The youngest patient treated with cannabis extract

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The two-month-old daughter of a young Albuquerque couple is battling severe epilepsy, but conventional pharmaceuticals are not helping. At the request of the parents, the doctors decided to try treatment with cannabis extract. In doing so, the newborn became historically the first patient to legally receive cannabis extract in a hospital. Amilea Nunez (Amylea Nunez) has been suffering from seizures since birth, and doctors have been unsuccessful in finding the cause. “She has a very rare type of epilepsy that is currently untreatable,” explains mother Nicole Nunez.

In the hospital since birth

Amila was born in December, and so far she has not left the intensive care unit for infants. According to Nicole, the first seizure occurred the very next day, when they both returned from the maternity hospital. Doctors in Albuquerque’s hometown in New Mexico could not help the baby, and the entire family moved to the Children’s Hospital in Aurora, Colorado, where the family has spent the last two months. A mother with Amila almost all the time, father Ernie Nunez travels between Aurora and Albuquerca every day to work and take care of older children.

The hospital staff noticed after two doses of extract, that the girl gets better, she is more concentrated and more curious. “It was a really big change in the lives of all family members and it was extremely difficult to deal with.“, – Ernie describes a difficult situation. The biggest problem for him is the fact that he can’t be in Colorado with his wife and daughter. Doctors are currently giving several types of medicines for Amilea, but all the time they are looking for other, better alternatives. “The medications she is currently taking are putting a lot of stress on her liver, so we are trying to find a treatment that is less hard on her body,” Ernie explains.

Effective medicine without serious side effects

Amilea’s desperate mother became interested in alternative medicine, and she discovered one interesting option – CBD hemp oil, a type of hemp extract from which has been successfully used to treat epilepsy in infants and older children. The extract from this variety contains only 0.2 percent of the psychoactive THC and about 10 percent of a non-psychoactive substance called CBD. However, its use is still considered controversial.

According to her parents, Amilea is the only patient in the hospital who uses this type of medication, and at the same time she is the youngest person in the world to use the extract. “For three weeks I tried to convince doctors to try this product, and it cost me strength and emotional stress,” Nicole recalls. “I have consulted with all the neurologists here in Aurora as well as the team of experts who invented this cannabis medicine. I strongly believe it will work.”

Only chance

In the second week of February, the doctors finally gave the family the green light. “Just the fact that the neonatal intensive care doctors allowed us to try cannabis extract during our stay in the hospital is a miracle for us,” says Nicole. “At the beginning, everyone was strongly opposed to this, saying that Amilea could only use such products after she was discharged home. But pharmaceuticals cause so much stress on the liver, so we’ve been trying to find a treatment that isn’tso harsh on the body.”

But even with this approval, doctors cannot give cannabis extract to Amilia’s smallest patient, so only her family, especially her mother, will take care of it on their own. The hospital staff noticed immediately after two doses that the girl felt much better, she became more concentrated and more curious. Amilea has also become a member of a clinical study that wants to describe and explain how this cannabis extract works. The family plans to stay in Albuquerque for at least four months and continue treatment.