A nationwide survey conducted by Sydney University in partnership with the Lambert Initiative found that cannabis helps epilepsy patients in Australia and that they prefer it to conventional medicine.
The Guardian reported on the findings of a study published in the Journal of Epilepsy & Behaviour. The survey was conducted on 976 patients who used cannabis for epilepsy. The main reason they tried and preferred cannabis was the fact that they experienced far fewer negative side effects compared to standard anti-epilepsy medication.
Cannabis helps epilepsy patients, and they prefer cannabis-based medicines
Anastasia Suraeve, leading author of the study from Lambert Initiatives, said the study provides new insights as to why patients use medicinal cannabis. A retrospective online survey holds some limitations, but the study shows that a significant proportion of children and adults suffering from epilepsy prefer to use cannabis-based products. Most of these patients report considerable benefits from their cannabis use.
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Studies will reveal the working
Suraeves says that if scientists conduct more systematic clinical studies, we can improve our understanding of cannabinoids’ role in epilepsy.
The Lambert Initiative is funded by Barry Lambert, grandfather of a little girl with epilepsy. He is famous for donating $33.7 million to the Lambert Initiative fund for research into medicinal cannabis.
GW Pharmaceuticals has developed an epilepsy medication which has been through clinical trials and should be available to patients after being approved by the FDA later this year. However, it may not replace cannabis as a preferred epilepsy treatment since many believe that whole plant extracts are much more effective.
Katelyn Lambert suffered from severe, life-threatening seizures. After her first dose of CBD, the seizures stopped. Ever since, her grandparents and parents have been leading proponents for medical cannabis in Australia. Grandfather Lambert not only donated a fortune to research but also set up a cultivation and production farm. He grew a strain of cannabis similar to that used to treat Katelyn. It contains a lot of CBD, but not enough THC to make people stoned.
Cannabis contains more than 140 different cannabinoids. But because cannabis prohibition laws prevent study and research, the different interactions between these fascinating compounds are not yet well understood.
In the nineties, scientist discovered the endocannabinoid system. This system of the body consists of receptors in the body that interact with, or bind to compounds in cannabis. These cannabinoids occur in other herbs, but not to the extent that they are present in cannabis.
Cannabinoids a whole scientific field
The action of cannabinoids in the body is a science on its own, and granddad Lambert realizes this. Therefore, he feels it’s worth investing what could be the most natural and effective medicine of the future.
Unfortunately, legislation in Australia forced him to move his operation to the US. However, there is little that will stop him from contributing on all levels to help children with epilepsy to get CBD, as his Katelyn did. He is absolutely sure that cannabis helps epilepsy patients. After all, cannabis helped Katelyn.
Patients don’t wait for science
The results of the new study show that people are not only convinced that cannabis controls their epilepsy, they also find that it does so with fewer adverse effects than regular meds. There must be many families like the Lamberts who aren’t waiting for legal access. But thanks to Grandpa Lambert, we can hope for rapid scientific advances and broader acceptance of the fact that cannabis helps epilepsy patients.