Today more than ever our society is starting to see first-hand the benefits that medical cannabis can offer. One of those benefits being its anticonvulsant properties and ability to more times than not stop seizures in their tracks.
If you tell some people this though they think you are crazy and that this thought that cannabis is medicine is something entirely new that needs extensive research. Those same people would probably look at you even more insane if you were to tell them that doctors have been noting the positive effects of cannabis for treating epilepsy in infants for nearly two centuries.
Cannabis for Epilepsy – A Trip Back to the 1840s
It is a very little known fact to many that doctors were treating and researching cannabis as a potential treatment for infant seizures as early as the 1840s.
One of the first documented records of this is through Dr. William O’Shaughnessy, who is thought to be the medical practitioner responsible for introducing cannabinoid-based medicine to Western culture.
In one of his first publications in the Provincial Medical Journal, London he made a note of one of his first-hand accounts of cannabis oil helping to relieve epileptic convulsions in a two-month-old child.
In the same paper, he also made a record of how the cannabinoid therapy he was utilizing for treatment was produced. As you will see below, it is quite similar to help patients and manufacturers are producing full extraction cannabis oil to treat epilepsy and a wide range of other conditions today.
Extractions from the Original Paper
Some of the quotes from this original paper are listed below. Please keep in mind that this content was drafted roughly 175 years ago so some of the terminologies may not be as you expect.
”A very interesting case of this disease has recently occurred in my private practice, the particulars of which I have the permission of the family to insert in this paper. A female infant, forty days old, the child of Mr. And Mrs. J. L., of Calcutta, on the 10th of September had a slight attack of convulsions, which recurred chiefly at night for about a fortnight, and for which the usual purgatives-warm baths and a few doses of calomel and chalk-were given without effect. On that day the attacks were almost unceasing, and amounted to regular tetanic paroxysms. The child had, moreover, completely lost appetite and was emaciating rapidly”
Time for Hemp
”I had by this time exhausted all the usual methods of treatment, and the child was apparently in a binking state. Under these circumstances I stated to the parents the results of the experiments I had made with the hemp, and my conviction that it would relieve their infant if relief could possibly be obtained. They gladly consented to the trial, and a single drop of the spirituous tincture, equal to the one-twentieth part of a grain in weight, was placed on the child’s tongue at 10pm.“
”No immediate effect was perceptible, and in an hour and a half two drops more were given. The infant fell asleep in a few minutes, and slept soundly till 4pm, when she awoke, screamed for food, took the breast freely, and fell asleep again. At 9am, 1st of October, I found the child fast asleep, but easily roused; the pulse, countenance, and skin perfectly natural. In this drowsy state she continued for four days totally free from convulsive symptoms in any form. “
”The resinous extract is prepared by boiling the rich, adhesive tops of the dried gunjah, in spirit, until all the resin is dissolved. The tincture thus obtained is evaporated to dryness by distillation, or in a vessel placed over a pot of boiling water. The extract softens at a gentle heat, and can be made into pills without any addition.“
To learn more about Dr. William O’Shaughnessy and this specific record in history check out the article here. Dr.O’Shaughnessy concluded his paper, as will I, with the following;
”The preceding cases constitute an abstract of my experience on this subject, and constitute the grounds of my belief that in hemp the profession has gained an anti-convulsive remedy of the greatest value.”