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Valley couple finds that marijuana oil failed to control their son's epilepsy

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Cameron Houk's smile is what convinced his parents, Amy and Jamie Houk of New Castle, their move across country was going to be worth it.

"We were kind of excited, but still a little afraid," Amy said.

Amy, Jamie and Cameron relocated to Colorado in January because it's home to Charlotte's Web, a specific strain of marijuana that's processed into an oil extract that's been shown to calm the activity in the brain that causes seizures.  While many families have witnessed significant seizure control with the oil, other families, like the Houk's, have seen little to no improvement.

"I don't know if it was like a little honeymoon phase in the beginning, but it seemed like he was doing a little bit better and then it just sort of leveled off and just started to get worse again," Amy said.

In fact, while the Houk's were living in Colorado they had to use rescue medications on two different occasions to get Cameron's seizures under control.

"We didn't know that some of the drugs could interact and cause something called toxicity and we truthfully think that the Charlotte's Web would have been more effective for Cameron if he wasn't on so many pharmaceuticals, because we saw the other kids that it was really successful for and those were the ones that were typically either off or on a very small dose of pharmaceuticals," Amy said.

Between decreasing Cameron's pharmaceuticals and increasing his oil, Amy and Jamie say they could never truly pinpoint what caused Cameron to have a good day or a bad day. While the oil ended up not being the miracle they so desperately hoped for, the Houk's were able to return home to New Castle with some peace of mind.

"We finally met other families that were going through the same thing we did.   Whether the medication worked or not, we have so many more ideas from all of these other families," Jamie said.

"If we didn't go, I would be questioning what if that would have been the one thing.   So, it's something you have to try it.  You have to try it, especially when his neurologist is saying go try it," Amy said.

On Monday, U.S. Representative Scott Perry introduced a national bill to legalize marijuana oil for epilepsy treatment.  The bill would remove CBD oil and therapeutic hemp from the federal definition of marijuana. The Houk's said they would certainly consider using the oil again as long as Cameron's neurologist could help them get him off of some of his pharmaceuticals.

"We think if we could get, maybe, his neurologist to help us with getting him off of some of these pharmaceuticals because we don't know what's working at this point.   Sometimes they can actually cause more seizures if there is too much or so we hope to maybe try it again. If we can get him under our doctors care, get him off some of the pharmas then it's worth another shot.   I'd rather have him on a plant than these drugs," Amy said.

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