Maddie Holt, a user of CBD oil, holds a bottle of the liquid. CBD oil is said to help limit and prevent seizures in patients suffering from two kinds of epilepsy. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Cannabis medication provides relief for some pain and epilepsy sufferers

CBD is being used to treat a range of ailments, some forms of epilepsy, inflammation and pain

If the anecdotal evidence is to be believed, CBD is a wonder-drug, capable of curing everything from joint pain to cancer – but is it all it’s cracked up to be?

Cannabis has suffered some bad press over the years, from Reefer Madness, through dopey hippies, to super-skunk high potency strains linked to mental health problems. But it turns out cannabis is a complex plant with some useful applications when not being used just to get “high.”

There are 200 cannabinoids in the marijuana plant, with 12 having large effects on the human body and four, in particular, described as having “beneficial effects.” Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the two primary cannabinoids, with THC causing a psychoactive effect, making the user high, whereas CBD is non-psychoactive.

Dr. Terry Roycroft is president of one of the leading medical marijuana clinics in Canada – The Medicinal Cannabis Resource Centre Inc. (MCRCI), which has treated over 10,000 patients in the last 11 years.

He is currently on an educational speaking tour of Saanich Peninsula seniors residences and Oak Bay. He says CBD is especially useful in treating pain, insomnia and anxiety, especially among seniors.

Roycroft says that while CBD is effective in meeting some health conditions, if it is used in conjunction with other cannabinoids, an “entourage effect” is created which he finds significantly increases its potency.

“If you have 200mg of CBD and add just one or two per cent of THC, you can cut that dose in half,” he said.

The treatment of epilepsy is one of CBD’s most interesting frontiers. Currently, there are 30 pharmaceuticals for epilepsy, but 1/3 of patients don’t respond to treatment.

Due to cannabis previously being illegal, only recently CBD has been studied as an alternative.

So far, randomized clinical trials on children diagnosed with Dravet or Lennox-Gastaut Syndromes, found the frequency and severity of their epileptic seizures were reduced when treated with CBD. One trial showed a patient in the U.S. went from 300 seizures a week to just one or two a month.

Medical Cannabis Specialist Dr. Rob Sealey, said that endocannabinoid receptors in the body weren’t known to exist until the 1990s and “there is a reluctance of medical associations to endorse it [cannabis treatments] and provide education” until more research is completed. He believes that, “we are on the cusp of some exciting discoveries.”

Although promising, Mackenzie Muldoon, the director of communications at Epilepsy Toronto warns that without more research, people should “proceed with caution.”

“Every case needs to be dealt with differently – there are different triggers, different causing, different seizures and different medication,” she said. “We say don’t self-medicate, don’t go off your meds.”

Sealey offers a talk on the application of medical cannabis on epilepsy, March 4 at Camosun College and Roycroft speaks on how to access medical cannabis as part of the Medical Cannabis Conference, March 23 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

VIDEO: Saanich resident shocked when trespasser licks security camera, rummages through mail

‘I found the situation really bizarre,’ said the Gordon Head resident

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Bulk or boxed candy? Trick-or-treat maps help Canadian families prepare for Halloween

Census Mapper uses 2016 census data to predict busiest neighbourhoods

Black Press Media celebrates women who are making a difference

Helping others is the cornerstone of the work Shannon Drew does in… Continue reading

Goldstream Food Bank on the search to fill Christmas Hampers with toys

Volunteers are looking for new toys for infants to 11-year-olds

VIDEO: Explosion, fire sends woman running from Saanich home

Heavy smoke in the area, crews on scene

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Most Read