The social drama of epilepsy

The social drama of epilepsy

A large number of families, mostly mothers who are heads of households with limited resources, illegally obtain cannabis and prepare it in an artisanal and anti-hygienic way in their gas stoves, using the pots where they cook their food, assuming all possible types of risks, in order to alleviate the suffering and convulsions of their children with epilepsy.


They do this in the face of their impotence, that the medicines they give them in the health service, fail to offer a real and evident improvement in their children, who continue to convulse and suffer this terrible disease.


Someone told them about the benefits and effectiveness of medicinal cannabis oil extract (CBD – the good part of Cannabis) and without thinking much have begun to prepare it to give to their children. The good results have generated several movements of mothers who, using social networks, have begun to tell the testimonies of their children.


This is a public health issue, which is repeating itself in all countries of the world, there are countries like Chile, where what is happening is that medical cannabis is being imported from Canadian laboratories and sold at such high prices that families of scarce resources can not buy it and are opting to grow cannabis illegally to prepare medicinal cannabis oil also illegally, at a more reasonable price for them.


Colombia is a privileged country, in August of 2016 the Colombian Congress approved a new law that regulates the medicinal use of cannabis, let’s try to work together to make our contribution and be able to solve the drama of mothers head of household with children suffering the convulsions of epilepsy, let us be an example for the other countries of the world and let’s make a common front to avoid that the big multinationals turn us into a big cannabis maquiladora, and that we lose all its benefits, and that it happens to us what is happening in Chile, with an aggravating factor is that by producing our own raw material, we have to pay it at excessive prices, unattainable for low-income families.


Epilepsy in Colombia

Epilepsy in Colombia

With 450,000 people with epilepsy and a prevalence of 11 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, Colombia is one of the countries with more epilepsy in the world. In comparison with other developed countries that have better access to health and a prevalence of 4 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.


1.3% of the Colombian population suffers from epilepsy, a disease that represents 0.8% of the causes of mortality in the country. With regard to these statistics, the Congress of Colombia decreed in 2010 Law 1414, “which establishes special protection measures for people suffering from epilepsy, and dictates the principles and guidelines for their comprehensive care.”


This chronic disease that affects people of any age and is characterized by the tendency to suffer frequent seizures caused by abnormal electrical discharges of brain cells. In Colombia, 75% of these people are children under 15 years of age. The World Health Organization decided to include epilepsy among mental pathologies.


There is a growing demand for alternative solutions on the part of patients due to the lack of known cures and relief of symptoms. In addition, because one third of this population suffers what is known as refractory or refractory epilepsy, that is, it does not respond to conventional treatments. The majority of patients suffering from refractory epilepsy have unsuccessfully tried several attempts to control seizures with different medications (3 to 5 or more antiepileptic drugs and steroids), without success.


Medical cannabis for the treatment of epilepsy gained national attention in the United States when a girl named Charlotte obtained help and research from a Medicinal Cannabis group that revealed a reduction in the frequency of Charlotte seizures from 50 seizures per day to 2 -3 nocturnal seizures per month, these benefits have already been reported by many patients with epilepsy.


The Epilepsia Magazine, which is a publication of the League Against Epilepsy, dedicated its entire edition of June 2014 to the review of the uses of cannabis; or that the congress of the American Academy of Epilepsy, which lasts a week and is done once a year, devoted an entire day to lecturing on medicinal cannabis.


This notion is supported by empirical evidence published by the Official Journal of the International League against Epilepsy, which revealed that 48% of epileptologists and general neurologists, and 98% of patients with epilepsy would advise medicinal cannabis in severe cases of epilepsy.


Officially, the Colombian health system only treats epilepsy with orthodox or conventional treatments, which are not being successful. As of August 2016, the Colombian Congress approved a new law that regulates the medicinal use of cannabis and allows the commercial cultivation, processing and export of products derived from it.


According to the government, this is a step forward in changing the repressive drug laws of the country and orienting them to public health for the benefit of many patients and likewise calls for doctors and researchers to work on the issue. It is expected that treatment based on cannabis, expand to new medical alternatives once the law is fully implemented, with special emphasis on the treatment of epilepsy with medicinal cannabis.