By Evan Cole Lewis
I will do my best to respond rather than react to the April 27 opinion piece by Jeff Macintyre titled “Cannabis not ready to be called a medicine, yet.” I am a pediatric neurologist and epilepsy specialist by training, with over 500 adult and pediatric patients in my practice currently being treated with medical cannabis for epilepsy and a broad range of other neurological conditions.
When I first read this piece, I thought how I should reference the results of the five major randomized controlled trials that have been completed in complex, drug-resistant pediatric epilepsy. These studies show that medical cannabis exerts the same degree of antiseizure control as our traditional antiseizure drugs, with comparable side-effect profiles. I thought how it would be helpful to point out that cannabis, in the form of a purified CBD oil called Epidiolex, has been approved as a medical treatment for certain types of epilepsy in children by the FDA in the U.S., the EMA in Europe, and NICE/MHRA in the U.K. I thought I might share stories of the numerous children I have personally treated with unrelenting seizures who, after failing multiple medications for several years, finally responded to cannabis.