Epilepsy Talk

Medical Marijuana — What the Experts are Saying | November 29, 2020

“It doesn’t have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications. In fact, sometimes Marijuana is the only thing that works… It is irresponsible not to provide the best care we can as a medical community, care that could involve Marijuana. We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that.” — Dr. Sanjay Gupta / Neurosurgeon.  

“In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating 10 raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death. Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within the supervised routine of medical care.” — Hon. Francis Young – DEA Administrative Law Judge

“The evidence is overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms caused by such illnesses as multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS — or by the harsh drugs sometimes used to treat them. And it can do so with remarkable safety. Indeedmarijuana is less toxic than many of the drugs that physicians prescribe every day. – Dr. Joycelyn Elders, MD, Former US Surgeon General

“People who are dying and suffering in states where medical marijuana is legal should be able to use the drug under a doctor’s supervision to ease their pain without having to worry that the federal government is going to bust down their door and arrest them. It is immoral to deny people access to medicine that can help relieve their pain and suffering.” — Maurice Hinchey, Member of the US House of Representatives (D-NY)

“As a physician, I am frustrated that I cannot prescribe marijuana for patients who might benefit from it. At the very least I would like to be able to refer them to a safe, reliable, quality-controlled source.” — Andrew Weil, MD, Director of Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine

“I have seen many patients with chronic pain, muscle spasms, nausea, anorexia, and other unpleasant symptoms obtain significant — often remarkable — relief from cannabis medicines, well beyond what had been provided by traditional (usually opiate-based) pain relievers.” — David Hadorn, MD, PhD, Medical Consultant for GW Pharmaceuticals, Ltd.

“I grew up knowing that cannabis could be a medicine… I’m not aware of any proven long-term [harmful] effects from cannabis. People have been trying to find major risks [from marijuana], but I’ve never seen any documented. We know if you smoke cannabis your chances of getting lung cancer are less than if you don’t smoke anything at all.” — David L. Bearman, MD, Physician and Medical Marijuana Expert

Cannabinoids are now known to have the capacity for neuromodulation, via direct, receptor-based mechanisms, at numerous levels within the nervous system. These provide therapeutic properties that may be applicable to the treatment of neurological disorders, including anti-oxidative, neuroprotective effects, analgesia, anti-inflammatory actions, immunomodulation, modulation of glial cells and tumor growth regulation. Beyond that, the cannabinoids have also been shown to be remarkably safe with no potential for overdose.” – Gregory T. Carter, MD, Clinical Professor at the School of Medicine at The University of Washington

I have found in my study of these patients that cannabis is really a safe, effective and non-toxic alternative to many standard medications. There is no such thing as an overdose. We have seen very minimal problems with abuse or dependence, which at worst are equivalent to dependence on caffeine. While a substance may have some potential for misuse, in my opinion, that’s a poor excuse to deny its use and benefit to everyone else.” – Philip Denney, MD

“Many of the chronically ill have successfully sought relief with the use of medical cannabis, an age-old remedy that now shows real scientific efficacy. Hundreds of thousands of the sick have replaced disabling narcotics and other psychotropic medications with nontoxic and benign cannabis. The anecdotal evidence is overwhelming.” Jay Cavanaugh, PhD, National Director Of The American Alliance For Medical Cannabis

“After 4,000 years of humans taking cannabis for epilepsy, we have scientific evidence it works.” — Orrin Devinsky, MD,  Harvard University, on results from his team’s late-stage clinical trial of cannabidiol to treat Dravet syndrome.”

The Epilepsy Foundation supports the rights of patients and families living with seizures and epilepsy to access physician directed care, including medical marijuana.​The Epilepsy Foundation calls for an end to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) restrictions that limit clinical trials and research into medical marijuana for epilepsy. The Epilepsy Foundation believes that an end to seizures should not be determined by one’s zip code. — The Epilepsy Foundation statement on Cannabis

“The evidence in this record [9-6-88 ruling] clearly shows that marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record.” — Francis L. Young, former Chief Administrative Law Judge at the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

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  1. It has hope me more than medications, surgery and shock treatment

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Angela — November 29, 2020 @ 11:55 AM

  2. My son has drug-resistant epilepsy. He would have grand mal seizures between 2-6 weeks. The longest he had gone without a seizure was 5 months at the beginning of his diagnosis seven years ago. He started CBD oil under the care of a medical marijuana clinic that is managed by an MD, with their own pharmacist to ensure there are minimal contraindications between meds their patients are on vs CBD oils. They also work with specific growers, so every step of the way is literally lab controlled. Every visit is reported and shared with his whole medical team from our GP to his neurologist. After trying out a few different manufacturers and about a year into this, my son didn’t have a seizure for seven months! While it was yet again a grand mal seizure, he had it in his sleep, it had less impact than his previous seizures and we are all cautiously hopeful. He still can go higher in his dosing if required. CBD oil can be life changer.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by 17mwatson — November 29, 2020 @ 1:43 PM

    • You sure did it the right way.

      In Pennsylvania (or at least in my area) the counseling is a joke and the direction is nil. Basically, they ask you what you want. Not an easy question to answer and you’re left guessing.

      As you know, there are so many permutations, not to mention the difference of CBD and THC combined. It really is a muddle and I just wish there was a responsible team to guide me.

      End of rant.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 29, 2020 @ 2:33 PM

      • Absolutely!! Thats one of the biggest complaints Ive had for years regarding “regulation”….. it needs to be tested and retested (regarding strains), and it needs to have a suggested dosage, with recommended applications, etc…..

        All the old growers out here, complain and complain and complain, because all they care about is the money and the government, “coming down on them!”……. but they dont understand that its virtually impossible to recommend it as a medicinal application, when there are literally thousands of strains, with hundreds of different psycho-active and non-psycho-active effects!

        Or the pet-peeve I really have a hard time with is people creating their own “cool name” just so they can feel special about their “creation”!!…… this not only clouds the medicinal tracing behind it all, but it also degrades the integrity behind trying to find a strain that fits well with ones situation!

        Whether its social, cultural, religious, or just plain recreation….. we are all learning about the wonderful affects of the Mother Cannabinoid!

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Aaron Holmes — November 29, 2020 @ 2:43 PM

      • How to regulate? Who to regulate? Not the government, no matter how hungry they are for medical marijuana money.

        And how could they take advantage of something they (or most) don’t “believe” in?

        Heaven help us if the FDA got a sniff.

        So who do we turn to?

        I did once meet a man who had taken courses in Colorado and learned (scientifically) about the mixtures, the differences, treatment and different mutations.

        That would be brilliant to have more people around like him.

        I also have a friend with a terminal disease who grows her own (from seeds given to her) and makes it into tincture.

        She said was awful tasting, but it does the trick. No gummies in her state. Should all move to marijuana gummy land? 🙂


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 29, 2020 @ 3:13 PM

  3. After my first recognized seizure (6wks after my 30th bday), I was so scared of everything! I had already been a pot smoker since I was 13, and being that it was illegal my whole life, I was always looked at as a “stoner” or a “druggy”, always the black sheep unless I was amongst other folks that partook regularly!

    I was so scared that me ingesting cannabis for 20years was causing it (and ultimately my fault and everyone else whoever judged me was “right”)….. even the nurses were getting in my face the first day in the hospital about how much per day I ingested! My exwife had to even ask the Doctors to tell the nurses to get outtuv my face because they were clearly making me go right back into the grand mals I was having back to back (for 13hrs!)…….

    So when I sat down with my first neurologist, I had to ask if it was the Cannabis, and he very pointedly replied to me, “Aaron, for all you know, you’ve been self-medicating since you were 13 which is why you needed it so bad, and why you never ultimately had a full grand mal prior to now! Things have just built up to this point, and the cannabis wasn’t enough to stop this one!”

    Now, I live in an amazing cannabis positive community in Southern Oregon and you’re the black sheep if you dont partake LOL…… everyone is very respectful of the children that live here, and the folks that dont partake due to choice or otherwise….. as well, now that its legal for recreational purposes, its an amazing option that wasnt available, if even psychologically or emotionally before!

    There are TONS of great ways to use it as well! It doesnt even have to be ingested! It can even be turned into a coconut butter based topical application to help get rid of Melanoma!…… and living in a community like I do, the options are incredibly abundant!! And lucrative as well ;D

    Happy Holidays everyone! Another great post as always Phyllis!! Keep up the great work!! You are an incredible asset to this community and Im always sharing your mailing list and site with friends and family that know of someone or deal with seizures themselves!

    Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Aaron Holmes — November 29, 2020 @ 2:29 PM

    • Aaron, thanks for the compliment.

      Living in an area like yours does give you a lot of freedom.

      Still, do you have any kind of guidance to see you through? Or is it a guessing game.

      (I don’t quite get what your doctor was saying.)

      Being a veteran of marijuana, you probably have a lot more knowledge than most of us.

      But how do you transcribe that knowledge to balance with your own AEDs?


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 29, 2020 @ 2:43 PM

  4. Guidance to see me through? As in medical guidance? No……

    Personally, Ive always been a hyper kid, I talk alot, I write alot, my brain is incredibly active which made me a good athlete growing up, but couldnt sit still in class!

    My family members and I have recognized this all my life but never associated it to seizures until I had my first one and the Doctors said I have a “spike” in my brain activity upon falling asleep (during the test).

    Now, Ive been researching cannabis since I was in college (over 20yrs, mostly culturally and politically) and especially after I was diagnosed, but most of the information out there is very general when it comes to actual affects!

    A lot of folks know this already, but Ill state it just in support of my previous comment….. but there are two main types….. Sativa and Indica. These 2 types are vastly different and effect everyone completely different! But in general, Sativa is a much more uppity and energetic type of feeling….. alot of people call it “working weed”, because it doesnt give you that feeling of wanting to just sit on the couch and watch tv….. and then there is Indica! Its much more numbing (i.e. pain relief) and has a more sleepy affect!

    Its very common for a lot of folks to have a regimen of ingesting Sativa during the day in order to get their work done, and then ingesting Indica after the day is done because it helps with sleep!

    Then there is the whole open world of hybridization!! And this is where all the true problems begin…

    As for the comment about what my Doctor was saying…… he was getting at the fact that I didnt need to feel worried or scared, and that for all anyone knows, I had already been preventing my seizures, or minimizing them, because I had been ingesting regularly from about 15 on, it was just part of my life once I became a legal adult! And also getting at the fact that if I hadnt been doing that, I might have started having them a lot sooner in life!

    As for the AED comment, I dont have any scientific knowledge regarding those aspects so for me it doesnt translate at all…… but at the same time, I have worked hard to secure myself a great place where I can grow my own crop every year, completely organically (because chemical grows can cause problems too). The woman that manages my grow has been doing it for approx 3 years now, and before that she was making sure I had sufficient stock for my own medicinal needs, based on her grows……. basically she is my growing teacher and is wonderful at what she does!

    Sorry this reply is so long hahaha……

    The main reason I wanted to post my original post, was to encourage people to open their minds, and find alternative sources of freedom and health! It took me over 10 years after the laws started changing, to realize that I had been living pretty much my whole life with all that guilt surrounding Cannabis! And thats never good for seizures at all 😛

    And who knows….. they just legalized Pscilocybin in Oregon for medicinal use….. (however you spell that, the psychoactive chemical in “magic mushrooms”)….. we might see some medicinal relief in this as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Aaron Holmes — November 29, 2020 @ 3:05 PM

    • Aaron, here’s an article you might be interested in: Psychedelic Drugs Are Fueling a Mental Health Revolution



      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 29, 2020 @ 3:24 PM

      • Also, just a side note Phyllis hehe…… the FDA is involved already! They have to be! Oregon IS the Gummy Paradise of the West Coast hahahah!

        Edibles have been selling for years now, which means the FDA has to be involved…… and this doesnt even take into account that the NEW thing thats about to hit the market in 2021 are THC Drinks…… and I dont even mean like from the store…… but at bars and restaurants!!

        Soon you will walk into a normal bar or restaurant, and you will be able to get a THC infused beer or cocktail that has zero alcohol! Can you imagine?…… instead of having everyone hanging around till closing getting more and more drunk then driving home, the bars will just have to scoop everyone up off the floor cause theyre all asleep!! heheheh…..

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Aaron Holmes — November 29, 2020 @ 3:32 PM

      • Who would have guessed?


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 29, 2020 @ 7:27 PM

  5. My insurance (Medicaid) docs are not going to prescribe Medical Marijuana . I am to the point where it doesn’t matter what medication I take. It doesn’t help … just lots of icky side effects.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Bonnie — November 29, 2020 @ 3:12 PM

    • I’m afraid that no one except you is going to pay for medical marijuana. And it’s not cheap.

      Another reason why you should be prudent in what you get. And the dispensary where you get it.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 29, 2020 @ 3:19 PM

    • Bonnie, just something to think about…… even here in Oregon, the doctors themselves wont provide the legal docs to have it become legal for medicinal purposes (only difference is how much you can grow and how much you can store)…..

      But how the state works to get around that, is there are certain Doctors that work for lets say, here in Oregon the program is called OMMP, or Oregon Medical Marijuana Project!

      So, as an example, I call the program, they tell me where my appointment with the doctor at a local office will be, and I go, and they have my medical records, they ask me a few questions, then they write the document out and send it in to have me recognized and legalized by the State!

      All Im saying, is dont assume that because the word “medicinal” or “medical” is applied to the laws, means there are regular Doctors handing out our notes! They are still very afraid of the Federal Legalities currently in place, and dont wanna be sued!

      Keep looking, keep searching!! Think about moving if you have to! Moving to Oregon from California changed my life completely! But I didnt move here because of the changes…… I believe it was more of an insightful change!! So follow your ideals and beliefs and keep searching for those answers!

      Oregon has an amazing Social Medicine and Social Support program that has helped me tremendously!! And the laws are only changing for the better!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Aaron Holmes — November 29, 2020 @ 3:26 PM

  6. The day before Thanksgiving, I saw my neurologist. Had a Temporal Lobe “blackout” when getting ready for appointment. I asked to try another medication. I’m still waiting for it to come through the pharmacy. *The day AFTER Thanksgiving, I had another “blackout!”
    To my knowing, *Medical Marijuana has been mentioned by Virginia’s Governor. But I have not heard that the law has passed.
    I have been “in prison” inside this house for almost 33 years, now! There is no bus route close by. If I go anywhere, my husband takes me–when he feels like it. I have never committed a crime. Yet, I feel like *A Prisoner in this place!

    On Thanksgiving Day, someone a couple blocks down caused a 6 vehicle accident, killing 2 people! Not much other talk has been done about it. THIS is “why” I am NOT Permitted to drive! In order to keep an accident from happening–possibly KILLING Someone! It is believed the driver was a juvenile. I don’t care. I hope they pay–For Life!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Effie Erhardt — November 29, 2020 @ 7:49 PM

    • Effie…… your situation sounds very similar to mine, and I would love to share my email, etc…… Im a Life Coach by profession and would love to be there for ya if you ever need it!…….. please dont hesitate to contact me!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Aaron Holmes — November 29, 2020 @ 8:34 PM

    • Do you think that medical marijuana could help you out of your prison? Maybe. If you find a reliable source.

      Medical marijuana IS legal in your state. Now, all you have to do is research the resources.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 29, 2020 @ 8:41 PM

  7. Efffie….. accidents are accidents and people need to be forgiven for these things….. especially someone who is only 16 or 1 and is making the mistake outtuv general juvenile behavior….. its to be expected!! But that doesnt make you wrong in your thinking that more people need to be responsible for their behaviors!! and especially their outcomes!!!……..

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Aaron Holmes — November 29, 2020 @ 8:36 PM

  8. I know nothing about marijuana & I’ve never imagined marijuana to be cure for my medical hardships, therefore I never tried taking marijuana in any shape or form to cope with my seizures.
    But whenever I read the medical benefits of marijuana in helping people control their mental or phycological disorders, I always asked myself why wouldn’t the medical universities & pharmaceutical industry get involved in researching & producing the medicine to benefit the public in need of cure for medical hardships & make it available to the general pharmacies selling medical products to cure all kinds of medical difficulties?
    What makes marijuana more dangerous medicine than Keppra, Dilantin, Aspirin,,,?
    How’s coping with marijuana any different than the side effects of prescription drugs legitimately available in public pharmacies?
    Failing to have clear information on the advantages & disadvantages of medical marijuana makes it more complicated to find out if marijuana could be cure for epilepsy.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Gerrie — November 30, 2020 @ 7:31 PM

    • In my mind, I think it’s just another avenue of medication when others don’t work.

      For some, marijuana works wonders, others it helps, and yet others never find the right combination — much like AEDs.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 30, 2020 @ 10:04 PM

      • But why wouldn’t the FDA, medical universities & pharmaceutical industries research the benefits of marijuana & make it available to the general public to take advantage of just like any other prescription drugs who may work or not work in curing the medical difficulty they were prescribed for?
        What makes this particular plant so mysterious & controversial to use in standardized medication just like any other prescription drug made available for public to use in general pharmacies?
        What makes any other prescription drugs any safer than marijuana?
        Therefore failing to have clear understanding of the advantages & medical benefits of marijuana, it makes it hard to consider the option.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Gerrie — December 1, 2020 @ 2:14 AM

      • Gerrie, I don’t know why medical marijuana is like the dark side of relief.

        Why it wouldn’t go through a thorough Federal approval process stymies me too.

        And why haven’t there more tests and clinical trials conducted?

        Also, why few doctors are willing to supervise marijuana, just like anything else.

        Could it be BIG pharma, (because you can’t necessarily patent it) or our government being short sighted to a real pharmaceutical possibility?


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — December 1, 2020 @ 10:29 AM

      • In response to your post Gerrie…… 3 words, Money, Money….. and Money 😀

        Imagine how much money would be lost if it became common knowledge (supported by the MDA) that a plant called Cannabis, produces “amazing benefits” for many different ailments, with very few side effects?

        What would happen to several industries if the plant itself, not only had medicinal benefits, but industrial benefits, such as replacing cotton for clothing, replacing fiber for paper and rope, Hemp Oil can be made into a great lubricant as well as turned into a better bio-fuel than most other plants, as well as what it would do to the Petroleum industry?

        Its a plant….. its called “weed” because its the easiest thing on the planet to grow….. its becoming legalized in so many states, its virtually impossible to control! Which means very little regulation and no taxes!!

        I hate to make this sound like some whacky conspiracy theory…… but if you do a little bit of research, you will quickly find out that these are the major concepts that continue to keep Cannabis illegal in some states, and Federally illegal!

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Aaron Holmes — December 1, 2020 @ 5:55 PM

  9. I grew up in the hippie age and saw people being damaged by the street marijuan, I’m in UK and I don’t think enough research has been done or keep you under supervision by a doctor

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Gail Barry — December 1, 2020 @ 6:25 AM

  10. I agree. There needs to be more clinical trials, before it’s universally accepted.

    And like any AED, it should be taken under the supervision of a professional.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — December 1, 2020 @ 10:34 AM

  11. Gail, I do think many people still relate marijuana to the 60’s hippie era, and boy have things changed! The FDA and researchers really need to jump on the bandwagon, soon. I mean anything beats an AED whose side-effects include everything from memory loss, bone loss, hallucinations and death. Is rubbing some oil on your arm going to kill you? Let’s find out, ok?

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by skolly9 — December 1, 2020 @ 3:19 PM

    • Skolly, Sorry for pressing the wrong/down button but I agree with you WHY would the very institutions established to serve the good of the public fail to take advantage of the very natural resources that can be used to cure medical hardships many people are suffering from?
      How’s FDA not responsible for depriving the potential remedy many people may need to cope with their medical hardships?
      As if epilepsy is NOT complicated neurological disorder many victims had to cope with for a lifetime, seeking remedy does NOT need to be political scandal for FDA to spin around.
      It’s long overdue to challenge the FDA who’s it standing for.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Gerrie — December 2, 2020 @ 1:00 AM

      • Aaron, It has been said that “money is the source of all evil”.
        Therefore, as Phylis pointed out that the plant can NOT be “patented” to corporate interest of Big Pharma, it’s obviously clear that promoting marijuana for medical remedy does NOT serve the interest of the medical establishments profiting from the endless cycles of medical hardships many people got to live with.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Gerrie — December 2, 2020 @ 1:40 AM

  12. My Nero dr. Says that if I don’t quit smoking, she’s going to stop my epidiolic! She has no idea about canibanoid’s, she would rather push pills on me!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Jason Vance — December 2, 2020 @ 10:58 AM

  13. The ingredient that can get you ‘high’ is THC, while CBD has some amazing medical benefits!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Gregory Bebord — December 31, 2020 @ 11:18 AM

  14. Yes. Thank you for the clarification, Gregory.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — December 31, 2020 @ 11:31 AM

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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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