Cannabis Helps My Epileptic Son. If Only We Had Known Sooner

Catherine Jacobson

The debate can no longer be about whether to provide access.
In 2012, when other parents were trading stories about the difficulties of balancing homework with football training or swimming lessons, I was in my garage painstakingly measuring amounts of a schedule one narcotic to extract medication for my son. Tinkering with lab equipment and solvents usually only found in chemistry labs, I was trying to purify compounds from cannabis — not to get high, but to save my son’s life.
My son Ben has suffered thousands of seizures in his six-year life. Treatment-resistant epilepsy in children is a cruel disease that can lead to significant cognitive, motor, and behavioural delays and, not surprisingly, death.

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