As many have heard, cannabidiol, the non “psychoactive” molecule in Cannabis, is being used for many illnesses, the best known of which are seizure disorders. Millions of viewers watched Sunjay Gupta on CNN show how Charlotte Figi successfully stopped her seizures with CBD after many pharmaceuticals failed.
There are now 23 Medical Cannabis States where all forms of cannabis are available. Additionally, there are 15 states where “CBD only” is the rule. So, CBD is the “good” molecule and THC is the bad one. It has been known for over 30 years that THC itself, although psychoactive, can have significant anti-seizure activity. So, by making THC “illegal” this form of therapy was eliminated right off the bat. However, was there more to lose?
At Green Bridge Medical, in Santa Monica, we see 7-10 children weekly with one of several seizure disorders. Many of these children have over 100 seizures daily. In general, we have nearly 60% success in substantial decrease or elimination of seizures. At the same time, nearly 40% fail or mostly fail.
As a physician very active in the cannabis field for 9 years, I am always seeing things I am surprised by.
As I have discussed many times over the years, THC is in it’s “acid” form until heated by smoking, vaping or cooking. This acid form is appropriately called THC-Acid or THC-A. THC in this acid form, similar to the juicing movement led by Dr. Courtney in northern California, is not psychoactive at all.
Frankly, I was very skeptical that THC-Acid, or raw cannabis, might have very powerful effects.
In my early experience with THC-A in the whole plant form, it is no more psychoactive than whole plant CBD. Opinions as to whether THC-Acid is effective for any medical condition vary. It is not surprising that THC-A studies are virtually absent because how would THC-Acid be made in the lab? Not impossible, but difficult and it would not be whole plant. In order to extract cannabis into an oil which is 100% THC-Acid is impossible, but it is possible to get 90-95% THC-A. Which is essentially a 12:1 THC-A:THC, which is a very low ratio; i.e. not very psychoactive. In addition, if the patient is also on CBD, there would be virtually zero psychoactivity as the CBD blocks much of THC’s psychoactivity.
So, we had the extract made by a chemist essentially in a freezer at sub-zero temperatures.
The first patient to receive THC-A was a young child who failed high doses of CBD. I had the mom stop the CBD and just start modest doses of THC-Acid; the seizures stopped the first day.
Since that time, we have seen a couple of more children where CBD failed and THC-Acid was a great help. In other children, combinations of CBD and THC-Acid did the trick.
In addition, we have seen THC-Acid be helpful with Myasthenia Gravid and Dystonia. I am sure we will see many more benefits.
So, in an effort to keep the 15 “CBD Only” purely medical, the powers that be took the easy way out while simultaneously removing several very effective “medical” molecules.
Why are legislators making this decision?