BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The medical marijuana debate in the state of Alabama has not resulted in the use of marijuana in any form legally. Lawmakers did pass legislation to conduct research on a drug derived from cannabis and the state turned to The University of Alabama at Birmingham to see how it works.
CBS 42 Morning News Anchor Art Franklin spoke with Dr. Jerry Szaflarski, the director of UAB’s epilepsy center. He was awarded one of the best doctors in America by U.S. News and World Report. Dr. Zsaflarski is also the principal investigator of the adult segment of UAB’s landmark study on Cannabidiol or CBD Oil.
He says, “Having the study here allowed us, all of us, all the epilepsy doctors here to learn a lot about this product.”
The study launched in 2015, following a mandate by the Alabama Legislature known as Carly’s Law. It authorized UAB and Children’s of Alabama to study if CBD Oil would help adults and children suffering from epileptic seizures. The study focused on 132 patients, 72 children and 60 adults. The oil used in the study is known as epidiolex. It contains only trace amounts of THC.
Researchers concluded that patients using CBD oil in the study showed a dramatic 60% improvement. Dr. Jerry Szaflarski asks the question, “So if imagine someone having 100 seizures a day and they go down to having one, two or three seizures a week that’s a huge change in their quality of life and their cognitive development.”