Health News

Marijuana extract may be epileptic Diamondhead child’s last hope

A new bill approved Thursday may be the last hope for an 8-year-old in Diamondhead.

A day before the Friday deadline, Gov. Phil Bryant signed off on a measure allowing a marijuana extract to be prescribed in Mississippi.

It was approved by legislators three weeks ago, and Bryant said he signed it only after Bureau of Narcotics officials assured him the substance can’t be used to produce a high.

Cannabidiol oil — CBD for short — has been shown in several studies to treat symptoms of epilepsy and a variety of other illnesses.

Brennan Davis has severe and worsening epilepsy. His disease also seems to be resistant to every approved seizure medication.

“We’ve tried all these meds and Brennan is one of the patients that his body does not accept any of the seizure medications,” said his mother, Grace Darrow.

She said her family is very excited to begin trying the CBD oil when it is available. The bill becomes law July 1.

“It’s a huge blessing because now my son can hopefully receive some relief,” she said.

Last week, she had to call 911 because his seizures wouldn’t stop.

“He has not been doing well,” she said. “Last Thursday, he had a horrible, horrible day.”

After that the doctor he has been seeing in Pensacola decided to take him off a drug trial he had been on for three months.

Darrow said the doctor even recommended reconsidering brain surgery. In some epileptic patients, removing the seizure-causing part of the brain can be a last-resort treatment. Tests showed Brennan’s seizures, however, originated all over his brain.

“We have no options,” Darrow said. “So that’s why this bill being passed is literally a blessing to us.”

The extract would be dispensed by prescription through a University of Mississippi Medical Center pharmacy, which would get it from the University of Mississippi’s National Center for Natural Products Research in Oxford. That center grows marijuana for medical research sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Bryant said he opposes any other attempt to legalize marijuana or products from it.

The Associated Press, contributed to this report.