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Cannabis indica and cannabis sativa are used therapeutically for centuries, including for treating epilepsy. Now, cannabis is viewed as a controversial medical subject -- thanks in big part to prohibition and decades of misinformation -- but before 1937's "Marihuana Tax Act" cannabis was approved by physicians and patients as a genuine medicine, also considered one of the safest and best forms of seizure control medication.

While cannabis has been used in massive areas of the world for centuries, it just reached the west at the middle of the 19th century. William O'Shaughnessy was an Irish doctor who spent a while in India. While there he tried to treat a young woman who was suffering from migraines -- but his bag of western medicines failed to assist the child. In desperation he turned into cannabis indica, which the locals had employed for centuries to treat an range of ailments. A few tincture drops on the kid 's tongue brought the seizures to an end. O'Shaughnessy later wrote in a medical journal concerning the encounter: " The child is presently in enjoyment of robust health and recovered her natural plump and happy look. "

He would prescribe it for conditions as diverse as muscle cramps, rheumatism and rabies.

O'Shaughnessy reasoned that, " In Hemp the profession has obtained an anti-convulsive remedy of the best value. "

Later in the 19th century Sir John Russell Reynolds, who was Queen Victoria's individual physician, wrote this about the therapeutic advantages of cannabis, " I have found hemp quite beneficial " for treating epilepsy.

For another 50 years cannabis was widely prescribed. Together with cannabis prohibition came decades of propaganda and untruths concerning the medicinal applications of cannabis, also, with it, decades of needless suffering for ill people.

" It hastens all types of medical advances. Think of all of the knowledge we lost. Think of all of the time we lost. We've been made to rediscover things that were there all together. And in the meantime, these bad kids. "

From that date before this the acceptance of cannabis as a medicine has been rising, both anecdotally and clinically.

When Dr Sanjay Gupta reversed his opposition to medical marijuana on CNN that he Wasn't only making a brave personal decision in acknowledging his mistake, but he also decided to shine a spotlight on medical cannabis, and cannabidiol in particular:

In the past few decades a growing number of scientific studies have sought to clarify the link between CBD and epilepsy. In this analysis of 19 children who were given cannabidiol, 84 percent of parents reported that a reduction in their kid 's seizure frequency. 11% reported complete eradication of seizures and 42% reported that a higher than 80% reduction in seizure numbers. 32% reported that a 25-60percent seizure reduction. An increase in mood and alertness was also widely viewed.

Throughout the early part of the 20th century physicians supported medical cannabis -- the American Medical Association strongly objected to the Marihuana Tax Act, also cited the suffering it would cause patients. However, due to their lack of first-hand experience, today's doctors are a lot more skeptical on the virtues of cannabis. Until hugely costly clinical trials are performed physicians will remain attentive. But for parents that are watching their child suffer every day seizures, such caution isn't an option. What would some of us do in that circumstance? Sit back and wait for clinical trials? Surely not.

Together with the slow progress of medical marijuana has been the slow progress in our knowledge of the cannabis plant. While it was known from the 19th century that cannabis reduced seizures it's just been the last twenty years that scientists have isolated specific cannabinoids and begun to comprehend which cannabinoid does exactly what. It's from this study, much of it completed by Professor Raphael Mechoulam, that cannabidiol has come to the world's focus:

For the last 30 or 40 years growers have sought to improve the THC content in cannabis breeds. This has unwittingly led check this site out to the virtual eradication of CBD in the plant. This may have contributed to individuals having a good time using cannabis recreationally, but it has been a disaster for medicinal use. These mutated THC-loaded breeds are completely unsuitable as a seizure medication.

Luckily, with this new degree of cannabinoid comprehension, things are changing for the better. CBD has turned into a well-known substance. We've seen parents on the news pleading with politicians to encourage CBD legislation. And as this motion has assembled, so growers have stepped into create CBD-rich breeds of cannabis.

But many other CBD breeds are being made around the globe. Strains with titles such as Harlequin, ACDC and Cannatonic are quickly gaining popularity as growers try to catch up to the incredible demand for CBD.

It's been a very long road -- far more circuitous as it should have been -- but in 2014 we're finally on the brink of giving parents around the globe open access to cannabis drugs for their kid 's epilepsy.

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