What is Dravet Syndrome and Why Should You Care?

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Dravet syndrome is a condition that has been heavily referenced in a lot of mainstream media articles and reports about medical marijuana or the medical applications of cannabis. Many times, however, the condition is glossed over, leaving those who have never heard of it before wondering what Dravet syndrome really is.

Dravet syndrome is genetic condition that is also called Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy (SMEI). Dravet syndrome is debilitating and as of yet, uncured. However, some parents report successfully suppressing all or most seizure activity with high-CBD (cannabidiol) cannabis oil.

Children with Dravet syndrome are generally otherwise healthy. Their parents usually have no idea there’s a medical issue until seizures begin, typically during the first year of life. In most cases, while the children begin developing normally, in time the seizures worsen, resulting in developmental decline. Children with Dravet syndrome are at high risk of dying as a result of their seizures, though that risk is reduced when the seizures are under control.

Can you imagine the visceral pain, the infinite frustration, of a parent whose child is being denied legal access to a medicine that could save their life? Children are still dying, even in states that have medical marijuana programs. No child who could be saved by medical cannabis should die, especially when the majority of Americans support the legalization of medical marijuana.

Cannabis activists and enthusiasts should care about Dravet syndrome and its response to cannabis therapy because it represents a very strong argument for the federal (and world-wide) legalization of cannabis for medical purposes.

You can follow the Dravet Syndrome Foundation on Facebook or make a donation to help support research. You can also read previous Ladybud articles on Dravet syndrome here.


Photo Credit: Ricard Canals under public domain via Wikimedia Commons