A New Zealand teenager who has been in an induced coma for two months has been approved for one-off cannabis treatment on ‘compassionate grounds’.
Alex Renton, 19, developed an unknown condition that caused him to suffer repeated seizures. After being placed in an induced coma for nearly 60 days, New Zealand’s Associate Minister of Health Peter Dunne has permitted the use of Elixinol after all other treatments have failed. Elixinol is an oil extracted from Industrial Hemp plants (stalks and seeds). The plants used are specially bred to contain high concentrations of the naturally occurring Cannabinoid Cannabidiol (CBD); Elixinol contains 18% CBD.
Dunne stated to the media;
“Despite the absence of clinical evidence supporting the efficacy of CBD in patients with Mr Renton’s condition status epilepticus, my decision relies on the dire circumstances and extreme severity of Mr Renton’s individual case. Understandably they (Renton’s parents) want to do the best for their son, and they believe that this option is worth trying.”
Despite permitting the use of a CBD product for the Wellington based teenager, Dunne was quick to point out that this is a one-off circumstance and should in no way be “construed as setting a wider precedent” regarding New Zealand and their stance on cannabis based medicine.