April 19, 2022
Nothing rocks the traditional addiction treatment model quite like cannabis. Medical cannabis is often approved long before its recreational use. We are far from fully understanding cannabis, but we know people are By using it to treat problems that other medicines have failed to solve.
Meet Alec Vail, a man who suffered from epilepsy all his life. Epilepsy is a neurological disease in which the mind and body go into overdrive, sometimes several times a day.
“When you have epilepsy, it’s pretty hard to do normal everyday things like driving, going to school (and) just talking to people, stuff like that,” Vail said.
But then her family learned about an alternative medicine that helped a young girl, Charlotte Figi, with its roughly 300 weekly seizures, according to CNN.
“It was this kid who had hundreds of seizures…, started on CBD oil (and) went down to about two or three rounds of seizures a day,” Vail said. “He was an inspiration to all of us with epilepsy.”
Its success led to one of the first CBD treatments to enter mainstream conversations. They even named the cannabis strain used after her: Charlotte’s Web. At that time, Vail was taking dozens of medications, and none provided relief or clarity.
“It was this kid who had overdosed on pharmaceuticals to the point of taking so many drugs, so many drugs,” said Suzanne Vail, his mother. “It filled his hands.”
“I was on medication that made me lose all day; I didn’t really know what was going on,” Alec Vail said. “And then once I started taking CBD, I was able to start having a normal life, in the sense that I can get up every day and not have to worry about breaking my head on something because I will grasp – or even just be able to think.
“It saved his life,” said Suzanne Vail. “I think he was at a point where he just didn’t want to live. I mean, he was having seizures. He hurt himself all the time. »
“We customized my THCA to finally get to where I have this static relief in my head from my epilepsy without the psychoactive effect of feeling high.” -Alec Vail
Alec Vail follows a diet of cannabidiol oil and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, two non-psychoactive cannabinoids, although THCA converts to THC under certain light and heat conditions.
Before an epileptic seizure, the brain is overload with electricity, which blocks neurotransmitters and makes them unable to send messages. One theory why CBD works as a treatment for epilepsy is that it slows the sending of messages through the brain without destroying coherence.
The problem with THCA and CBD as medical treatments is that options for purchasing them can be limited at dispensaries. When the Vails first discovered this treatment in 2012, Suzanne Vail decided to grow and brew the CBD medicine herself to ensure its quality and safety.
“I started with a hybrid from Charolette’s Web, which is the foundation of the CBD industry,” said Suzanne Vail. “I had one of those clones, and I kept growing it, and I kept cloning it over and over. I kept it for many, many years until my crop got infested with parasites.
Suzanne Vail did not stop there. The more people the Vail family talked about, the more people they found who needed CBD.
“At one point it was like a full-time job,” said Suzanne Vail. She had patients who came to see her with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, insomnia, eating problems and depression. “So it got a little overwhelming for me because I was also working full time. … It was a labor of love.
Making CBD oil is quite simple – similar to making cannabis butter for edibles. THCA, on the other hand, is not so easy to distill into an acidic form. Dispensaries carried THCA for a while, but it became increasingly rare as Colorado became a recreational state. Fortunately, the Vail family found a chemist who was willing and able to distill the cure.
“We customized my THCA to finally get to where I have this static relief in my head from my epilepsy without the psychoactive effect of feeling high,” Alec Vail said.
Therein lies the problem and a potential advantage of cannabis as a treatment: it requires adjustments. Epilepsy is a complex disease and CBD is not a general treatment. For those who find relief in cannabis, the treatment can be combined with different terpenes and cannabinoids to create a regimen that allows patients to live their lives as they see fit.
This is just one of many stories that have found relief in cannabis. While cannabis research remains limited, treatments will remain hard to find, legally dubious, and highly personalized. Yet the relief is real.
“You’ll hear this rationale (from limited research), and I think it’s BS,” Alec Vail said. “We don’t have enough research on this; it’s true. But we have enough research on this to know that it works.