Dylan On My Mind – Lights Went Out in Georgia For Cannabis Access; Patients Continue To Suffer
This CannaBlog is dedicated to Dylan, his family, and the struggles many have trying to access life saving medicine, cannabis.
Who is Dylan?
Dylan is an amazing nature loving 22 year old young man. I have learned that Dylan is a big fan of Batman & Superman. Interesting, because to me, Dylan is a superhero too. Something about most superheroes is that they are incredibly special, yet they do not choose to be. ..all while representing hope that we as human beings can and will stand up to do the right thing, and that is yet another amazing superpower in itself...
Dylan was born a micro preemie at 26 weeks and hydrocephalus caused a lot of brain damage and initial frontal lobe damage. He also lives with an intractable epilepsy that has stemmed from hydrocephalus [Cannabinoid Receptor 2 Activation Restricts Fibrosis and Alleviates Hydrocephalus after Intraventricular Hemorrhage]. Each seizure adds further brain damage and initial frontal lobe damage. Most of His seizures are the dangerous kind, tonic clonic(grand mal). He also has smaller seizures. Severe and repetitive seizures status epilepticus both kill neurons and also lead to chronic epilepsy, neuronal death has been proposed to be an integral part of acquired epileptogenesis. “Each seizure he has is literally destroying his brain”, Dylan’s mother Angel Thrasher further explains. Dylan is also living with Autism, Anxiety, Apraxia, Cerebral palsy, OCD, PTSD, Raynauds, Full Body Neuropathy [he has nerve damage all over resulting from brain trauma and also from the severity of 1000s of nerves being pressed on due to the curvature of his spine from Scoliosis…] and Scoliosis among other comorbidities. Just imagine some of the scenarios that could stem from such a situation… 🙁
Back in 2015, the state of Georgia passed a law allowing patients with certain medical conditions to ingest “medical Marijuana”. Dylan was one of the first patients back then to get a “medical marijuana” card in Georgia and his mother, Angel will tell you “it was life-changing for him”. “When he’s able to access the proper strain of cannabis, the amount of cannabis he needs, it stops his seizures, it helps his pain,” she has said. Wasn’t too long after, that Dylan’s access in Georgia was hindered; he and his family would next have some serious, life changing… [really to those truly in the know…] ..Life Saving decisions to make.
No ‘legal’ way for accessing ‘legal’ cannabis puts Dylan’s life at risk and challenges their freedoms, as his mother tries her best to navigate the choppy waters of “marijuana” “legalization” in the ocean of federal prohibition…
Can patients actually buy medical cannabis in Georgia?
Well if you visit the State Department of Health Resource Page for information on cannabis – their answer is: No. You cannot buy “marijuana” in Georgia. So 5 years after a law passed making the use of low dose THC legal, there is no legal way to access cannabis for medical reasons in the state of Georgia. With all the current red tape it could easily be another 18 months or more before it will be legal to manufacture OR purchase medical cannabis in Georgia. Meanwhile, sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is the most common cause of death for people with seizures. Not Fair! 🙁
Patients pursue medical cannabis as a treatment for Epilepsy and many other conditions but the sad reality is that patients encounter barriers in accessing medical cannabis. Better strategies and training are needed to ensure that all patients and caregivers alike have their needs met and quality life maintained as much as possible.
“In Colorado where he wasn’t having seizures and in so much pain he did all kinds of things” – Angel
Are there any particular strains that Dylan benefits from? and What works best for him, CBD only, low THC-high CBD or THCA?
“Dylan does well with Haleigh’s Hope CBD, I think that may be his saving grace while in Georgia. We have tried other CBD products but Haleigh’s Hope is the best. As far as the strains, Grape Ape, Super Critical Mass and most indica dominant strains work the best. He has had success from Durban Poison as well, even though it’s sativa.”
“CBD only doesn’t work for him. High doses of THC seem to work the best, when in Colorado we were able to use many cannabinoids, THCA, CBN, CBD, etc and they all together worked the best. His brain seem to crave as many cannabinoids as it can get. The more he gets the more he thrives.” – Angel tells us.
“Watching your son have status seizures because we can’t access what we need of a plant because of politics is disgusting.
Every set of status seizures causes more brain damage and more vision damage. I am more determined than ever to get him back to Colorado, where he thrived on the proper doses of cannabis. I refuse to bury my son. I will get him back to Colorado and he will thrive again!!! Please pray for him and send good energy!!” -Angel
Today, at 22 years of age, Dylan continues the fight of his Life.
The anecdotal evidence as well as scientific evidence on cannabinoids is accumulating and Dylan’s mom too can confirm that medical cannabis has been and IS the only thing that helps…
“We tried every pharmaceutical that we could possibly try. And they didn’t help. They made things worse.” adds Angel. In Georgia possession of small amounts is legal, ..there is just no way to find any to buy. Like many others desperately seeking better access for themselves or a loved one to the life saving plant, cannabis; her hand was forced. So in 2016, Angel sold her business, fundraised, her family left Georgia and they were Colorado bound, she and her family had become Cannabis Refugees. Dylan and his mom spent 2 years in Colorado but later returned to Georgia due to a divorce and they have been back in Georgia for 3 years now.
Dylan has never had access to cannabis/medicine in Georgia or been able to even utilize his medical card in there.
Autism, Epilepsy and OCD are just a few of the conditions that Dylan lives with. The Science is in and studies are accumulating showing that the Endocannabinoid System is implicated in all diseases, disorders/conditions and the Endocannabinoid System [ECS] is a very important system that all mammals have… ..patients seek and find relief from cannabinoids that are found in the flower of the cannabis plant…
For your consideration, below is some information from some of the growing studies available related to Autism, Epilepsy and OCD alone…
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a multifactorial, pervasive neurodevelopmental disorder defined by the core symptoms of significant impairment in social interaction and communication as well as restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior. In addition to these core behaviors, persons with ASD frequently have associated noncore behavioral disturbance (ie, self-injury, aggression), as well as several medical comorbidities. Currently, no effective treatment exists for the core symptoms of ASD. The pharmacological treatment for autism spectrum disorders is often poorly tolerated and has traditionally targeted associated conditions, with limited benefit for the core social deficits. The use of cannabis extracts improve core social deficits and overall functioning in a patient with autism spectrum disorder.
In one case:The parents of a 15-year-old boy, of South African descent, with autism spectrum disorder, selective mutism, anxiety, and controlled epilepsy, consulted a medical cannabis physician to trial cannabis extract to replace seizure medications. Incidentally, at a very low cannabidiol-based extract dose, he experienced unanticipated positive effects on behavioral symptoms and core social deficits.
The above mentioned case provided “evidence that a lower than previously reported dose of a phytocannabinoid in the form of a cannabidiol-based extract may be capable of aiding in autism spectrum disorder-related behavioral symptoms, core social communication abilities, and comorbid anxiety, sleep difficulties, and weight control.”
In a review where they described clinical experience working with children and young adults with Autism who have used cannabis or cannabidiol preclinical and clinical data was discussed regarding the use of cannabis and cannabidiol in the treatment of core symptoms, noncore symptoms and comorbidities associated with ASD, it was also reported that “At present, preclinical and clinical data suggest a potential for therapeutic benefit among some persons with ASD and that it is overall well tolerated.”
A treatment with the phytocannabinoid Cannabidivarin in another study using lab rats it was shown that Cannabidivarin ameliorates Autism-Like Behaviors and Restores Hippocampal Endocannabinoid System and Glia Alterations.
“In this scenario, phytocannabinoids could hold great pharmacological potential due to their combined capacities to act either directly or indirectly on components of the endocannabinoid system and to modulate immune functions. Among all plant-cannabinoids, the phytocannabinoid cannabidivarin (CBDV) was recently shown to reduce motor impairments and cognitive deficits in animal models of Rett syndrome, a condition showing some degree of overlap with autism, raising the possibility that CBDV might have therapeutic potential in ASD.”
“These data provide preclinical evidence in support of the ability of CBDV to ameliorate behavioral abnormalities resembling core and associated symptoms of ASD. At the neurochemical level, symptomatic CBDV restores hippocampal endocannabinoid signaling and neuroinflammation induced by prenatal VPA exposure.”
Lower circulating endocannabinoid levels and dysregulated Endocannabinoid Systems have been found in children with autism spectrum disorder and “Cannabis in ASD patients appears to be well tolerated, safe and effective option to relieve symptoms associated with ASD.”
Autism & Epilepsy:
In the case report: “A pediatric patient with autism spectrum disorder and epilepsy using cannabinoid extracts as complementary therapy: a case report” “The parents of a 15-year-old boy, of South African descent, with autism spectrum disorder, selective mutism, anxiety, and controlled epilepsy, consulted a medical cannabis physician to trial cannabis extract to replace seizure medications. Incidentally, at a very low cannabidiol-based extract dose, he experienced unanticipated positive effects on behavioral symptoms and core social deficits.”
CBD became the first FDA-approved purified drug substance derived from cannabis and also the first FDA-approved drug for the treatment of seizures in DS.
Two-thirds of patients with epilepsy are controlled with established antiseizure medications, leaving a significant number of patients searching for other options.
“A significant number of epilepsy patients are refractory to conventional antiepileptic drugs. These patients experience considerable neurocognitive impairments that impact their quality of life and ability to function independently. This need for alternative treatment has generated increased interest in cannabis use as a therapeutic option in these patients. This review seeks to analyze data presented on the pharmacology, safety, and efficacy of cannabis use in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE) and to propose any future recommendations regarding its use. PubMed was used to retrieve all published studies and articles which evaluated the use of cannabis in epilepsy. The two foremost phytocannabinoids of cannabis showing anticonvulsant properties are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Due to the psychoactive properties of THC, most studies focused on CBD use in these patients. The use of CBD as an adjunct resulted in decreased seizure frequency, and secondary benefits observed included improvement in mood, alertness and sleep.
“It can safely be concluded that there is a significant benefit in DRE patients using CBD as adjunctive therapy. However, further controlled and adequately powered studies are needed to assess the pharmacokinetics and impact of the long-term use of cannabis.”
Here, in a retrospective study describing the effect of cannabidiol (CBD)-enriched medical cannabis on children with epilepsy. They describe the experience of five Israeli pediatric epilepsy clinics treating children and adolescents diagnosed as having intractable epilepsy with a regimen of medical cannabis oil.
” The cohort included 74 patients (age range 1-18 years) with intractable epilepsy resistant to >7 antiepileptic drugs. Forty-nine (66%) also failed a ketogenic diet, vagal nerve stimulator implantation, or both. They all started medical cannabis oil treatment between 2-11/2014 and were treated for at least 3 months (average 6 months). The selected formula contained CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol at a ratio of 20:1 dissolved in olive oil. The CBD dose ranged from 1 to 20mg/kg/d. Seizure frequency was assessed by parental report during clinical visits.”
“CBD treatment yielded a significant positive effect on seizure load. Most of the children (66/74, 89%) reported reduction in seizure frequency: 13 (18%) reported 75-100% reduction, 25 (34%) reported 50-75% reduction, 9 (12%) reported 25-50% reduction, and 19 (26%) reported <25% reduction.” “In addition, we observed improvement in behavior and alertness, language, communication, motor skills and sleep.” As you san see, the results from this multicenter study on CBD treatment for intractable epilepsy in a population of children and adolescents were highly promising.
“Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a disabling illness that is associated with significant functional impairment. Although evidence-based pharmacotherapies exist, currently available medications are ineffective in some patients and may cause intolerable side effects in others. There is an urgent need for new treatments.”
“..A growing body of basic and clinical research has showed that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a role in anxiety, fear, and repetitive behaviors. At the same time, some patients with OCD who smoke cannabis anecdotally report that it relieves their symptoms and mitigates anxiety, and several case reports describe patients whose OCD symptoms improved after they were treated with cannabinoids. Taken together, these findings suggest that the ECS could be a potential target for novel medications for OCD. In this study, we review evidence from both animal and human studies that suggests that the ECS may play a role in OCD and related disorders. We also describe findings from studies in which cannabinoid drugs were shown to impact symptoms of these conditions.
Conclusions: An emerging body of evidence suggests that the ECS plays a role in OCD symptoms and may be a target for the development of novel medications. Further exploration of this topic through well-designed human trials is warranted.”
“These reports are in line with data from a limited number of case studies and small controlled trials in patients with Tourette syndrome (TS), a chronic motor and vocal tic disorder often associated with comorbid obsessive compulsive behavior (OCB), reporting not only an improvement of tics, but also of comorbid OCB after use of different kinds of cannabis-based medicines including THC, cannabis extracts, and flowers. Here we present the case of a 22-year-old male patient, who suffered from severe OCD since childhood and significantly improved after treatment with medicinal cannabis with markedly reduced OCD and depression resulting in a considerable improvement of quality of life. In addition, we give a review of current literature on the effects of cannabinoids in animal models and patients with OCD and suggest a cannabinoid hypothesis of OCD.”
Dylan can not get adequate treatment in his home state of Georgia. “Hospice was ordered in early 2020 and we have to save him. Lets help to get Dylan back to a proper treatment, get back to Colorado.”
– Angel Thrasher
Can *you help Dylan get adequate treatment?
“His smile is contagious! His heart is gold. 16 brain surgeries and fighting for his life is all he knows!! I have to save my son!” – Angel
“Pharmaceuticals nearly killed him…” – Angel
Angel is trying to save her son’s life. They desperately need to move to a legal state. Her Gofundme link is below. Could *you Please Help?
“When you talk about getting him back to Colorado and he knows that means healing !
That smile! It’s rare to see these days, but oh my heart”
“He thrived in Colorado when we fled there before. We unfortunately ended up back in Georgia.”
“We did the best we could and tried to make it here but Georgia doesn’t care about its cannabis patients, we have had a card since 2015 in Ga with NO ACCESS.”
“The amount we are raising is for travel, moving our belongings and the 2 weeks we will have to gradually rise to elevation. Every time Dylan has a seizure he suffers more brain damage and risks dying. He had 2 brain surgeries last year that caused more issues than he has ever had. The proper amount and cannabinoids, and access is his last and best chance at living!! As his mom, the thought of burying my son is unbearable. Please help give his life back. – Angel Thrasher
A message from Dylan:
As Dylan has said, “Thank you to everyone who has donated and shared my story.” Please keep sharing his story and keep fighting for him and other patients going through similar situations.
**Please feel free to use any and all of the hashtags listed below when sharing Dylans Story:
Wishing Dylan and his Loving Mother rapid, positive results and the very best in the future.
– Sincerely, Freedom Wares