A study in Idaho is being conducted on the benefits of medical marijuana oil use in children with severe epilepsy. Only the non-psychoactive components of the marijuana plant are used to create the oil. A total of 25 spots were made available for the study.
The program for the research study is called the Expanded Access Program. In 2015, Governor CJ Otter signed an executive order for the study of 25 children. It launched in early January 2016.
Currently just 4 children are in the study and an additional 18 children are scheduled for screening for program acceptance, reports Rexburg Standard Journal. Idaho Department of Health and Welfare representative, Elke Shaw-Tulloch said that if more families show interest in the study, the program will discuss the potential for adding more with both the FDA and GW Pharmaceuticals. GW Pharmaceuticals is the company manufacturing the marijuana extract oil for the study.
Idaho is also currently conducting a clinical trial with both children and adults regarding the effectiveness of marijuana extract oil with epilepsy. According to state epidemiologist, Christine Hahn, the results of this study will not be available for years. She also stated that, “This particular one is too early to say. There have been anecdotal reports out of Colorado and other places where they have an artisanal product, and they are claiming success. I guess I would say I am guardedly optimistic.”
Use of marijuana extract oil was approved in Idaho last year. Some of the opposition of the study call it a waste of taxpayer dollars as other alternative synthetic treatments, such as Epidiolex, will soon be available.