BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - It has now been six months since the start of trials using a medicinal marijuana called cannabidiol (CBD).
Some of Alabama's severest epilepsy patients began using the medicine after the legislature passed Carly's Law allowing the oil to be used and doctors are pleased with the initial phase of the project.
Carly Chandler's laughing may not seem like a big deal to you until you consider this time last year, the 4-year-old could barely move, let alone giggle and grin.
She's able to do so now after six months of using CBD oil, but she's not alone.
"Her cognitive ability has improved. We saw that improvement within two treatments. Her myoclonic seizures--she was having two to 300 a day, are now pretty much non-existent throughout the day. And so my reaction is absolutely positive reaction," Carly's dad, Dustin Chandler, said.
"I am surprised at how good of a response we're seeing," Dr. Jerzy Szaflarski said.
Szaflarski oversees the program in which about 60 children and adults patients are enrolled. He said all but three patients have seen some sort of positive response to the oil.
Many are having more than a 90 percent reduction in either the number of seizures or the severity of them. Doctors say that is a huge accomplishment considering the patients have all undergone multiple treatments, drugs, some even multiple surgeries, with no success.
Szaflarski said some patients, like Carly, are also more interactive, more involved, more playful than ever before.
Szaflarski said doctors and researchers are also learning more about the side affects, interactions and expectations of the CBD oil.
And UAB is still receiving the oil for free and still accepting new patients.
There are other trials going on in the country that are focused on trying to make CBD Oil available in prescription form. Szaflarski is hopeful one day, it will be available outside a medical study.
If you would like keep up with Carly's journey, visit the family's blog at http://www.walkingwithcarly.com/