Getting Vocal About Access To CBD Oil

Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) has made an unprecedented move and called on Attorney General Eric Holder to use existing authority to reschedule marijuana.

Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) has made an unprecedented move and called on Attorney General Eric Holder to use existing authority to reschedule marijuana.

As CBD (cannabidiol) continues to make headlines for its growing list of therapeutic uses, supporters for this drug continue to make headway in bringing major issues to the forefront. Due in part to the countless families seeking out CBD as a component of marijuana to address serious medical conditions, Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) has made an unprecedented move and called on Attorney General Eric Holder to use existing authority to reschedule marijuana.

“Marijuana is currently a Schedule I drug.  This is a category for drugs with no medical benefit.  Not even cocaine or methamphetamine are Schedule I,” said Congressman Cohen.  “Patients have used marijuana to treat epileptic seizures, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Parkinson’s disease, and nausea associated with cancer treatment.  The federal government should be doing more to keep abreast of the science that has demonstrated that marijuana has medicinal value as well as not interfering with states that have recognized that fact.”

This letter goes on to detail one of Congressman Cohen’s constituents, 3-year-old Chloe Grauer. Chloe suffered from a rare neurological disease that caused her to have several hundred seizures a day. Her family tried a number of options to treat her disease including medications and surgery, but nothing stopped the seizures. They finally found CBD and attempted to treat their daughter with it. Unfortunately, because of marijuana’s schedule I classification and their inability to source CBD elsewhere, they were unable to access the CBD they hoped would finally relieve some of these debilitating seizures. Sadly, Chloe passed away late last year.

Unfortunately, this story has become more common in recent months with states pushing for bills to bring CBD access to their state, just to get caught up in other red tape. In Wisconsin, a law passed nearly a year ago to help children with seizure disorders hasn’t helped anyone here yet. Families who pushed for it say they feel duped and want to know what happened. Even though Wisconsin law says people can legally possess it, they still can’t get it.


Making The Case For CBD Oil, State By State

In Texas, the FDA is partnering with leading facilities like the Texas Children’s Hospital to understand more about the therapeutic benefits of cannabidiol. Texas Children’s is the only facility in Texas that is participating and has the highest number of enrollees of any institute. Currently, five or their patients are involved in a double-blind study using a liquid form of CBD called Epidiolex.

Researchers are conducting this clinical trial to discover more about how CBD can help patients, like six year old Izaiah Ruiz, who has a rare form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome. Patients with this type of epilepsy often endure hundreds of seizures each day, and they suffer from every type of seizure.

“It’s very terrifying, because you don’t know if that’s going to be the last seizure or the last one that’s going to take his life,” explains Izaiah’s grandmother, Lori Fountain.

Epilepsy is more prevalent than you may imagine.

“It’s unbelievably common! One in 10 people will have a seizure in their life – 100 people will develop epilepsy. The lifetime risk of developing epilepsy for an individual is 1 in 26,” exclaims Dr. Wilfong. He explains that it is more prevalent than Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, and Parkinson’s Disease combined, yet it is more under-funded than any of those conditions.


Medical Marijuana and CBD Finds Overwhelming Support In Votes Across The Nation

Virginia House of Delegates

Virginia’s House of Delegates voted on a long-shot medical marijuana bill that would help families suffering from severe forms of epilepsy access CBD oil.

This week in Richmond, Virginia, parents joined together hopeful for a positive outcome for their epileptic children. Virginia’s House of Delegates voted on a long-shot medical marijuana bill that would help families suffering from severe forms of epilepsy access CBD oil.

The votes came in 98 to 0 support for this bill, with the only two delegates opposing the bill choosing to abstain rather than vote against it.

The overwhelming passage stunned Elder and other parents who never expected to succeed in Richmond’s highly conservative lower chamber on their first try. The vote might be seen as a turning point for Virginia, which has staunchly opposed loosening marijuana laws as neighboring Maryland and the District of Columbia have eased theirs.

Similar bills have begun sweeping through legislatures, surprisingly in many of the more conservative states, after an August 2013 CNN documentary “Weed” that showed the plight of a family seeking the oil for their daughter’s seizures, said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. About a dozen states have passed laws allowing use of cbd oil in the past 18 months, including Alabama, Utah, and Mississippi.

In Oklahoma, State lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday that would allow children with epilepsy to use cannabis oil that contains less than 0.3% THC. […]

Texas Legislation Falls Short In Push For CBD

As another week passes in the push for access to cannabidiol, yet another study is published on its therapeutic worth. In the latest fall issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, scientists at the University at Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) found that components of marijuana, primarily cannabidiol, may be useful in reducing depression that results from chronic stress.

In the animal models we studied, we saw that chronic stress reduced the production of endocannabinoids, leading to depression-like behavior,” RIA senior research scientist Samir Haj-Dahmane said in a statement.

Endocannabinoids are naturally produced chemical compounds in the brain that affect motor control, cognition, emotions, and behavior. As the name suggests, they are similar to the chemicals found in marijuana (Cannabis sativa) and its active ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

“Chronic stress is one of the major causes of depression,” Haj-Dahmane said. “Using compounds derived from cannabis — marijuana — to restore normal endocannabinoid function could potentially help stabilize moods and ease depression.”
The next step in the research is to see if using a marijuana extract, cannabidiol (CBD), restores normal behaviors in the animals without leading to dependence on the drug.


Hemp On The Move Around The Globe

r0_0_1000_562_w1200_h678_fmaxThe recently introduced “Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015” has found support on both sides of the political aisle in the United States. This Act would effectively remove federal restrictions on the cultivation of industrial hemp, the non-drug oil, seed, and fiber varieties of Cannabis. This would be a huge benefit to families in the US who are looking for CBD sourced from hemp.

The House bill, introduced on Wednesday, January 21, by U.S. Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.), would require the federal government to defer to state laws that allow farmers to grow the crop.

“The federal ban on hemp has been a waste of taxpayer dollars that ignores science, suppresses innovation, and subverts the will of states that have chosen to incorporate this versatile crop into their economies,” Polis, said in a statement. “I am hopeful that Congress will build on last year’s progress on hemp research and pilot programs by passing the Industrial Hemp Farming Act to allow this historical American crop to once again thrive on our farmlands.”

The Senate also has developed its own version of the bill, which was introduced on January 8, 2015, by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

But the bill has received mixed reviews from advocates.