Medical cannabis has taken the country by storm; thirty states in total have implemented the broad legalization of either medical or recreational use of cannabis. That being said, some states not included within the thirty are working towards a full-fledged medical program, while allowing access to patients on a special case basis. Some of these states include, North Carolina, Missouri, and previously, Oklahoma. The state of Oklahoma has recently legalized medical marijuana, and according to Paul Moines at the Oklahoma Watch, The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority, under the Oklahoma State Department of Health, started accepting applications for medical marijuana licenses by Aug. 27” 2018.
This is a huge win for the state of Oklahoma, because it allows patients like Sophia Gibson, access to the treatment they need. Sophia, a seven-year-old Netherlands girl who suffers from Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy that causes up to 100 seizures per day. According to Lauren Harte at the Belfast Telegraph, it took Sophia’s parents three and a half years to get special case access to cannabis oils that would replace her prescribed synthetic drugs and aid her condition. After a few months of regularly using CBD Oil, Sophia’s parents say her seizures have reduced by around 80%. These results are nothing short of miraculous, and such success stories aren’t all that uncommon. Jackson Leyden, Washington D.C., Sam Volgelstein, UK, Brooke Adams, California, Rebecca Sewell, Florida, Ashley Surin, Illinois, and Vivian Stagg, Arizona all suffer from traumatic seizures, and all have had success using medical cannabis.
It is definitely fair to say that medical cannabis has helped those who suffer from seizures. What about patients who have other needs? According to The Washington Post, medical director Mikhail Koga, of the George Washington University Center for Integrative Medicine prescribes “high-CBD strains of cannabis regularly to patients with epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, autoimmune disorders, autism and insomnia”. The post goes on to mention that German researchers found in 2012, “giving CBD to schizophrenic patients reduced psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations and disordered thinking”. Furthermore, The Post reports two researchers at a Medical Research Center in San Francisco, California, recently found “CBD can block cancer cells from metastasizing”. If what the researchers discovered can be successfully tested with a patient, it would be groundbreaking for the medical field.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, American neurosurgeon, and activist for the legalization of medical marijuana shows, “for 3,000 years marijuana was a legitimate source of medication” and, “it could potentially help people who really need it and it’s not being offered” because, “we have been terribly and systematically mislead for nearly 70 years in the United States”. Though medical cannabis is still illegal in parts on the United States, there’s no denying its legitimacy. The number of illnesses it is recognized to treat may be small, but the potential for it to grow has never been larger. If the words of Dr. Gupta don’t convince you, you might want to take a look at the patent the United States government has on Cannabinoids as means for Antioxidants and Neuroprotection. The patent, otherwise known as, no.: US 6,630,507 B1, was granted to the US Department of Health and Human services in October of 2003. According to Alicia Wallace at The DenverPost, spokeswoman Renate Myles, of The National Institutes of Health (NIH), an organization employing around 6,000 Ph.d credited scientists, “Researchers discovered that non-psychoactive compounds in cannabis may have antioxidant properties that could be beneficial in the treatment of certain neurological diseases” and that “This patent describes the therapeutic potential for cannabinoid chemical compounds that are structurally similar to THC, but without its psychoactive properties, thereby treating specific conditions without the adverse side effects associated with smoked marijuana,”.
With this much evidence supporting cannabis as medicine, readily available to the public, it would almost seem naive to not consider it as a legitimate form of medication. We strongly encourage everyone to research medicinal cannabis in their state, especially if there’s potential for an industry to emerge and for patients to get a medical benefit that traditional pharma may not be able to provide. There’s no reason this treatment should be unavailable to those who are seeking it out, and hopefully upon further research, you’ll feel the same way.