Epileptic Girl Has Fewer Seizures Thanks to Cannabis Treatment

By Paul Gaita 05/29/15

Addyson Benton has had 80% fewer seizures after being treated with THCA.

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Addyson Benton with her mom. Photo via

The parents of a three-year-old girl who was experiencing up to 100 epileptic seizures per day have reported that cannabis treatment has reduced the number of incidents to less than 20.

The family of Addyson Benson relocated from West Chester, Ohio to the town of Castle Rock, Colo., to treat her seizures with non-psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (TCHA). One of several cannabinoids found in cannabis, THCA does not produce a “high” unless exposed to heat, which releases the carbon dioxide in the plant and converts THCA to the psychoactive THC.

Treatment using THCA has been credited with preventing cancer, epileptic seizures, and other life-threatening illness in children. The American Academy of Pediatrics offered limited support to this theory in a statement issued January 2015, stating while that greater research must be conducted to verify its efficacy with such conditions, cannabis could be considered for children with “life-limiting or severely debilitating conditions, and for whom current therapies are inadequate."

Addyson’s mother, Heather Benton, saw immediate positive results from the treatment. “Six hours after we put the [cannabis patch] on her, she wasn’t falling down. We noticed she started mimicking our hand gestures when we were talking.”

The response may have been worth the effort Benson and her family undertook to get to Colorado, which included financial hardship and schisms with friends and family.

“To think of the hoops that we have had to jump through to obtain this medicine is said,” said Heather Benton. “There are so many people who aren’t going to be able to afford this move, and their child is not going to get the care that they need."

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, Amazon.com and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.