Last month, Alabama governor Robert Bentley signed legislation allowing CBD-rich hemp extracts containing less than 3% THC into the state, which went into effect on June 1. Named “Leni’s Law”, it follows a similar bill in 2014 that began a CBD oil study at the University of Alabama. This study demonstrated a benefit of cannabidiol in the reduction of chronic seizures; now, the university is currently studying the effects of a pharmacy-grade CBD oil for children and adults with seizures.
In this still-ongoing study, approximately 50% of patients have been reported to be seeing a “sustained improvement in seizure control”, and two patients were seizure-free. “As a physician, I believe it is extremely important to give patients with a chronic or debilitating disease the option to consider every possible option for treatment,” Bentley said in a statement. He also expressed hope for data that will help to confirm efficacy of CBD-rich oil in the treatment of other chronic illnesses. While Elixinol extracts are available for shipping to most regions of the world, the treatment of children with hemp or cannabis extracts is often put under greater scrutiny in paediatric cases, making the protection offered by this new law a very welcome development.
CBD oil for children gets support from politician
Political support for the initial 2014 bill began when Republican representative Mike Ball met several Alabama families affected by epilepsy and other chronic conditions. However, the family of Leni Young, the young patient whom this new law is named after, had to leave the state for Oregon after she was denied access to the trials. Leni, now 4 years old, suffered a stroke before she was born and was subsequently diagnosed with epilepsy and a rare form of cerebral palsy.
While pharmaceutical medications were able to control the hundreds of daily seizures, they severely affected her quality of life, leaving her lethargic and rotting her teeth. Fortunately, her family has reported “immediate” improvements upon beginning CBD oil, and thus continued to advocate for legislation supporting CBD oil access with other Alabama families. “She’s progressed further than we were ever told was a possibility for her” stated her mother, Amy Young, who is also looking forward to watching the children of her friends progress.
In a press release dated 28 April 2016, she stated that Leni only suffered six seizures since September 2015, a phenomenal reduction from hundreds a day. As for quality of life, Young has described her daughter as able to sit through an entire meal while eating out in a booster seat. Also, for the first time, Leni is now able to genuinely laugh, a contrast to the days when she would only giggle uncontrollably while having seizures.
Many reports of how CBD oil for children has been a success story
Leni Young is far from the only child to have reported a benefit from hemp oil. In a survey of 117 parents with epileptic children, 85% reported a benefit of CBD-rich oil administration. Over half, 53%, reported improvements in sleep, 63% reported mood improvement, 71% reported increased alertness and 14% stated that their children were seizure-free. While controlled clinical trials are required to further determine a causative effect of CBD-rich extracts on seizure reduction, the safe accessibility of these extracts for paediatric patients has the potential to benefit thousands of families.