Doctors tell parents cannabis will NOT cure their children of epilepsy as demand for drug continues to soar
- Doctors say they are seeing massive upsurge in demand for cannabis medicine
- Medics put it down to high profile Alfie Dingley and Billy Caldwell cases
- Law was changed earlier this year to legalise medicinal use of the substance
By BY JONATHAN BUCKS FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY PUBLISHED: 23.12.18
Paediatricians are seeing a ‘massive upsurge’ in the number of parents demanding that psychoactive cannabis medicine be prescribed for their epileptic children.
Hundreds of parents are reported to have contacted doctors after the high-profile cases of epilepsy sufferers Alfie Dingley, six, and Billy Caldwell, 12, prompted Ministers to change the law on giving children the drug for medical reasons.
Both youngsters were treated with cannabis containing the non-psychoactive compound cannabidiol (CBD), as well as small amounts of the psychoactive substance tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
THC is responsible for the ‘high’ experienced by recreational users of cannabis but can also trigger psychosis. Dr Symonds said some patients now mistakenly believed cannabis is a cure-all
In the UK, there are 20,000 children who suffer epilepsy that doesn’t respond to conventional treatments. But leading paediatricians say they are horrified that many parents now see cannabis as a panacea for their child’s fits.
Dr Joseph Symonds, a paediatrician at Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children and research fellow in paediatric epilepsy genetics at the University of Glasgow, said: ‘We have seen a massive upsurge in the number of parents asking for cannabis, and specifically cannabis with THC, because of the media interest around the children who have responded well to it.
‘But the fact remains that while CBD products have medical benefits, there is just not enough evidence to say that THC cannabis will help a child’s epilepsy.’
New and perhaps BETTER OPTION for Epilepsy Sufferers?
Stiripentol Decreases Seizure Frequency in Dravet Syndrome (non-cannabis based medication with better results than the new cannabis derived ‘medications’)