One thing that continues to increase, since we moved to southern Colorado, is the number of families who move here to be able to properly medicate their children who suffer from severe seizures. Imagine having to make the choice between a good job and the health of your child. That is what our government is asking from these parents. Some move down here because it is so inexpensive to rent or buy a home here, compared to the cities up north.
I have to admire Alexis Bortell, a 12-year-old girl who is spearheading a campaign to legalize medical cannabis across our country. She and her family had no choice but to move from Texas to Colorado to find adequate treatment for her severe epilepsy. Now, her family and a handful of others are suing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), demanding “cannabis for the treatment of their illnesses, diseases and medical conditions.” Ever since Alexis began her cannabis treatment, she has been seizure-free for 974 days.
Does cannabis help seizures?
Evidence from laboratory studies, anecdotal reports, and small clinical studies from a number of years ago suggest that cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive compound of cannabis, could potentially be helpful in controlling seizures. Conducting studies can be difficult as researchers have limited access to marijuana due to federal regulations and even more limited access to cannabidiol; there are also increased financial and time constraints.
Open-label studies in the U.S. of Epidiolex (a drug derived from cannabidiol or CBD) are being performed. Epidiolex is a purified, 99% oil-based CBD extract from the cannabis plant and is produced by GW Pharmaceuticals to give known and consistent amounts in each dose. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given some epilepsy centers permission to use this drug as “compassionate use” for a limited number of people at each center.
Recently, gold-standard studies (double-blind, placebo-controlled studies) have finished for difficult epilepsies such as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) in children and adults and Dravet syndrome in children. Information from these studies has been presented at major scientific meetings and in press releases by GW Pharmaceuticals.
Results from 214 people who received Epidiolex (99% CBD) in an open-label study (without a placebo control) and who completed 12 weeks or more on the drug were published in Lancet Neurology.
Enter Sangre AgroTech
The most exciting development for Huerfano County, our “orphan” county with around 6,000 souls, has been in the tiny town of La Veta Colorado. WEED, Inc. announced this past July, that it recently acquired Sangre AT, LLC (dba “Sangre AgroTech”), with plans to open a Sangre Bioscience Center, investing over $1,000,000 into the Colorado Medicinal Cannabis Industry.
Sangre AgroTech then chose La Veta for their new research facility whose mission is: “To create a genomics-based Cannabis breeding program that will produce new, genetically-enhanced strains of Cannabis which express the desired plant characteristics for the treatment of disease…”
“At Sangre AgroTech, we are focused on the development and application of cannabis-derived compounds for the treatment of human disease. Targeting cannabis-derived molecules which stimulate the endocannabinoid system, we are developing the required scientifically-valid and evidence-based cannabis strains for the production of disease-specific medicines. Yes, medicines.”