Medical Marijuana Oil Set To Become Legal In Kentucky, Since It's Been Shown To Treat Seizure Sufferers

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 7: Marijuana plants grow at Perennial Holistic Wellness Center, a not-for-profit medical marijuana dispensary in operation since 2006, on September 7, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. A group of activists have submitted about 50,000 signatures in an effort to force a referendum on a marijuana dispensary ban in Los Angeles to take effect next week. A minimum of 27,425 valid signatures from registered voters is needed to let voters decide on the issue in March, and until the number can be verified, the ban will not be enforced. . The ban would not prevent patients or cooperatives of two or three people to grow their own in small amounts. Californians voted to legalize medical cannabis use in 1996, clashing with federal drug laws. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Source: David McNew/Getty Images News/Getty Images

On Wednesday, the Kentucky State Senate unanimously approved a bill legalizing medicinal use of marijuana oil. Officials in the Kentucky House expect it to pass, and the bill is supported by Democratic governor Steve Beshear. Its passage would mark the first time any degree of marijuana use has been legal in the state in decades, and could be a major boon to sick citizens, particularly children prone to seizures.

Marijuana oil is rich in cannabidiol, which has been shown to be effective in preventing seizures, and is low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC,) which is the part that gets you high. It's basically an oil extract from marijuana, and is often referred to as a specialized form of weed.

The medical benefits of marijuana have been tough for American researchers to study throughout most of the 20th century, due to its classification as a Schedule 1 banned substance. Lumped together with drugs like heroin, methamphetamine, and opiates, this has for years meant it can't be prescribed even by a licensed physician. This has limited both public access and the ability of researchers to perform above-board, respectable studies. Indeed, even if this bill passes, marijuana in non-oil form will still be off-limits, even medicinally.

But the oil form of marijuana could have some exciting potential health benefits. Rather than smoked, it's administered orally, underneath the tongue, and contains far less THC — a mind-altering chemical — than you'd get in your standard bong hit. 

According to Debbie McGrath, executive director of the Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana, this bipartisan effort — the bill is sponsored by GOP state Sen. Julie Denton — could improve a lot of young lives. There are about 10,000 seizure-prone children living in Kentucky who could stand to benefit..

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