Dr. Todd Barron, Neurosciences director at the York, Pennsylvania health system has run a series of tests since 2015 on children who suffer from severe epilepsy, including children with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.
Dr. Barron's team at Wellspan Health was able to eliminate seizures in a handful of children after administering Epidiolex, a purified form of CBD oil. In all other children doctors were able to reduce seizures by and estimated 40% to 50%.
Dr. Barron said in an interview with FOX43, "It's rewarding for us because we see improvements not only in seizure control, but cognition, interaction and so on." He added, "I didn't not expect to see the seizure freedom. That was icing on the cake."
Dr. Barron indicated one girl's transformation was so impressive, she began smiling during the series of tests. "Her walking is steadier. She's more interested in her environment. It was a nice welcome surprise."
The team of doctors kept the double-blind placebo-controlled tests under wraps so no other doctors or patients knew the testing was happening.
"Our goal as physicians is to provide our patients with treatments that are evidence based, which makes sense while safe and effective," Dr. Barron said. "The only way we can make those statements to our patients is by participating in these studies."
The tests were approved by the FDA despite the current ban on cannabis in Pennsylvania and in the U.S. Senators in Pennsylvania are working on a medical marijuana bill, a bill the state's governor said he would sign if it made it to his desk.
Dr. Barron and his team aren't getting into the political conversation about medical marijuana, but his team hopes to continue researching medical marijuana as a useful drug for patients.