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Marijuana Extract May Help Kids With Epilepsy

A little boy suffering up to 25 seizures a day and more has shown remarkable improvement now that he's taking a marijuana liquid extract called Epidiolex, which does not contain THC, according to CBS News.

Hank Kovach was diagnosed at the age of one with severe epilepsy. His condition was not responding to medication, and his mother recalled finding him in another room—near death—during one particularly traumatic episode.

"One time, I thought he was playing in the other room," mother Megan Kovach told CBS News. "He was not playing in the other room, he was convulsing, turning blue. And that's when I thought I lost him."

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So last summer, Kovach eagerly enrolled her son in a small trial designed to see if medical marijuana could help. She said that since taking Epidiolex, she has seen dramatic improvement in Hank. The Epidiolex has no THC, which is what generally can cause anxiety, nausea and paranoia in people who use marijuana products.

"We instantly saw results," Kovach said. "He was smiling again. We saw a decrease in seizures. At this point, he was finally able to gain cognitive skills with therapy."

As part of the trial, Hank received two doses of Epidiolex a day. After 12 weeks, not only did his symptoms improve but so did the symptoms affecting many others. A group of 137 children and young adults, average age 11, were given the drug and after 12 weeks, parents reported the number of seizures declined 45 to 50 percent.

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"They had better sleep, better attention, better cognitive concentration, better behavior. Some of the kids clearly became more verbal, better coordination," said Dr. Linda Laux of Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago, one of the researchers.

Hank is now 7 years old and though he still cannot speak, he is able to attend school and hasn't had a seizure in months.

Would you use marijuana liquid extract to help ease a child's seizures? Tell us in the comments

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Image via CBS News

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