Sunday 22 October 2017

Parents try cannabis 'cure' for ill children

It is now legal to sell cannabis in Colorado
It is now legal to sell cannabis in Colorado

Nick Allen Los Angeles

Hundreds of families are flocking to Colorado, the first US state to legalise cannabis for recreational use, seeking to use the drug as a "miracle cure" for children with seizure-related conditions such as epilepsy.

About 100 families have become "medical refugees" in the state and a further 171 are considering moving to Colorado in the next few months, according to a non-profit group that produces a cannabis-derived treatment for sufferers.

Colorado officials have said they want to spend $7m (€5.1m) on grants for scientists to establish whether children could benefit from such treatments, or whether they would suffer damaging side-effects in the long term.

Of the families who have arrived in Colorado hoping to treat their children, some have reported large reductions in seizures after giving them a type of cannabis oil containing the derivative, cannabidiol.

The most high-profile case of a child being treated with cannabidiol is that of Charlotte Figi (7), who suffers from a rare and severe form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome.

Charlotte suffered up to 300 seizures a week. For the past two years, she has been treated with a strain of cannabis, which has been called Charlotte's Web after her name. The seizures have now reduced to less than one each week on average, her family claims.

Paige Figi, Charlotte's mother, said she supported rigorous testing but could not wait for authorities to carry it out because she did not want to see her child suffer.

The Realm of Caring foundation, the Colorado non-profit group that produces Charlotte's Web, has received thousands of calls from parents across the US, with 100 of those having already moved to the state. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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