Epilepsy Talk

Medical Marijuana — What the Experts are Saying | April 7, 2021

“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. Indeed, marijuana 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. Just like any other drug, if u r not used to it, it can mess u up if u smoke or eat to much the first time u try it. So be careful.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Zolt — April 7, 2021 @ 4:50 PM

  2. Good common sense, Zolt.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — April 7, 2021 @ 4:59 PM

  3. Cannabis has helped our daughter’s seizures & to wean 95% of her anti-seizure meds. She is on the Ketogenic Diet, cannabis, and a very small dose of Onfi. Before cannabis, she was living in a comatose state & was still having 25-100 seizures per day. Now she is awake and can participate in school, therapy, and with friends. Her quality of life has improved dramatically & we are grateful for that every day.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by shanametsch — April 7, 2021 @ 5:17 PM

  4. YEE HAA! How wonderful!!!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — April 7, 2021 @ 5:59 PM

  5. Yes, marijuana can help treat some epileptics.

    In Québec it is legal to prescribe marijuana but doctors know little about it and nobody knows where to get it. With time they may get better at prescribing and filling prescriptions.

    There is little data on the use of marijuana and its long term effects. Any medication that has been used over 50 years (and hopefully well studied) has more accurate and quantified benefits and side-effects.

    Relativism and Context: ‘We know that if you smoke cannabis your chances of getting lung cancer are less than if you don’t smoke anything at all.’ Why? Study? But your chances of developing throat cancer increase dramatically?

    Please, be responsible; do the science.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by philamisan — April 8, 2021 @ 4:11 AM

  6. Reblogged this on Disablities & Mental Health Issues.


    Comment by Kenneth — April 8, 2021 @ 7:00 AM

  7. So again, another FACT STORY that cannibis has been proven to help people with seizures for & since 4000 years ago. So tell the facts about ”’what seizure types”’ gets the help & what seizure types does cannibis not help ? I am almost certain that nothing helps focal or non-epileptic seizures,, not when nobody cares to study HOW BRAIN NEUROTRANSMITTERS & NEURONS are effected like gaba, glutamate, serotonin, & dopamine, from the toxins from the world of MSG & ASPARTAME, NITRATES & NITRITES, that when you look hard enough, you can find them in any neurological drug, like AED’s & the rest, and in all OTC drugs, & of course the food & beverage world, besides diet drinks & foods, along with ORGANIC & NON-GMO FOODS. No matter WHAT drug or herb is used, the food & beverage industries are never going to let up & make SAFE & HEALTHY foods & drinks for anyone to have better health for 5 minutes. But we ALL are to be one & one for all, where seizures in one persons life, is suppose to be 1 too many for EFA or anyone who is a ”seizure advocate person or group” who is to defend any of us, as to what we DO NOT want to have in our life where SEIZURES ATTACKS US ALL, but I know it does not work that way. Follow the money. 60 + years & still waiting for someone to listen & see the reality that I LIVE WITH as I am not only 1 of over 65 million who’s so different than anyone else, where seizure issues effects me different from anyone else.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by James D — April 8, 2021 @ 7:43 AM

    • Doctors and those concerned have been researching neurotransmitters and their links with environmental toxins and have gotten to know a great deal about them too which is how anti epileptic medication and treatment protocols were put together in the first place. It is a difficult and challenging disease, yes but it also not completely avoidable. Those with lactose intolerance drink soy milk or those with diabetes skip on sugar, similarly those with epilepsy have to avoid certain foods and come up with alternatives. There are honestly too many ailments in this world and not all foods can be created keeping all the disease-food interactions in my mind. You can selectively eat or avoid what benefits or harms you. There are always healthier alternatives, it’s the choice that matters more rather than stopping the production of these foods altogether.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Paperback badass — April 10, 2021 @ 9:58 AM

  8. I think it is the stigma around the use of drugs rather than the actual drug, that people are afraid of. Drugs have been primarily labelled as being used for recreational purposes rather than for medicinal purposes and that seems to be the problem. Perhaps some re-branding might actually help. All allopathic medication can be misued or overused and result in lethal or non lethal side effects, just like marijuana can be too. Educating people and improving legal systems is more important than simply banning medication that could benefit some patients.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Paperback badass — April 10, 2021 @ 9:52 AM

  9. I agree. Marijuana is just thrown in there with the category of cocaine, opiates and other narcotics.

    And whoo-hoo! If you smoke or ingest marijuana, it may lead you to be a dope addict.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — April 10, 2021 @ 11:03 AM

  10. I have been on Carbatol for 12 years and a year ago weaned myself to 1 capsule of 100mg in the morning due to the side effects of breakthrough absence seizures from Carbatrol. I have an other Dr. who wants me to go on 500mg of Keppra XR once a day. Have any of you done this and can you just immediately drop Carbatrol and take Keppra. I have been reluctant to change because of side effects.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Doreen — April 17, 2021 @ 11:00 AM

  11. This might shed some light on the good, the bad and the ugly of Keppra.

    Keppra — What People Are Saying https://epilepsytalk.com/2021/03/11/keppra-what-people-are-saying/

    That being said, often a B-Complex vitamin helps with the emotional side-effects of Keppra.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — April 17, 2021 @ 11:04 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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