Increasingly, more and more evidence shows how cannabidiol (CBD) cannabis is making a positive impact in treating children with rare diseases, particularly seizure conditions. The story of Jayden David, first shown on the Sanjay Gupta’s documentary Weed Wars, is only one of many that deserves to be told, as it highlights just how CBD oil is making a difference in the lives of families that dared to try their luck with an alternative form of treatment. CBD hemp oil, derived from the cannabis plant, industrial hemp has been shown to alleviate a myriad of health conditions. Research and personal stories are expanding the dialogue on just how medical cannabis could be beneficial in treating conditions such as Dravet syndrome that plagues Jayden. CBD oil had made an incredible impact in Jayden’s life by reducing the frequency of his seizures and improving his quality of life.
According to the Epilepsy Foundation, Dravet syndrome, also known as severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy (SMEI) is a rare genetic epileptic encephalopathy that begins in the first year of life in an otherwise healthy infant, is lifelong, and roughly 80% of people with this syndrome have a gene mutation that causes problems in the way that ion channels in the brain work. The majority of Dravet mutations are not inherited from either parent, as is the case with Jayden whose parents do not carry the gene that causes Dravet syndrome. It is common for patients with this condition to exhibit cognitive impairment, behavioral disorders, and motor deficits.
Jayden’s Diagnosis and Initial Treatment
Jayden appeared to be a normal, healthy baby at birth on August 17th, 2006; however, four months into his young life, he started experiencing seizures, and was later diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, which only got worse with each passing day. The grand mal seizures that Jayden suffered through involved him losing consciousness and having violent muscle contractions. To treat his grand mal seizures that lasted an hour and a half, he was consuming 22 anti-seizure pills per day including rectal injections of Valium. This was before turning Jayden turned 5 years old, and the prescription medicines were particularly hard on Jayden’s body. The seizures by alone diminished his quality of life and the harsh pharmaceutical drugs wreaked further havoc- he couldn't walk, eat solid food or take a bath. His seizures continued every day, and in April of 2011, a few months before Jayden turned five, his dad Jason David, decided that he had to do something to ease his son’s suffering after Jayden had experienced sleep deprivation for a few months. Subsequently, Jason began researching CBD oil.
Jason became convinced that CBD could possibly help his son after uncovering that the U.S government owns the patent to using cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants. Jayden bought CBD oil from a local dispensary, but reluctantly held on to it for two weeks before mustering the courage to administer it to his son. The day Jayden got his first dose of CBD, was remarkably the first time since his condition that he did not experience any seizures. After trial and error, it got to the point where CBD became successful in treating Jayden that his dad to stop giving him the opioid medication gradually. Prior to using CBD oil as an alternative treatment, Jayden was having about 200 grand mal seizures a day; Since then, Jayden has been weaned off 22 pharmaceutical drugs down to two, and is now walking, running, and even he plays at a park, climbing up and down the steps of the jungle.
Today, Jayden is ten years old, and is taking his own brand of CBD medicine fittingly named “Jayden’s Juice” is a non-toxic and non-psychoactive combination of 1 mg of THC and 28 mg of CBD, and has the potential to improve focus and mental clarity, and provide a better quality of life for the patients. While Jayden is not completely free of seizures, they have decreased significantly, and is quality of life has improved, allowing him to enjoy some of the niceties of childhood. His father is pleased and stated in an interview, “…it’s down 90 percent, and I’ll take that. I’m getting my son back.” Jayden’s story is an incredible one that strengthens the case for CBD oil or CBD hemp oil as a viable alternative form of medicinal treatment that can aid in ameliorating seizures.