What are the side effects of cannabis on Sophie?
I have no idea whether that video will actually work, but it's of Sophie at school yesterday, smiling as she bounces on a giant ball. She smiles more and more often these days, and I am guilty of not celebrating that enough. Since she's been on Charlotte's Web, her seizures have not only been reduced dramatically, but she smiles more. The smile is a genuine one of pleasure -- even mirth -- and is not related to feeling "high," although even if she were high (impossible with Charlotte's Web), I wouldn't mind. It's funny what scares people, what throws them off, and certainly the psychoactive part of marijuana is what is causing the greatest uproar in our country. While this isn't an issue with Charlotte's Web and other high ratio cannabis strains, the fact that people are worried about someone like Sophie possibly getting a little high, frankly, cracks me up. I've been doing this a long time -- watching constant seizures, spending thousands and thousands of dollars on drugs for those seizures, drugs that I have injected into, squirted down and even forced into Sophie over two decades. I've also watched her have the most debilitating side effects that you can imagine: screaming for hours on end (called irritability on package inserts or you just have to see what your tolerance is, said the neurologist early on in our journey), agitation, constipation, constant moaning and rocking, dehydration, anorexia, sleeplessness (we probably didn't sleep more than 2-4 hours in a stretch for the first eight or so years of Sophie's life), rashes, fevers, extreme hunger, impacted stool (from the ketogenic diet), dizziness, lethargy, headaches, nausea/retching, extreme drooling, and the mother of all side effects: INCREASED SEIZURES OR NEW TYPES OF SEIZURES! However anecdotal (and Lord knows, we hate the anecdotal!), it's my firm belief that some of those twenty-two drugs we tried taught Sophie's brain to seize in different ways, sometimes in worse ways -- a sort of circumvention that her brain, ever more clever than the drugs, managed.
Other than some initial drowsiness that we noticed in the first few months of her trial of Charlotte's Web, which we realized is the result of being on a benzo, we haven't noticed any significant side effects other than positive ones, like better sleep, a heightened awareness, alertness and attempts to vocalize. While there are some reports of children and young adults trying cannabis and seeing very little change or not being able to tolerate it, from what I've read and experienced in talking to many, many people, is that our positive side effects are quite common. Sophie is smiling more often and more purposefully for the first time in well over a decade. It's easily the best side effect of medicine that we've ever experienced!
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