An eleven year old boy dying from severe epilepsy has not had seizures for three hundred days after being prescribed a medical marijuana product.
Billy Caldwell, from Northern Ireland, has an intractable form of epilepsy which means he cannot get help through simple medication or diet. He began treatment with cannabis oil in the US, where medical marijuana is legal, in 2016. His prescription was transferred to his local GP, Brendan O’Hare, in Northern Ireland. Thus, Billy became the first person to receive a prescription for medical marijuana in the UK. The medicine contains a compound found in cannabis plants called CBD, and does not contain any synthetic chemicals. The company, Billy’s Bud, was named after Billy.
Charlotte Caldwell, Billy’s mother, said Billy sometimes suffered up to one hundred seizures in a single day. Since beginning treatment, Billy has not had a single seizure for three hundred days. Ms. Caldwell said the cannabis oil has improved his engagement with others, improving his eye contact, and his ability to read books or play with toys:
“To me, that’s incredible, because one seizure can kill him,” she said.
CBD can also help with diseases including cancer and Crohn’s disease. It is legal in the UK and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulation Agency said CBD has a ‘restoring, correcting, and modifying effect on physiological functions’.
He [Billy] also takes a compound called tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), illegal in the UK. Earlier this year, an independent committee set up ‘Sponsor a Bud’ program which allows low income families from Ireland and the UK to obtain CBD via a Bud grant.
For more information on the subject, check out the video below: