For families of children with debilitating disorders, all hope is pinned on cannabis oil, and not pills. At Cook Children’s Hospital, cannabis is being given a fair chance at helping kids who suffer from a wide range of ailments.
One such family is even making the drive regularly from Lubbock to Cook Children’s in Fort Worth, Texas to take part in a cannabis oil trial for patients suffering from seizures. Kadience Mulanax has a genetic disorder called Tuberous Sclerosis, or “TS.” It affects about one in every 4,000 people, says Dr. M. Scott Perry of Cook Children’s Medical Center. He says it affects almost every single organ system and often leads to debilitating seizures.
Dr. Perry is also the cannabis trial’s lead investigator. “We did 28 days of counting [seizures] and [Kadience] had 90- 89, 90” in that time period, says dad Brooks. Her family’s hope is now resting with the cannabis oil treatment. “We’re trying to figure out how does it work for the treatment of seizures,” Dr. Perry says.
“This is a little different from the hemp oils you’d get from the internet,” said Dr. Perry, who also asserted that this was an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) trial. “This is a true pharmaceutical drug, meaning it’s under a lot of scrutiny.” That scrutiny made the decision easy for Laci and Brooks Mulanax, Kadience’s parents. “I wasn’t ever of the mindset that ‘Hey, you’re giving your kid marijuana because that is not the case whatsoever,’” Brooks says.
In total, 210 patients in 40 medical centers worldwide will participate in the trial.
“What we’ve seen so far in the studies we’ve done is that it does work,” Dr. Perry says. “In the three trials they’ve released results on so far, the average [seizure] reduction was 40 percent.” The trial is giving families hope that someday their loved ones won’t have to just live with debilitating seizures.
But the FDA has made their position, as a government agency, very clear on marijuana. They do not feel that marijuana and cannabis oil is an actual medicine. Because the FDA is wholly financed by the government and regulates the food and drug industry as such, don’t expect results of this study to be unbiased. A private group of doctors performing the same study would net much more trustworthy results. But this trial is a small step in the right direction, and if it helps several children cease their suffering, we may see minds slowly change to accept the plant’s obvious medicinal properties.