A Summerland family has received an exemption from Health Canada, allowing them to access cannabis oil to calm their child’s seizures.
The exemption allows four-year-old Kyla Williams to access the medication, provided they have a letter from Health Canada.
Before using the oil, Williams, who has intractable epilepsy, suffered more than 300 seizures a day. That number has dropped drastically since she started using the oil and she will now go days or weeks without having a seizure.
Williams’s grandmother, Elaine Neussler, said the oil, known as Charlotte’s Web, is produced in Colorado.
It has a low level of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, but it has high levels of cannabidiol, which calms electrical activity in the brain.
Williams takes around 130 milligrams of the oil each day, increasing the dose with seizure activity.
While Neussler is pleased with the Health Canada ruling, she said the wording of the three-page letter is concerning, since the oil is described as a narcotic.
“It’s more like a dietary substance than a controlled drug substance,” Neussler said. “It has no psychoactive abilities whatsoever. It’s nontoxic.”
The family had earlier tried conventional medications and other oils, but the best results have been with the Charlotte’s Web oil.
Neussler said research into the oil has been conducted for the past four years. Because of the improvements the family has seen in Williams’s epilepsy, they want to keep her on the oil treatment.
The exemption provided for Williams is available to others as well, provided they have a doctor’s letter to apply for the medical exemption.
The family has a website at www.kylasquest.com, documenting Williams’s condition and providing information on the Charlotte’s Web oil.
Elaine Neussler, left, interacts with her four-year-old granddaughter Kyla Williams, who has intractable epilepsy. The family has received an exemption from Health Canada, allowing them to access cannabis oil to calm Williams’s seizures.