Pubdate: Thu, 30 Jun 2016
Source: Portland Mercury (OR)
Column: Cannabuzz
Copyright: 2016 The Portland Mercury
Author: Josh Jardine


Here's How a Component of Weed Helped Someone with Seizures

THESE ARE DAYS when it's important to find some good news, to seek 
out stories that remind us of our fellow human's capacity for 
decency, compassion, and selflessness. So turn away from the 
darkness-just for a minute, it'll still be there if you start to miss 
it-and let's examine the light for a minute.

At a recent cannabis event, I spoke with Jesse Peters, CEO of Eco 
Firma Farms. We talked about upcoming events, projects, and the 
ever-changing landscape of cannabis regulations. Peters is a 
friend-full disclosure-and I asked him if he was aware of anything 
that I may have missed that would make a good column. He paused for a second.

"Well, we've been working with a woman and her daughter," Peters said 
to me. "I can give you her number. I think they have a pretty 
interesting story."

He was right.

The woman asked that I keep her identity private, so I'm going to 
call her M, and we'll call her 28-year-old daughter D.

D was born blind, and had a heart attack when she was 10 days old. 
Extensive seizures followed, and her doctor said that D had a less 
than 25 percent chance of survival. Miraculously, she pulled through, 
but D has struggled with seizures since then.

First, a definition of terms: WebMD, the favorite website of paranoid 
hypochondriacs everywhere, breaks seizures down like this: "The brain 
controls how the body moves by sending out small electrical signals 
through the nerves to the muscles. Seizures, or convulsions, occur 
when abnormal signals from the brain change the way the body functions."

Anyone who has ever seen a person have a seizure can tell you it's 
terrifying and leaves you feeling helpless. The actual experience of 
having one is infinitely worse.

Even when D's seizure meds did work, the side effects were the stuff 
of nightmares. "She would bang her head and tear her skin open," M 
told me softly. "It made her gain a terrible amount of weight."

Then three years ago, D met with Peters, along with Jason Wasserman 
from Udoxi Scientific. They suggested a tincture made from cannabis, 
low in THC and high in CBD. The doctors told D's mother that while 
they couldn't openly support it, she was welcome to try anything that 
might help.

And so she did. And the results were a welcome surprise. "I wouldn't 
call it a miracle, but D's quality of life is so much better. We've 
greatly reduced the number of traditional meds she's on, and the 
tincture balances the awful side effects of those meds-she feels 
better, her quality of life has improved, and we've seen a reduction 
of her seizures by 20 percent."

It's an ongoing struggle to find the right balance in the tincture 
formulas, which they gift to D. Too much THC can trigger seizures, so 
Eco Firma crafts lower THC/higher CBD tinctures, always with an eye 
toward refining and improving the quality of life for D.

"I'm very happy working with Jesse and Jason," says M. "Without them, 
I would be dependent upon a dispensary telling me what they think 
would work. And I would be buying what [Jesse and Jason] provide at no charge."

The crafting of these tinctures is a collaborative effort between Eco 
Firma and Udoxi. This partnership of mercy was formed a few years 
back, when Eco Firma began providing Udoxi with high CBD strains to 
be made into high-CBD products such as shatter, concentrates, and 
tinctures. Udoxi handles the processing, and there is no charge to 
the patients for the products made.

"We're always working to refine our products. With D, the goal has 
been to dial in a formula to offer her a higher degree of relief from 
the seizures," says Peters.

I ask him if he finds a difference between serving the medical as 
opposed to the adult-use market.

"Definitely. I'm super happy there is an adult-use option, and that 
people can participate in that to whatever degree they wish. But with 
medical, there is a stronger sense of purpose."
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom