Utah medical marijuana study ‘encouraging’ for children with epilepsy

More than half of the Utah children with epilepsy who are trying an experimental marijuana extract are having significantly fewer seizures, a University of Utah pediatrics expert told lawmakers Wednesday.

The U., working with Primary Children’s Hospital, is one of 11 sites approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to test Epidiolex — a purified form of cannabidiol, or CBD. CBD comes from marijuana plants, but it is not the chemical that gives users a high.

The Utah Legislature earlier gave the go-ahead for the trial. It also created a registry so that families of the estimated 1,500 children with intractable epilepsy in Utah can legally import hemp extracts. As of June, 84 cards had been issued by the Department of Health. No other patients can qualify for the cards.

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