Jennifer Conforti helps lead the charge to expand Georgia’s limited medical cannabis law beyond CBD oil with THC levels that are very low. NBC News reports that her 5 year old daughter Abby, is autistic and could benefit from cannabis’s medical properties. Conforti said there are a few angry parents who are fighting for a higher allowed level of THC in cannabis oil.
Georgia “CBD-only” medical cannabis laws
Georgia has CBD-only medical cannabis laws passed in 2014. This allows patients with certain critical conditions to legally use cannabis oil from hemp, also known as cannabidiol (CBD) with low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The CBD oil, with THC levels regulated at below the point where a high would be produced, are said to have helped many – but Conforti says Georgia needs to up the ante on THC.
Allen Peake, a Republican from Macon proposed a bill in 2014 to legalize CBD-only products. The bill would have allowed the legal use of products with cannabis oil for patients suffering from cancer; glaucoma and seizures, as long as it contained not more than 0.3% THC. The bill was declined.
Peake then returned with HB 1. This would expand treatable conditions to cancer, seizures, Crohn’s disease, mitochondrial disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and sickle disease. The proposed bill also raised the permissible amount of THC in the cannabis oil to 5%.
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CBD oil with THC – but how much THC?
The bill won the approval of both of the houses of the Georgia Legislature and was signed into the law by Gov. Deal. However, Georgia’s law did not allow a system for distributing, processing or cultivating cannabis products. This left patients with a choice of either violating state and federal law or not using cannabis oil.
Conforti says she lived in fear of being arrested, but ‘stopped caring’ after seeing her child being restrained by three teachers during a fit of rage related to her autism. After doing research, Conforti decided to try CBD oil with THC to help her daughter – and she says the results were dramatic. But first she underwent a process of trial and error in an attempt to find the right dosage for her daughter.
According to Conforti, she found that her child needed a much higher THC concentration than that allowed by law, and despite fearing that Family Services would take her daughter away, she has come forward to call for more lenient medical cannabis legislation. She says that she in no way supports the recreational use of cannabis, but feels that CBD oil with THC should be made available for medical use.
Can CBD only laws work?
It’s easy to see why law makers in Georgia hope to keep THC concentrations low – they don’t want people getting stoned – but is a CBD only law useful or workable? Parents like Jennifer Conforti say that CBD oil with THC levels higher than 5% work better in some cases. But should children be given high doses of THC, even if it helps them?