By / May 30, 2020

A newborn in the UK, the first baby to take part in a cannabis therapy trial

The first cannabis therapy trial in babies has taken place in the United Kingdom. Oscar Parodi, who was born by emergency caesarean section, was the first newborn to join this new project.

The baby, who was born on March 11th at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), received 72 hours of cooling therapy. To reduce the degree of brain damage, the baby underwent the novel treatment with cannabis derivatives.

“I was contacted after the birth of Oscar to participate in this study. I consulted my mother and my brother who is studying to be a paramedic. It was difficult but I wanted to do everything I could to help my baby. Oscar was in the hospital for nine days and was watched 24/7. He’s doing great,” said Chelsea Parodi, the baby’s mom.

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A treatment with very low levels of THC managed to be successful

The study is examining whether the drug is safe and effective in decreasing the degree of brain injury in infants with the condition of neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (NIE). Paul Clarke, a consultant neonatologist at the NNUH, has stated with excitement that this is the first time that a cannabis-derived drug has been tested intravenously in human babies. It is expected to be good at preventing seizures and protecting the brain of newborns with HIE.

During the treatment, babies receive standard treatment for hypothermia. Their bodies are cooled to 33.5 degrees and then they receive the medicine with cannabis derivatives. Doctors then test the level of the drug in their blood. The therapeutic ingredient of the drug is extracted naturally from the cannabis plant and under highly controlled conditions to ensure that the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) component is minimal.

This study aims at a full recovery from brain injury or at worst, the maximum reduction of disease. Dr. Clarke, from Norfolk and Norwich University, reaffirmed that it is always looked at for the good of the babies.

Cannabis could bring many new treatment options for patients  

Cannabis is known worldwide as one of the most widely used drugs in the world. According to studies, up to 240 million people use this substance, evidently most of them illegally. This drug has a great impact on the youngest as it is considered a soft drug. However, not all ingredients in cannabis are harmful, as long as it is under medical indication.

Cannabis is used to alleviate pain from chronic diseases, or also produced by the nervous system. There are studies that show that it helps to relieve the symptoms produced by multiple sclerosis or Cronh’s disease. Cannabis also helps reduce nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy.

Patients diagnosed with HIV or cancer are also advised to use this substance to increase their desire to eat. The use of this drug must always be supervised by a doctor, who must prescribe its use. Cannabis also has its side effects such as irregular heartbeat, dizziness or slow reaction times.


(Featured Image by Michal Jarmoluk via Pixabay)

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