The government has now also relented in Alfie’s case following the concerns raised around the confiscation and return of Billy Caldwell’s medicine.
Billy was seizure-free for more than 250 days when taking the oil, but his seizures started again when his cannabis oil was withdrawn. The home secretary, Sajid Javid, was persuaded to intervene and one of the seven bottles of cannabis oil was returned, with a 20-day licence to administer the medicine.
Home secretary, Sajid Javid, intervened in Billy Caldwell case and returned a bottle of cannabis oil. EPA/Andy Rain
Epilepsy drugs don’t work well, or at all, for about one-third of people with the condition. Unfortunately, these hard-to-treat epilepsies are associated with an increased risk of premature death.
We now need to decide if we should expand human trials with better defined THC-containing cannabis oil, or if we should focus on CBD. The fact that Epidiolex has progressed towards approval in the US may encourage the latter course. CBD lacks psychoactive effects associated with THC and, in general, is regarded as a safe compound.
One of those people is 12-year-old Billy Caldwell. Billy was in the news recently after the cannabis oil prescribed for him was confiscated at Heathrow airport by the authorities. Billy’s mother, Charlotte, was attempting to bring the cannabis oil into the UK from Canada, where cannabis oil is legal.
I have been approached by Dragonfly Biosciences who produce and market cannabidiol (CBD) to sit on their Advisory Panel. I do not receive funding from Dragonfly Biosciences, but would be paid a consultancy fee if I join the Advisory Boorad. My scientific publication support the use of non-THC cannabidinoids, as reflected in this article. I have previously received funding from GW Pharmaceuticals, but I am currently not in receipt of such funding.
Epilepsy Currents: “Cannabidiol: Promise and Pitfalls.”
It’s short for cannabidiol, and it’s a natural compound found in both marijuana and hemp plants. There’s some evidence that it might help treat pain, seizures, and some other health problems. But much more research is needed for doctors to know for sure what it can do.
You can take CBD oil by itself by mouth, or use one of many products that has it as an ingredient. These include pills, chewable gels, “tinctures” you drop under your tongue, vape cartridges you breathe in, creams on your skin, and foods like chocolate bars. The amount and quality of CBD in these products can be very different.
Does CBD Help Cancer?
Forty-seven states now allow some form of CBD. Only Idaho, South Dakota, and Nebraska ban all marijuana use. Legal details are different by state, so do your research to make sure you’re on the right side of the law.
In studies done on lab mice, CBD oil showed promise at killing breast cancer cells and making chemotherapy drugs work better. But researchers have much more work to do to see if CBD can help people in that way.
2) (Clockwise from top left) Kwangmoozaa / Getty Thinkstock, edwardolive / Thinkstock, Evgeniy Kleymenov / EyeEm / Getty Images, MSPhotographic / Thinkstock, al62 / Thinkstock
5) Phil Roeder / Getty Images