Medical cannabis oil already helping some Tennesseans

TJ Ramsey
Posted at 6:25 PM, May 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 21:31:35-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Less than a week after medical marijuana legislation was passed in both houses of the legislature, one family has already obtained oil for their young son.

Holly Ramsey has been trying to get a medical marijuana law passed in Tennessee for the past three years. Her son, TJ has intractable epilepsy and cerebral palsy.

Medications they have tried so far haven't worked except for some success with CBD oil. Ramsey believed TJ needed medical-grade cannabis, with a higher THC content.

A day before the session ended, lawmakers passed through a bill adding eight conditions to existing law in Tennessee allowing those with epilepsy to try a weak form of THC oil.

Ramsey said neither she nor her son's neurologist at Vanderbilt was aware there was a law allowing people with epilepsy to have the oil. So, she obtained some and is giving it to TJ under the supervision of her doctor.

On a normal day, TJ would have about 10 seizures. Each seizure would take about 30 minutes to recover from. Ramsey said it has a dramatic impact on his life. However, everything changed after TJ started taking the oil.

"Within two days the seizures were dramatically different," said Ramsey. "Not only the seizures but his energy level and his personality was back and he just was happier and had a spark. He's just so much more involved in going out to eat and going to stores."

TJ's seizures have dropped to just two a day. Ramsey said it will change his life.

However, the mother believes that as TJ gets older and larger, oils up to .9% THC will have less of an effect. Also, Ramsey has to obtain the oil out of state in accordance with the law.

She hopes a change will happen federally. However, she still plans to fight to pass better medical marijuana legislation.

The new law adds conditions such as cancer to the list of who can obtain the oil. Critics of the law have called it weak and say it makes it difficult for people to obtain treatment.