Zaki was suffering from up to 200 seizures per-hour due to Doose syndrome. Some lasted over a minute. Some stopped his breathing.
For ten long years his parents and medical team tried every medication and diet they could find. Nothing worked. Some of them made the seizures even worse. Eventually, even the doctors gave up.
They were told there was nothing that could be done. As Heather, Zaki’s mother, says: “We were at the end of our pharmaceutical rope…it was a fight for our son’s life.”
But then they discovered cannabis oil, and things began to change. Skip to 05:19 in this video to hear from Heather and Zaki:
Parents with children suffering from debilitating seizures, cerebral palsy and other neuromuscular disorders see great hope in cannabis oil. The cannabis derivative, which is either ingested orally or via a gastrointestinal tube (G-tube), is already helping a lot of families.
However, the idea of giving marijuana to a child with special needs doesn’t sit easily with many people. The drug carries a stigma we all understand – it’s usually illegal, and “stoners” smoke it to get “high”.
But this isn’t necessarily the case in Colorado.
Marijuana without the high
Parents there are looking for Charlotte’s Web. Named after the child it was designed for, Charlotte’s Web is a marijuana strain that’s gaining popularity because it offers all the medicinal benefits without the psychoactive “highs”.
It was cultivated by Colorado-based non-profit organisation, Realm of Caring, to treat seizures and other conditions. This specially-engineered version is very low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound that most associate with recreational users, but rich in Cannabidiol (CBD), the compound that delivers the positive medical benefits.
Opponents of cannabis-use argue there’s insufficient evidence and the long-term effects of the drug on children are completely unknown. While this is a valid point, advocates point out that the same can be said of any new drug.
Desperate parents who have tried all else with little to no success are ready to try what many feel is their last hope for a "cure" for their child.
How do you feel about treating children with cannabis?
*Note: this isn’t an endorsement or condemnation, just a discussion
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