House Bill 1220 is named in honor of 6 year-old Haley Ward from Carteret County, who suffers from CDLK-5, a disorder which causes dozens of intractable daily seizures. After being prescribed over ten medications with little progress, the Ward family began seeking alternative treatments that might allow Haley to improve her cognitive and physical development. The most promising alternative treatment discovered to-date is known as CBD oil, a substance extracted from cannabis that has minimal levels of THC and causes no psychotropic effects. This substance is engineered to maximize therapeutic qualities and negate the psychotropic qualities associated with recreational drug use. Extremely promising results have been reported in other states and Haley’s parents have seen dramatic improvements through the use of CBD oil.
Prior to the passage of this law, the use of CBD oil to treat seizure disorders was illegal in North Carolina. This legislation, through cutting edge research and careful use by approved medical facilities, allows families to pursue treatment through CBD oil. This legislation allows for the innovative research and use of CBD oil in children suffering from uncontrollable seizures. Through cutting-edge research and development, this law allows desperately needed relief for children with these disorders so that they don’t have to travel to other states for treatment.
- CBD oil is hemp extract engineered for maximum therapeutic qualities and minimal levels of THC, which causes no psychotropic effects. It is scientifically not possible for patients to get “high” from consuming CBD oil.
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently granted orphan drug designation to GW Pharmaceutical’s cannabis-based drug, Epidiolex. While this is not FDA approval, orphan drug status is granted to drugs that are intended to treat rare disorders.
- House Bill 1220 encourages the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, East Carolina University, Duke University, and Wake Forest University to conduct research on the hemp extract development, production, and use for the treatment of seizure disorders.
- This law directs DHHS, in conjunction with Department of Public Safety, to develop an Intractable Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Pilot Study database registry to document pilot studies, neurologist, caregivers and patient programs using hemp extract to treat these disorders.
- Participation in the registry would exempt neurologists, caregivers, and patients from State criminal liability for the possession, use, and administration of hemp extract for the limited purpose of treating intractable epilepsy.