Sunday, June 24, 2018

CBD oil for a child with Cerebral Palsy

Like many others, I watched a documentary on CNN titled "Weed", which described medicinal qualities of marijuana. Specifically, it covered a case of a child named Charlotte who suffered from seizures. At its worst, the girl was getting over 300 seizures per month. She could barely walk or speak. Doctors kept her on prescription drugs which were basically synthetic narcotics. The drugs had very marginal effects. Her condition deteriorated so much that her heart was stopping periodically and had to be resuscitated This poor child was at risk of losing her life. She probably would have lost her life if her parents weren't brave and open-minded enough to stop listening to the medical establishment. This girl was lucky to have parents who decided to look outside of treatments prescribed by the establishment. Despite the legal risks, they started to give Charlotte CBD oil twice a day. The effects were immediate and quite amazing. Charlotte's seizures went down from 300 a month to just 2-3 seizures per month. She started walking and talking and is now living a normal life. This is after modern medical establishment had pretty much given up on her and convinced her parents to sign a "Do not Resuscitate" form to let her pass in peace.

This is a dramatic yet very inspiring story. After watching this documentary, I couldn't help but question if cannabis can help my daughter with her Cerebral Palsy and Spastic Diplegia. I attempted to seek advice on this from my daughter's neurologist, but not surprisingly that didn't go very far, in part because of legal restrictions and in part due to most doctors being apprehensive about the use of medical marijuana. This left me in position of doing my own research. In this blog, I describe my findings and results of practical application of CBD oil therapy with my daughter.

Why CBD for Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy is commonly associated with muscle spasticity and weakness both of which contribute to Spastic Gait or simply put, issues with moving and walking. Spasticity restricts range of motion. Restricted range of motion limits engagement of muscles, which in turn leads to weakness.  Weakness leads to poor mobility.

Among many other things, CBD is a natural muscle relaxer and pain reliever. A lot has been written about medical marijuana and its amazing healing properties. There are recent medical studies that show positive effects of medical marijuana for treatment of Spasticity in children with Cerebral Palsy. This was enough for me to at least try using CBD to alleviate my daughter's spasticity

CBD Brands
As mentioned earlier, my journey into CBD was inspired by CNN's documentary, "Weed". In this documentary, they also featured a vendor that produced the CBD oil that helped Charlotte. The same vendor then went on to create CBD oil product for others and named it after Charlotte, "Charlotte's Web". I needed a product that would be safe for children. Given its history, Charlotte's Web seemed like a good fit.

The product was delivered within a week from being ordered. As with any alternative treatments, I tried it myself before giving it to my daughter. I took 0.5ml under my tongue. Within 5-10 minutes, I did feel a good deal of relaxation throughout my body. This was not a euphoric feeling of high but more of a deep state of relaxation.

To be on a safe side, I started my daughter off with a dose of 0.25ML and increased the dose by 0.25ML each week until we reached 1ML. The oil is not particularly good tasting even if you do get the chocolate flavor so I mixed it up with a bit of her favorite fruity yogurt  and put it under her tongue for about a minute or so before she swallowed it. Now for the outcome of this. My daughter walks with a fairly pronounced feet inversion and tip toeing. After putting her on Charlotte's Web CBD, the effects were very encouraging. We could physically feel that her feet were more relaxed and she had much better dorsilfexion response (lifting her toes up). Her walking has also improved. The most significant improvements in walking occurred in the short term (first week or two). Longer term, we saw her walk better on some days more than others, but overall, we observed reduction in spasticity and increased range of motion in her feet which improved her walking.

Without any specific guidance on this type of treatment and lack of knowledge on the long term side effects, we were apprehensive about keeping her on CBD indefinitely. So we continued the treatment for 6 months 1ML twice a day (morning and evening).

Lazarus - High Potency Tincture
After we took about a  year off from CBD,  I run into this product while reading online forums for Muscular Sclerosis. Spasticity is one of the symptoms of that condition as well. This product's ingredients are verified by 3rd parties. It also appeared to be significantly cheaper than Charlotte's Web. I purchased a bottle and tried it on myself. The effects were also quite relaxing but it appeared to also be smoother compared to Charlotte's web. The effects were mostly in the body and a lot less in the head (as it was the case with Charlotte's Web). My daughter was developing well. We didn't see any side effects from the first round of our CBD therapy, so we decided to do another round of CBD treatment, this time with Lazarus. My daughter is on this CBD oil now.

Why did we decide to do another round of CBD? Several reasons. A few months before the second round, we took a more hands-on approach with my daughter's strength training. This involved the use of Electric Muscular Stimulation (more on this in my post FES, NMES, TENS for Children with Cerebral Palsy). We started to engage my daughter more into regular strength training exercises and I purchased a treadmill for my daughter as well. As a result, my daughter had significant gains in her muscle mass. Higher muscle mass can also contribute to spasticity, so I felt that we needed help from muscle relaxer like CBD to counteract possible increase in spasticity. My observations have proven to be correct. When my daughter walks on the treadmill, I can clearly see the differences in her walking with and without CBD. On the days when we missed a dose, her feet were pointing more inward and there was more tip-toeing on the treadmill.

How to evaluate other CBD brands?
There are a lot of websites out there attempting to prove benefits of various CBD extraction methods and providing seemingly scientific explanations of why some approaches are better than others. The simple fact is that no one really knows why medical marijuana does the things that it does. So I'm not even going to go there. I will limit this to just a few words of advice. Do not buy cheap products ($20 or so). Those extracts likely came from cannabis seeds which have very little CBD in them. Make sure that whatever extract you're buying, came from the plant, not seeds. I'll also vouch for the two brands that I listed above, Charlotte's Web and Lazarus High Potency Tincture. We used both of them and both work well.

If you have questions, I'll be happy to answer as well as I can. Good luck!

Relevant Resources
Note: Due to legal status of Marijuna, medical research on this is very limited. Most of the studies have been done outside of the United States. Specifically, Israeli scientists have done a lot of research on the subject.


  1. Thanks for every other informative site. The place else may just I get that kind of information written in such an ideal means? I have a venture that I’m just now operating on, and I have been on the look out for such information. buy cannabidiol pills

  2. Thank you for the very informative information. My daughter has Spastic Cerebral Palsy and we are fortunate she hasn't had any seizures, however, she doesn't walk yet and has other complications due to CP. We were recently given that news that she will now be eligible for prescription CBD here in Texas. I just started her on a low dose of Charlottes Web CBD that I purchased online. Have you had any experience with CBD sprays or body rubs/oils?