UTAH: The University of Utah’s top pediatric neurologist has come out in support of families seeking access to a cannabis extract that has proven successful at stopping seizures.
“I would like to express my strong belief that [cannabidiol]-based oils (referred to here in Utah as Alepsia) should be available as soon as possible to Utah children with severe epilepsy. The substance is not psychoactíve or hallucinogenic, it contains less THC than do other materials that can be legally purchased in Utah, and it has absolutely no abuse potential,” declared U. pediatric neurology professor Francis Filloux in a Nov. 11 letter of support.
Filloux is the first Utah physician to publicly endorse cannabis as a viable treatment for children with severe, intractable epilepsy. Chief of the U.’s Division of Pediatric Neurology, he has cared for children with epilepsy for 25 years, specializing in Dravet syndrome.
Citing case “extensive pre-clinical” data and studies about Dravet syndrome patients finding seizure relief from marijuana extracts high in cannabidiol (CBD) and low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that gives users a high, Filloux argues CBD oil appears to be safe and holds “great promise as an anti-epileptic agent.”
But because Utah doesn’t permit use of medical marijuana, families face the decision of either relocating to states like Colorado where the oil is available, or delaying treatment and pushing for a change in state rules or law.
Stressing that use of the oil in Utah would be supervised by “knowledgeable physicians,” Filloux argues children in Utah should have access to the same “potentially life-improving therapy” as children in Colorado.