I just watched a current affairs program, about the first NZ trial of ‘Sativex’ (cannabis extract) to treat a young girl for Dravet syndrome (severe epilepsy). It was stated that sativex is not specifically suitable, BUT it is the only legally available ‘medicinal cannabis’ in NZ. The main reason it is apparently not really suitable, being that overseas trials show that the active ingredient/compound in cannabis that seem to relieve the symptoms is CBD (cannabidiol) BUT sativex also contains THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which is apparently the compound that creates the ‘marijuana high’.
They also showed another mother who is illegally making ‘Charlotte’s web’ (to treat her child’s illness), a cannabis oil that is being used legally overseas to treat other children with this illness. She is purchasing an illegal cannabis strain, that is high in CBD & low in THC.
The other main difference being that sativex is currently not covered by the pharmaceutical discount program & costs over $1000/month. The lady who is ILLEGALLY making ‘Charlotte’s web’ said she pays about $40/month on the black-market. Both cases were apparently having the effect, of almost completely relieving the fits/seizures caused by the illness.
In closing, the mother who is currently giving her daughter, sativex (legally) said that if it does not continue working, she would likely resort to illegal cannabis.
The ‘Children’s commissioner’ stated its time to look into the law that restricts this medicinal option. The minister responsible for ‘drug law in NZ’ was approached for an interview.. BUT apparently just said “NO COMMENT”. I’ve heard of ‘Reefer madness’ BUT this is Medicinal madness !