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Epileptic child has been seizure free thanks to cannabis oil

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Zach McAuliffe
Zach McAuliffe is a University of Dayton alumni with degrees in journalism and English. He wants to present people with all the facts they need to make informed decisions on the world around them. He also enjoys Shakespeare and long walks on the beach with his puppy Lily.

A child in Oregon who has suffered from seizures brought on by epilepsy has been seizure free for close to nine-weeks now thanks to cannabis oil.

A week after Forrest Smelser turned eight, he was diagnosed with epilepsy, which would cause him to go into seizures, sometimes lasting upwards of 15 minutes.  According to the Epilepsy Foundation, any seizure lasting longer then five minutes requires immediate medical attention and may result in permanent brain damage.

His mother Tanesha took Forrest to the emergency room many times until finally the doctors prescribed Forrest with an anti-seizure drug called Trileptal.  However, the medication only seemed to make things worse for Forrest.  “He would scream, he would fight, he would punch himself,” said Tanesha according to KATU.  

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The FDA  has said these side effects are not common, but they do occur in about one in every 500 people.  

At this point, Tanesha said Forrest became suicidal, which she and her family blame on the medications.  Then, Tanesha and her family began to look into other medical options for Forrest.

Forrest’s family began to read into the uses of medical marijuana and its benefits, and made the conscious choice to begin Forrest on a medical marijuana treatment.

After nine weeks of giving Forrest cannabidiol (CBD), the second most active component of medical marijuana, the family reports Forrest has been seizure free.

The strain of medical marijuana Forrest is taking contains mostly CBDs, according to Medical Daily.  Normally, THC, the component which provides the high behind smoking marijuana, is the main component in medical marijuana, but because this strain is mostly CBD, there is virtually no high.  Instead, the CBDs provide anti-seizure, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic effects on the patient.

This link provides further studies by Project CBD on the effects of CBD in a medical setting.

However, Forrest is not smoking the medical marijuana, rather he is taking it through pill form like any other medication.

“Now that I’m on this medication, I feel like a normal boy,” Forrest said.

“I feel like it’s saved his life,” said Tanesha.  “I know it sounds scary, and I know it sounds unconventional, but it’s working. It’s working!”

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