Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Forty years ago I lived at the end of this tan ribbon of road.  This photo makes me smile.

I tend to go the way of a rebel.  However, I do not like going against the laws of God, nor those of our government. I’ve done my homework.  I hope this info helps shed light on a subject that is somewhat controversial and yet, here we are, on the overuse side because of freewill and a fearful side because of the lack of clinical studies.

In the past I considered the herb, Marijuana taboo.  It’s how I was brought up.  To some who miss-use perhaps it should be carefully considered, but for those with cancer and my son who suffers with seizures and behavioral issues, I have sought enlightenment.  I have come to understand that in our situation, it is a godsend.

We first heard of Charlottes Web, a low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) strain of cannabis named after a seven-year-old girl, Charlotte Fiji, through a TED talk (stanley brothers charlotte’s web).  The Stanley brothers in Colorado had helped young Charlotte, who, at the time was having nearly 300 seizures per week caused by Dravet Syndrome, through this specific strain of marijuana.  The story was riveting.  Eyes glued.  Astounded at what held my eyes and the beautiful symphony that struck my eardrums called hope.  To say the least, I was deeply touched and impacted.  

In Oregon we have access to medical marijuana if we have run through the governmental hoops.  Thank you Ashland for making that process fairly easy.  We walked out feeling, not guilty, instead, we’d been given the moon.  I thought we’d have Charlottes Web in our hands in days and my son would begin to reap the benefits.  I showed the “medical marijuana pharmacy (aka head shop)” Zach’s legal medical marijuana card.  Told them I wanted a low THC, high CBD strain.  They gave guidance as best they could.  Cannabis for seizures is fairly new in the states.  They didn’t know Charlottes Web.  Yeah, they did sell me something.  I was told it was low THC, high CBD.  I handed them my green, they handed me their green.  Where my children are concerned, I will charge the gates of hell.  And I think I may have done just that.   I closed the door behind me carrying my little white bag of…hope.  I prayed it would work and that I would never have to go back there again.  

Newbie’s in the world of weed we were.  Zach was not himself that next day.  I was not impressed.  I plunged the contents of that vial into the commode, pushed the handle down and there it went.  

We happened upon a young man that had heard of Zach’s story and was moved by compassion (we are not so naive that we don’t know money is also a good motivator also) to try and find something that might be close to what we were looking for.  He has been very helpful in the hunt for organic high CBD low THC plants to help children with seizures.  It’s tricky.  I wish it weren’t.   

Unfortunately Zach still has seizures.  We need the Charlotte’s Web.  However, the really nice news is that this strain makes Zach happier and more stable emotionally.  We were not looking for these great side effects, but we will take them.  The THC barely registers in third party testing (1% THC to 16% CBD).  It’s a good start.  He smiles a lot.  

THC is a class of substances called cannabinoids and is the main psychoactive substance in cannabis. Even so, THC has been found to have several therapeutic applications such as treatment of mild to moderate pain, appetite loss, insomnia, depression and nausea.

CBD, or Cannabidiol is another type of cannabinoid found in cannabis.  Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive and does not contribute to a feeling of “being high”.  CBD has been found to provide relief from chronic pain due to muscle spasticity, muscle convulsions and inflammation.

So here we are.  Zach is the proud owner of a medical marijuana card.  He is not high.  He takes a nice little bit in the morning and a pleasant tad in the evening.  Stable, happy, sleeping better and less agitated.  When Zach’s smiles, we all smile.  

Zach’s blood work shows that he is one healthy dude.  In the beginning (we’ve been at this for 20 years) Zach was having between 15 to 20 seizures per day.  Anti-seizure meds had reduced his seizures, sometimes down to one a month and up as we lose efficacy.  Currently he has approxamitely 1 to 2 seizure per week.  We’d love to see zero.

We are still hoping to bring Charlottes Web to the Rogue Valley, so that it is available not only for Zach, but other children who suffer seizures.