PHOTO: Renee Petro
In recent weeks, there has been an explosion of newly proposed legislation on CBD-rich cannabis extracts, the type of medical marijuana featured as a treatment for epilepsy in Sanjay Gupta’s “Weed” special in the summer of 2013. Parents fighting for the lives of their epileptic children are desperate for treatment that works, and the power with which these parents can fight should not be underestimated. One would imagine their strong voices would be a huge boon to the reform movement, but instead what has happened is the creation of a great divide: CBD-only vs. whole plant medical marijuana. And in the pediatric cannabis advocacy community, the debate has gotten really ugly.
While advocates for broader medical marijuana legislation often cite a “no child left behind” policy – meaning that children with cancer, autism, and other conditions would respond better to medicine with higher levels of THC – there is another part of the debate that has been largely missing from the media coverage:
According to parents who have been effectively treating their children’s epilepsy with cannabis for years, CBD-rich extracts alone are unlikely to provide adequate seizure control without THC supplementation.