Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City is on the verge of becoming one of a few sites in the country to study the effectiveness of cannabis based product intended to treat epilepsy in children.
Dr. Edward Clark is the Chief Medical officer at Primary Children’s Hospital. He says they’ve been working on getting approval over the past year for a new drug study involving a cannabadiol. Because the substance is considered a Schedule I drug, they need FDA and DEA approval to handle and store it. Dr. Clark says they expect to get approval from the DEA in the next week or so and can then begin the phase 1 study that will involve 25 qualified candidates.
“We are, and I would emphasize again, uncertain to the nature of the benefits and we’re certainly uncertain about the nature of the side effects of this particular pharmaceutical compound," he says. "And the purpose of the study is to try and evaluate both of these.”
This study is not connected to a new Utah law that went into affect today that allows the growth and study of hemp based substances that would also be used to help cure intractable epilepsy. But Dr. Clark says that doesn’t mean they aren’t also interested in what the new law allows.
“We are committed to work with families and children to bring to them every available opportunity for their child’s health. And we are committed to working with families to work within the guidelines and the legal constraints of House Bill 105.”
Dr. Clark says there are about 100 – 150 people in the region that have intractable epilepsy and could benefit from their study.