Cook Children’s hospital experiments with marijuana
Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth is part of an international drug trial to test the efficacy of a marijuana compound when used to treat epilepsy.
Doctors at the hospital are experimenting with cannabidiol, known as CBD oil, which is a compound from the cannabis plant. It won’t get you high, like the THC compound will, but it has shown strong results in helping to treat seizure activity.
It is considered by the federal government to be a Schedule I drug however.
To be placed on the list of Schedule I drugs, a substance must fulfill three requirements.
- The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
- The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
- There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.
This is despite medical whole plant marijuana being legal in 23 states and Washington D.C.
In 2014 though Congress included a provision in a spending bill which prohibits federal agents from raiding licensed medical marijuana dispensaries.
During the 2015 Texas legislative session, lawmakers passed a bill that legalizes CBD oil for a select group of epilepsy patients.
The hospital is participating in one of the first FDA-approved clinical trials of CBD oil. It’s designed to test the drug’s effectiveness in treating a condition afflicting its ten participants, children ages two to fourteen, who have a debilitating form of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, or LGS, which causes them to suffer up to 150 seizures a day.
This marks the first time the FDA has considered cannabis to have any medical value, and results from this study could help pave the way for changing how medical cannabis is viewed by the federal government.
Texas Monthly has a full story on how the hospital obtains the CBD oil, the process for receiving it, and introduces one of the children who will be involved in the program.