Start Of CBD Clinical Trials Offer Global Impact And Renewed Hope

Valerie and Preston Weaver with Preston's doctor Dr. Yong Park (Georgia Regents University)

Valerie and Preston Weaver with Preston’s doctor Dr. Yong Park (Georgia Regents University)

As initial misplaced fears and apprehension of cannabidiol subside, clinical trials have been launching not only throughout the US but also in countries throughout the world. In Georgia, 7 year old Preston Weaver was chosen as one of the first children in the US to undergo trials of the drug Epidiolex, whose main component is cannabidiol.

Preston suffers from a more severe form of epilepsy known as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, which has rendered him nearly paralyzed. Preston is unable to walk, talk, or see, and has up to 100 seizures a day, most of which take place in the brain and are not physically apparent to observers.

Although Epidiolex has yet to be approved by the FDA, it is hoped that if clinical trials involving Preston and up to 50 other children show promise, there may be hope for others with debilitating conditions.

Throughout Georgia, local lawmakers support the concept of medical marijuana and the start of clinical trials at Georgia Regents University — tests that potentially could lead to the passage of a bill that would legalize medicinal cannabis in the state.

“In substance, I’m very supportive of these goals,” said state Rep. Eddie Lumsden, R-Armuchee. “In principle I’m supportive.”


Federal Support For CBD Grows As Historic Bill Protecting Medical Marijuana & Hemp Passes

With the passage of the federal spending bill on Saturday, Congress made a historic decision which contains protections for medical marijuana and industrial hemp operations. The immediate and symbolic message of this decision related to the war on drugs is far reaching and is a huge step forward for advocates of this industry.

The spending bill includes an amendment that will prohibit the Department of Justice from using funds to go after state-legal medical cannabis programs. It will also move the country one step closer to ending raids on medical marijuana dispensaries.

“When the House first passed this measure back in May, we made headlines; today we made history,” Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.), who in May introduced the medical marijuana protections amendment with co-sponsor Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), told The Huffington Post regarding the bill’s passage.


Coming Soon To A Town Near You: CBD Moves To Meet Growing Need

CBD shops open for business

CBD Please, a shop that caters to CBD products, is just one of the shops opening to fill the growing need across the nation

As advocates of cannabidiol begin to find their voice on a national level, families continue to grow anxious at the speed that local and state agencies move towards bringing CBD to their state. CBD has, however, recently found advocates in elected officials, but stories of families being forced to take drastic measures continues.

Bonni Goldstein, MD, medical director of Canna-Centers, explains that “it’s often desperation — not rebellion against convention — that pushes parents to seek medical marijuana for their children.”

Families find hope in every story they read, many of which point to CBD as a solution for families desperate for any relief for their child. Goldstein recalls families moving across the country to California just to seek CBD for their children. This story is unfortunately not  a unique situation, as families have been reported to make the move to Colorado as well shortly after marijuana was legalized.

There are, however, still many unknowns and advocates continue to stress that government acceptance will help in bringing stronger clinical studies on the effects of CBD.

When Goldstein prescribes cannabidiol to children with epilepsy, she always clarifies to their parents that the long-term risks of the compound are unknown. “It wasn’t available 30 years ago,” she explains. Yet, “every single parent has said to me, ‘Well, I don’t know the long-term effects of the medications my child is taking, and the seizures haven’t stopped. I’d like to give my child the best chance possible.’”


Exciting Trends Point To Continued Legislation & Growth Of CBD In 2015

State Rep. Allen Peake speaks on behalf of medical marijuana bill in Georgia

State Rep. Allen Peake speaks on behalf of medical marijuana bill in Georgia

In Georgia, two of the most disputed matters from this year’s Georgia legislative session, medical cannabis and a private-insurance mandate for autism, remain on the docket for 2015. In an interview this week with Speaker David Ralston, he predicted an easy time in his chamber for one of those issues, but not necessarily the other.

Last year’s medical cannabis bill, aided by recent studies on the therapeutic aspects of CBD, gained strong momentum over the course of the session but eventually stalled. That was in large part because the Senate attached to it a separate bill, opposed by the House, to mandate autism coverage by private insurance plans. The House disagreed with that combination, and both efforts died.

HB 1, pre-filed by Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, would allow the parents of children who suffer severe seizures to have access to cannabidiol oil, which is made from an extract of the cannabis plant and has been effective in reducing the number and severity of seizures in some children.

Ralston said:

“I really, fervently hope that — and I expect — the House will move House Bill 1 quickly. And I hope the Senate will look at that issue on its own merits and join with us in passing that bill. Representative Peake has done as good a job pushing a piece of legislation as I’ve seen in a lot of years around this building. He brings great passion and just heartfelt concern for these families on this issue. But he’s done his homework. And I think you’re going to see a very well thought-out and very well put-together bill and I’m hoping we can pass that quickly and get it over to the Senate, and that they will pass it quickly and that we can address that issue.”

In South Carolina, a legislative committee met Thursday to discuss allowing the medical use of marijuana. The panel met to hear testimony in October in Charleston and in November in Greenville. The General Assembly went on to approve a bill this year allowing patients with severe epilepsy to be treated with non-psychoactive cannabidiol, also known as CBD oil, which helps control seizures.


Multiple Clinical Trials To Study CBD Set To Launch In Colorado

Colorado-State Public Health Department recommends over 7 million to study CBD

Colorado – State Public Health Department recommends over 7 million to study cannabidiol (CBD)

As the understanding of cannabidiol (CBD) continues to grow nationwide, Colorado has been pushing forward on clinical trials to provide crucial data behind some of CBD’s impressive claims.

The Denver Post reports that Colorado State Public Health Department officials have recommended over $7 million dollars in grant funding to pay for a series of state-sponsored clinical trials to assess the safety and efficacy of cannabis and cannabinoids. These include two studies that will evaluate the use of cannabidiol for patients with pediatric epilepsy, two studies on post-traumatic stress disorder, and four other studies as part of the largest-ever state research program on medical marijuana and cannabidiol.


Study Highlighting Effectiveness of CBD in Cancer Gives Boost to Fight Across the Nation

An effort to bring a form of medical marijuana to Georgia spearheaded by Peake continues to move forward, but hurdles remain as lawmakers begin drafting legislation to introduce next year.

An effort to bring a form of medical marijuana to Georgia spearheaded by State Rep. Allen Peake continues to move forward, but hurdles remain as lawmakers begin drafting legislation to introduce next year.

It is an unfortunate reality that some families across the nation continue to sit and hope for a solution to obtaining a medicine that is currently illegal in their state. In Nebraska, residents continue to fight for the ability to legally obtain CBD oil; however, they are now properly armed with numerous studies released regularly that demonstrate that CBD can help those suffering from devastating seizures, epilepsy, and other debilitating illnesses.

Last Friday, Nebraska residents came out to tell their personal stories in front of lawmakers, bringing with them a wide range of powerful emotions and insight into what it’s like living without access to cannabidiol.

Jennifer Anton’s brother has been suffering from seizures for 37 years.

“We don’t want to go to prison for going to Colorado and bringing back medicine to help him with. We’re just here to show support and pray to God that something will help us, help my family, help my brother through all of this.” Anton says.

He’s been on many different medications, but nothing seems to work. Suffering from migraines every single day.

“We just feel desperate for help. He’s busted open his head more times than I can even imagine.” Anton adds.


Progress Marches On For CBD Across The Country

Dustin Chandler of the Birmingham area holds his 3-year-old daughter, Carly, next to Gov. Robert Bentley during a gathering at Pelham City Hall on July 22, 2014, in celebration of the passage of Carly's Law. Families with children who could benefit from the marijuana-derived oil to treat seizures also attended.

Dustin Chandler of the Birmingham area holds his 3-year-old daughter, Carly, next to Gov. Robert Bentley during a gathering at Pelham City Hall on July 22, 2014, in celebration of the passage of Carly’s Law.

As another week passes, the understanding of CBD on a global level progresses. To understand the importance of this progress, one only needs to look towards families in Oklahoma who continue to make some of the most difficult decisions of their lives for the health and well-being of their children.

Five-year-old Olivia and her mom Hillary Rayburn moved to Colorado Springs in search of a solution to Olivia’s daily seizures. Oklahoma’s News9 highlights the challenges Oklahoma families continue to face in accessing CBD.

One year ago, Zoey Johnson couldn’t talk and could barely walk. She was having seizures all the time and her family had run out of options.

“It was at the point that if we didn’t try it, she could have died,” said Mallory Johnson, Zoey’s mother.

That “it” is Charlotte’s Web, a sativa marijuana strain with medical potency due to its high-CBD content. This strain was specifically cultivated by Colorado breeders The Stanley Brothers for a young epileptic patient named Charlotte.

Johnson gave it to her daughter for the first time about a year ago.

“In that first eight days she said 20 new words and wrote her name,” Johnson said.

This was one of the first effective strains bred with little to no psychoactive effects. However, due to its source from marijuana, families across the country have been forced to pack up and make a life changing decision to chase after it in one of the states where marijuana is legal.

“Still, for dozens of other families in Oklahoma, financial and employment considerations make moving difficult. Their best hope is a change in attitude in the legislature, which seems to be happening.” As these stories continue to grow, lawmakers in Oklahoma are considering allowing medical trials of CBD oil for children with seizures.

“However, Zoey and Olivia’s families say they’re headed west. They found something better than gold in the mountains and they’re not coming back.”

Despite these challenges, there is strong progress and awareness being pushed forward across the nation from Alabama to Utah. The University of Alabama at Birmingham is moving forward with a study using marijuana-derived cannabidiol with a focus on children and adults with severe seizure disorders. While they are still awaiting federal permission, information from the UAB Cannabidiol Program states there “will be no charge to patients for CBD or for participation in the trial, but they will need to continue to see their regular primary care physician and neurologist.”


The First Year Of Legal Hemp In Colorado Proves Difficult For Farmers

The United States has had a love-hate relationship with Cannabis, the genus encompassing both hemp and marijuana. In 1937, Congress passed the Marihuana Tax Act, which effectively began hemp prohibition, as the tax and licensing regulations made cultivation difficult. The bombing of Pearl Harbor in World War II, however, was a game-changer. It cut off Read more about The First Year Of Legal Hemp In Colorado Proves Difficult For Farmers[…]

Child Who Inspired South Carolina’s Cannabidiol Law Takes First Dose

It took only a simple phrase to see how Mary Louise Swing’s life would improve from cannabidiol. On vacation with family in Myrtle Beach last weekend, Mary Louise stunned her mother, Jill, and a roomful of relatives with a simple “Hi everybody” as she got out of bed. For 6-year-old Mary Louise, who suffers from Read more about Child Who Inspired South Carolina’s Cannabidiol Law Takes First Dose[…]

New Documentary Highlights Fight In Georgia For Access To CBD Oil

A new documentary will be released this week that follows the fight in Georgia to provide medical cannabis to children suffering from various forms of Epilepsy, as well as other Georgia patients who would benefit from the medicinal use of cannabis oil. State Representatives Allen Peake (R-Macon) and Micah Gravely (R-Douglasville) today announced the premiere Read more about New Documentary Highlights Fight In Georgia For Access To CBD Oil[…]