STATES CHRONICLE – We are living in an age of freedom. There has never been a time in which people were as free as we are now. However, we still have plenty of restrictions, one of them being drugs. As marijuana is beginning to lose its stigma, people have been looking into other applications for the medical herb. For example, a new study shows marijuana to be cure for epilepsy and seizures.
CBD is short for Cannabidiol, and it is a major component of marijuana, along the controversial THC. But unlike its sibling, the CBD doesn’t produce the buzz usually associated with marijuana. It instead interacts with a brain receptor that plays an important role in the development of seizures.
The chemical can modulate the calcium inside and outside the patient’s neurons, diminishing the excitability of nerve cells, and thus the number of seizures.
After a number of studies performed by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco and the NYU Langone Medical Center’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center showed positive results in children taking doses of cannabis derived oil, arguments between advocates and critics started to arise.
One of the studies, performed by Dr. Orrin Devinsky from the NYU Langone Medical Center’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center consisted of 261 participants suffering from epilepsy and seizures, with an average age of 11. The patients were extremely resistant to medication, their seizures failing to be diminished by the use of their regular medication.
In addition to their normal medication, the participants were given a drop of CBD oil daily. After three months, the frequency of the seizures dropped by an astonishing average of 45% for all the participants. One in 10 patients got rid of their seizures for good, and about half of them had them reduced by over 50%.
Another study, performed by researchers at the University of California, showed similarly positive results, albeit with a much smaller sample. Out of 25 kids, 10 got a 50% drop in their seizure frequency, and one got rid of them entirely. The others were not satisfied with the results and abandoned the study.
One of the most convincing arguments against the efficiency of the treatment is that the participants knew what and why they were taking, and could have been affected by the placebo effect. Other studies are taking that into account, and the first one will present its results in the first quarter of 2016.
Whether marijuana proves to be a viable cure for seizure patients will remain to be seen; however, the simple fact that trials were performed in order to check the viability of the treatment speaks volumes about how much we have opened our minds and renounced reflexive skepticism.
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