convulsions.
Treating seizures with cannabis medically is that of a fairly recent legal venture. As months and years progress, the speed, momentum and knowledge of this king plant is becoming recognized and utilized more so. States have slowly adopted legality and medical companies have even begun formulating drugs to administer to severe cases of epilepsy such as Billy’s.
Today, Billy is fighting more battles in this home country other than just his life. The Home Office has recently taken away the medication and now won’t prescribe the cannabis oil. His mother is distraught and fears for her son’s life. Medical doctors, advocates and patients alike are fighting for their right and lives due to this law. His seizures have come back and while it’s illegal to break the law, many people may turn to the black market.
The ongoing struggle is a global problem. While time will tell, the criticality of legalization is severely time sensitive in many cases. We wish Billy and all other patients in similar situations the best of luck and the strength to continue to fight. We sure as heck will fight right alongside.