Local children with epilepsy could benefit from GRU cannabis oil research

Local children with epilepsy could benefit from GRU cannabis oil research

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - The State of Georgia and GRU signed a memorandum of understanding with GW Pharmaceuticals to study the use of medicinal marijuana as a potential treatment for children with epilepsy.  

One local mother is very excited about it. Valerie Weaver said son has epilepsy and she said he suffers from about 80 seizures a day. She said this research could change her his life.

"It started off real small, just something as small as looking away and it just has progressively gotten worse," said Weaver.

Weaver found out her son Preston had the Lennox-gastaut form of epilepsy before he turned one. Now he's almost seven and they've gone through almost 15 different types of medication. They've struggled to find something that controls his seizures.

"Nothing worked. We've had a few things help, slow them down, but he still has seizures every single day," Weaver said. It's excruciating watching your child go through something you can't control."

Governor Nathan Deal announced in April that he supported clinical research that would investigate the use of cannabis oil to treat children with epilepsy - he chose G-R-U as the site for the research.

Dr. Michael Diamond, Vice president for clinical and translation al sciences at G-R-U says they're looking to help kids, just like Preston.

"What we hope to do is to be able to conduct studies to look at the safety and efficacy of this particular cannaboid, CBD, to see whether its actually able to help these children and reduce the severity and frequency of their seizure disorders," Dr. Diamond said.

Weaver has been very vocal about her support for the cannabis oil treatments and research in Georgia. She hopes that when the clinical trials are underway, Preston will finally receive a medication that helps with his seizures.

"I'm ecstatic about it. I just think that it's a wonderful, wonderful thing," said Weaver. "I truly believe that this is going to change modern medicine."

GRU expects the details of the collaboration with GW Pharmaceuticals will be finalized in the coming months and their research to start later this year.

Copyright 2014 WFXG. All rights reserved.