Doctors call for more studies examining connection between marijuana, seizures

Doctors call for more studies examining connection between marijuana, seizures

Studies show marijuana may help relieve seizures.

With many children suffering from a rare chromosomal disorder causing life-threatening seizures, more and more families are fighting for the legalization of marijuana, as it is an effective treatment in minimizing the occurrence of the devastating seizures.

Symptoms of the rare disorder cause an alarming number of weekly seizures, and on occasion cause instances of cardiac arrest. For one five-year-old girl, Charolette Figi, she was suffering from as many as 300 seizures per week. With other treatments failing, Charolette’s mother reached out to local marijuana shops as a final resort. Two years later, Charolette is mostly seizure free and has regained the ability to walk, talk and feed herself, all functions she was without prior to the marijuana treatment.

A similar case concerning a six-year-old girl named Lydia Schaeffer from Burlington, Wisconsin, yielded similar results. After years of failed treatments, Lydia’s seizure frequency reduced after marijuana treatment. Lydia’s parents are now fighting for marijuana legalization in the state of Wisconsin, alongside other families who have also found the drug effective in reducing the occurrence of seizure and epileptic episodes in children living with the rare chromosomal disorder.

While families with children suffering from seizures and epileptic episodes say the marijuana is an effective treatment for the life-threatening disorder, doctors say not enough research has been conducted to validate the effectiveness, or safeness of marijuana as a treatment for these types of conditions. Doctors say, at this point, more studies are necessary to conclude the drugs effectiveness in these conditions.

However, in a report released Tuesday by Reuters, Georgia state lawmakers passed a bill Monday legalizing the use of marijuana for seizure treatment, possibly signaling a thaw in medical marijuana for controversial medical purposes. Medicinal marijuana is currently only legal in 20 US states, making it difficult for families with seizure suffering children to access the drug.

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