Originally Posted: Tuesday, November 3, 2015 7:00 am from Greensburg Daily News
This summer and fall I served as the chair of the Interim Study Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. One of the issues the committee addressed was whether Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, a product derived from cannabis, should be made legal for the purpose of treating seizures in children.
CBD oil is illegal under federal law because it is derived from the plant cannabis sativa L., the same plant as marijuana. Cannabis plants can have varying levels of THC, which is the chemical that makes a person “high,” depending on how the plant is grown and bred. CBD oil, however, does not contain THC and can be obtained from plants that have a negligible amount of THC.
The committee took this discussion very seriously, weighing all sides of the issue by hearing testimony from families of children who have serious epilepsy cases, health officials and agriculture experts.
Advocates of legalizing CBD oil want to have the option to try CBD oil as a treatment for seizures. Some children with severe cases of epilepsy, like Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS), do not respond to traditional treatments, leaving some parents seeking alternative options like CBD oil.
Medical professionals, however, are skeptical of CBD as a treatment for seizures. Presently there are no studies citing the effectiveness of CBD oil for treating seizures. In addition, a representative from the American Epilepsy Society testified that they do not endorse the use of CBD oil at this time.