“I had the same concerns as a lot of Christians. I did not want to be a part of anything that promoted [marijuana use]. But then I saw the science and research, so I switched gears.”
The Christian religion can deter many from accepting cannabidiol (CBD) as having medical benefits because it is associated with marijuana—though it has little to do with the psychoactive use of this “drug.”
An in-depth feature published on Christianity Today challenges Christians’ perception of the medical properties provided by CBD for a variety of ailments—including epilepsy and chronic pain.
“Hemp-based CBD oil is not the same as marijuana. You get the anti-inflammatory [effects], the pain relief without the high. For some people, it really is and has been a lifesaver,” said Troy Spurrill, a chiropractor specializing in functional neurology.
Through his clinic Synapse, based in Eagan, Minnesota, Spurrill sees patients from 48 states and 12 countries. In his practice, he has observed the results of more than 100 patients who have taken hemp CBD oil and reported not “one problem with it.” Spurrill says CBD had the most significant impact in treating insomnia, pain, anxiety and seizures.
One patient of his underwent multiple surgeries, resulting in chronic pain and the need for opioid painkillers. He became dependent on the drugs and suicidal. Spurrill reported that CBD was able to help the patient break free of his opioid dependency and improve his quality of life. “He got off the opiates and is alive and doing well today,” Spurrill told Christianity Today. “It managed the pain. It ended up being a big tool for me to help him.”
As a church-going Christian, Spurrill admitted that he was at first reluctant to consider CBD as a legitimate treatment. “I was not for it in the beginning. I had the same concerns as a lot of Christians. I did not want to be a part of anything that promoted [marijuana use]. But then I saw the science and research, so I switched gears,” he said.
A number of states have approved the use of CBD only—stopping short of establishing a medical marijuana program—in the name of helping young children suffering debilitating seizures.
Mandy Van Schyndel, a mother from Wisconsin, shared her experience searching for ways to help her young daughter Emma, who was diagnosed with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS), a severe form of epilepsy.
At her worst, Emma would suffer 12 cluster seizures daily. At the beginning of her life, she lived in hospice care and was not expected to survive.
The family tried “many different concoctions of medications” including steroid injections and a ketogenic diet—but none of it worked. They grew desperate for some relief. “We went from trying to find seizure freedom to just trying to find any kind of reduction—to increase her quality of life,” said Van Schyndel.
Like Troy Spurrill, Van Schyndel, who is Christian, was hesitant to bring up CBD with Emma’s neurologist, but she was surprised by his response. “I said [to him], ‘I know this is a taboo subject.’ He said, ‘It’s not taboo. There’s really something to it.’ That was a nice reassurance to hear.”
After procuring a high quality CBD oil and applying two drops twice daily under Emma’s tongue, they saw a “dramatic decrease” in her seizures—from 12 per day to zero in six months.
“It felt like the fog was lifted. My child was awake under there. Now she’s laughing and smiling every single day!” said Van Schyndel.
“She has more purposeful movement. She’s interacting with her peers. She’s playing with toys spontaneously. None of these things were happening before CBD oil. You can’t tell me that’s all a coincidence,” she added.