By now, four-year-old Alex Martin is impressively adept at applying life-saving cannabis oil into his mouth. Since August, his mother Julianne refills a plastic syringe three times a day with a small dose of low-THC/high-CBD cannabis oil and hands it to her son. He can handle the rest. It’s the only thing stopping his body from erupting into seizure.
Alex is on Haleigh’s Hope, an oil blend which his mother orders from a vendor in Colorado. Alex suffers from mitochondrial disease, epilepsy and autism. Under advisement from Alex’s neurologist, Julianne resorted to non-psychoactive cannabis oil to battle her son’s illness. Epilepsy medications are particularly limited for children, because adult epilepsy medications can contain hormonal steroids which can sometimes stunt the bone growth of young children. “He was maxed out on his medications, Julianne told Fox 5 Atlanta. “He was still seizing. And as he was seizing, he was becoming more fearful. He was beginning to recognize he was seizing.” Julianne applied for a state-issued low-THC cannabis oil registration card. Alex is now one of the approximately 1,300 Georgians that can legally possess up to 20 fluid ounces of the oil. The oil, at only 0.3 percent. is all it takes to stop his seizures from returning. Georgia allows for a maximum of five percent THC for those on its cannabis oil registry.
Even at four years old, Alex is aware of what’s effectively stopping his seizures. “If you ask him, as a four-year old, ‘This is your oil, is it helping?’ his answer is yes,” says Martin. “He knows it’s helping.” According to Alex’s mother, they began noticing changes within the first week and he was seizure-free “within two weeks.”
Martin is adamant about getting her message across to other parents of epileptic children who may have lost hope. Nearby in the Miami-Dade Florida area, patients have recently been given access to Haleigh’s Hope and other low-THC cannabis products that are safe for children. Martin hopes others can see success like her family. She says she sees “a very different child in front of me.”