At first, when Kalel Santiago of Puerto Rico survived a rare form of cancer called neuroblastoma, his parents, Abiel and Gladys, were overjoyed that the two years of grueling surgery, radiation and chemotherapy treatments had worked, and their little boy was going to be okay. But while he was in the hospital, they started noticing some behavior that disturbed them, like hand flapping and walking on his toes; worst of all, he was totally unable to speak. At the age of 3, little Kalel was diagnosed with severe autism.
Abiel and Gladys gave themselves a crash course on everything related to autism, and were fortunate enough to get Kalel accepted to a special surf-therapy school in their area, where their little boy thrived. Though settled happily in his new school, Kalel was still totally unable to speak.
Then the Santiago family read about the potential of CBD oil in the treatment of autism and decided to try it. The CBD oil they purchased was derived from hemp oil, which is legal in the U.S. After giving Kalel the oral CBD spray twice a day for two days, the results were nothing short of miraculous: After years of never hearing their child utter a single word, they received a call from Kalel’s teacher asking what treatment they were trying, because Kalel had suddenly spoken at school that day! At first, he was only able to say the vowels, A, E, I, O and U, but to the parents’ joy, very quickly added consonants, full words and complete sentences, even telling his mother he loved her.
“He’s been connecting — like he’s awakening to seeing the world,” said Abiel. “He’s looking you in your eyes, he’s been trying to say different things and imitate what we are saying. He’s saying ‘uncle’, ‘aunt,’ the names of my two kids. It’s something amazing that I cannot explain.”
Anecdotal evidence like this can be found all over the Web, with thousands of parents confirming the miraculous healing ability of CBD oil derived both from hemp and marijuana in the treatment of their children’s debilitating health conditions.
In 2013, researchers from Stanford University’s Department of Neurology conducted a survey to explore the use of CBD-enriched marijuana in the treatment of children with severe epilepsy. All the parents involved in the survey were members of a Facebook group dedicated to sharing information regarding this treatment method for their children. Nineteen of the responses met the criteria for the study: An epilepsy diagnosis and treatment using CBD-enriched cannabis. The causes of epilepsy varied: 13 of the children had Dravet syndrome, four had Doose syndrome, one had Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and the final child had idiopathic epilepsy.
Over 80 percent of the parents (16 of the 19) reported a reduction in how often their children had seizures when using the CBD-enriched marijuana. Two of the children completely stopped having seizures; seizure frequency had reduced by 80 percent in eight of the kids, and six reported a reduction of between 25 and 60 percent in how often they had seizures. In addition to reducing the frequency of their seizures, the parents also reported other beneficial results, including increased alertness, better mood and better quality of sleep. The only side effects observed were drowsiness and fatigue.
One would think that with all this anecdotal evidence piling up, researchers and scientists would be rushing to conduct studies to discover what other miraculous benefits CBD oil might hold for children with these devastating diagnoses. And yet, of the 400 clinical marijuana trials currently registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, not a single one is looking at this potential. I wonder why?