The Epilepsy Foundation has recognized medical marijuana as a treatment for epilepsy, calling for better access to the drug and more research into its possibilities.
“The Epilepsy Foundation supports the rights of patients and families living with seizures and epilepsy to access physician directed care, including medical marijuana,” said Philip Gattone, CEO and president of the Epilepsy Foundation, and foundation chairman Warren Lammert in a joint statement on Thursday.
The foundation also urged the Drug Enforcement Administration to end restrictions that limit clinical trials and research into medical marijuana as a treatment for epilepsy.
Under the federal Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is currently classified as Schedule I, along with heroin and LSD. Schedule I drugs, according to the government system, have high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. The classification also stands in the way of federal funding for research into possible benefits of the drug.
Recently, 18 members of Congress wrote a letter to President Barack Obama demanding that he remove marijuana from a list of the most dangerous controlled substances.
Epilepsy patients around the nation, including some children, are ignoring the federal government’s stance and using medical marijuana to help treat their symptoms.
More than 100 families recently uprooted and relocated to Colorado to take advantage of the state’s robust medical marijuana laws, and to find Charlotte’s Web, one of the most coveted types of medical marijuana available.
Charlotte’s Web is high in CBD, the non-psychoactive ingredient in pot, and low in THC, the component that causes users to feel high. Developed by Colorado’s Realm of Caring non-profit group, it has effectively treated children who have debilitating illnesses and conditions.
Charlotte’s Web and similar strains are administered in liquid or capsule form and, according to doctors, produce few or no side effects. Because of the low THC count, users don’t experience the high associated with traditional marijuana.
Although medical marijuana appears to help many patients, some doctors are skeptical about its efficacy and safety.