Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

News

This Mother Is Giving Her 2-Year-Old Cannabis Oil To Treat His Epilepsy

LAist relies on your reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today.

A Los Angeles mother has been giving her 2-year-old child hash oil to treat his rare form of epilepsy—and she says it works.

Genesis Rios said she tried nine other medications for her son Andrew before trying cannabis oil, Huffington Post reports. Now he sometimes goes two weeks without a seizure.

Rios puts a few drops of the oil on under her son’s tongue three times a day. The oil is high in a compound that slows brain activity and reduces seizures but doesn’t give as much of a typical pot high because it’s low in THC, she says.

The mother said she’s never tried medical marijuana herself but decided to try it on her son when she saw on a TV show that it was working for other children. Though Andrew Rios’ neurologist disagreed with the treatment, they got some support from Dr. Raman Sankar, chief of pediatric neurology at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, who said the family was driven to using hash oil in the face of “dramatic failure” by other treatments.

Support for LAist comes from

Dr. Sankar doesn’t prescribe the drug himself and advises it should only be used with great caution, but he didn’t not endorse it either, in carefully phrased statement (via KTLA):

“I’m not endorsing it yet because I need to see more data, but I cannot hold it against someone for trying something.”

Dr. Sankar is trying to get a study off the ground later this year on an FDA-approved cannabis-based drug to examine its affect on children like Andrew Rios with severe forms of epilepsy. The Rios family said they’d like Andrew to participate.

The Rios family spends about $600 a month for the oil and has been giving it to Andrew for the past four months. He’s being weaned off his other medication, which Genesis Rios says caused debilitating side effects. Meanwhile, the side effects of the hash oil?

“He’s walking, trying to talk, interacting. We really, really want more research into this because now I have my son back.”