Written by ι Stock Market Media Group Staff — October 3, 2013
Nuvilex, Inc. (OTCQB: NVLX) formed its subsidiary, Medical Marijuana Sciences, Inc., to study the medical applications of marijuana, and more specifically, it has chosen to focus its initial research on utilizing cannabidiol, or CBD, one of the compounds found in Cannabis, as the basis for developing treatments for serious and deadly forms of cancer. The company wants to use its expertise, current research and its success in the biotechnology sector to make it among the leaders in the medical marijuana industry.
Nuvilex’s COO, Dr. Gerald Crabtree, said of the decision to focus the company’s research on CBD, “The decision was made to base those treatments on cannabidiol rather than the more well-known cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, to avoid any of the psychoactive properties that are associated with THC, but that are not present with CBD, when such cancer treatments are developed.”
When CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta made his documentary “WEED,” it highlighted a number of cases where medical marijuana has made a difference in the lives of patients suffering from a number of ailments. In Gupta’s yearlong travels to shape his own opinion in the debate on marijuana’s contribution to medicine, he learned that cannabidiol could likely shape the greatest future successes using the drug.
The most telling story Dr. Gupta shares in his documentary is with 6-year old Charlotte Figi who suffers from Dravet Syndrome, a rare, severe form of intractable epilepsy where the seizures cannot be controlled by medication. Charlotte’s first seizure came when she was just 3 months old and by time she reached 2-years old, the seizures had progressed dramatically, she was taking seven different medicines including some heavily addictive ones, and her parents Matt and Paige Figi started to see a sharp decline in her overall health.
Paige said that at 2, Charlotte really started to decline cognitively. “Whether it was the medicines or the seizures, it was happening, it was obvious. And she was slipping away.”
And, at age 5, Charlotte’s parents realized there was nothing more the hospitals could do for their daughter after she was no longer able to walk, talk or eat, her heart began to stop periodically, and she was having over 300 grand mal seizures a week. With her parents at wit’s end, they turned to medical marijuana after Matt Figi found a video online of another small child being treated with cannabis to successfully to ease his seizures from Dravet Syndrome.
The strain the boy was being treated with was low in THC, the compound in marijuana that’s psychoactive. It was also high in cannabidiol, which as Nuvilex’s Dr. Crabtree points out, has medicinal properties but no psychoactivity. Scientists think the CBD quiets the excessive electrical and chemical activity in the brain that causes seizures.
Charlotte started out using a small dose rich in cannabidiol, and according to her parents, the results were stunning. Paige Figi told Dr. Gupta, “When she didn’t have those three, four seizures that first hour, that was the first sign, and I thought well, ‘Let’s go another hour, this has got to be a fluke.’” The documentary explains how the seizures stopped for another hour, and then for the next seven days.
Today, Charlotte is 6 years old, and Matt and Paige say she is doing great. Her parents told Dr. Gupta that her seizures now only occur two to three times per month, and even those are almost always while she’s sleeping. Charlotte is now not only walking, she can ride her bicycle, she feeds herself and she is talking more and more every day.
Matt Figi said of the dramatic change in his daughter’s health since beginning the CBD treatment, “I literally see Charlotte’s brain making connections that haven’t been made in years. My thought now is why were we the ones that had to go out and find this cure? This natural cure? How come a doctor didn’t know about this? How come they didn’t make me aware of this?”
This is but one success story using CBD as a treatment, and it’s stories like Charlotte’s that Nuvilex’s Dr. Crabtree says is the reason his company’s subsidiary will begin its research in this area, “During his documentary, Dr. Gupta noted that the successful treatment for the multitude of seizures suffered by the young girl with Dravet Syndrome was based on CBD-rich extracts of Cannabis rather than extracts high in THC, and he was of the opinion that Cannabis high in CBD relative to THC should be used as the initial source of treatments for a variety of medical ailments. His conclusion thus supports the decision previously made by Medical Marijuana Sciences to decide on CBD rather than THC as the basis for developing the Company’s cancer treatments.”