Cannabinoid Treatments

Cannabinoid therapy has gained traction in the last several years due to online coverage of children with epilepsy using cannabis or hemp-based cannabidiol (CBD) products. In fact, this prompted a breakthrough status and a pharmaceutical CBD product to come to market for LGS and Dravet syndrome in 2018.
One can think about cannabinoid therapy in three buckets. The first is hemp-based CBD products that are available to be shipped to your doorstep no matter where you live. This has very low levels of THC (the component that causes intoxication), in fact, it must be less than 0.3% to be considered hemp, but can cause a positive urine screening for THC.

The second is cannabis products like THC, CBN, THCA, and others only available from states that have medical cannabis programs, and have epilepsy as a qualifying condition. These products may or may not be tested, depending on the state, and may or may not have rigorous standards for production. Still, families have found success with these products after carefully vetting for quality and consistency.

The third being a pharmaceutical option that is available by prescription from your doctor. Epidiolex is the pharmaceutical that is available for LGS and Dravet syndrome, but some doctors are writing off label for Doose syndrome. Check with your physician to guide you through that process.

As with any treatment, there can be an interaction with pharmaceuticals and cannabinoid-based products. Ideally, you would get baseline labs drawn to check the levels of your pharmaceuticals before beginning cannabinoid therapy. The quality of the product is of the utmost importance. Cannabis from a toxicology standpoint is very safe but pesticides and fungicides are not. It’s important to ensure your products are tested free of molds, pesticides, residual solvent, and other potentially harmful chemicals.

A great resource for you is the Realm of Caring Foundation. They are a 501c3 organization that aids families in selecting quality products, administration methods, helping with how to have this conversation with your doctor, data-backed answers to your questions, potential interactions, and product discounts.  They operate the largest registry in the United States following a population with epilepsy using cannabinoid therapy. They are also a great source to send your physician as well. 719-347-5400

Cannabinoid research by symptom and condition: