De-stigmatizing a plant for suffering children everywhere

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Dr. Stephen Davis, PhD on Charlotte's Web Cannibidiol Oil


The following is an interview with Dr. Stephen Davis, PhD. Dr. Davis earned his Doctorate in biochemistry from The University of Louisville in 1993. He did two years of post-doctoral training at the National Institute of Drug Abuse in Baltimore studying the interactions of cocaine with brain receptor d. After that Dr. Davis returned to Kentucky to work on identifying genetic components to human diseases.

Dr. Davis served nearly thirty-two years in the National Guard of the United States, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before retiring in February of 2013. He served multiple tours in Washington   D.C., in support of the National Guard Civil Support Teams (CST) program. Dr. Davis was the CST program manager before returning to Kentucky to command the 41st Civil Support Team. In D.C.  Dr. Davis worked extensively on policy matters including executive and legislative changes to improve the CST program's support to the American people.

As an enlisted Airman he was a photographic technician. Over the years Dr. Davis went on to other assignments including Afghanistan, Detailed Inspector General, Regimental Adjutant, National Guard Bureau Science Officer, Chemical Officer, and Company Commander. He was awarded the Bronze Star and three Meritorious Service Medals.

Stephen is also uncle to my son, Alexander, who has Regressive Autism and epilepsy.

**Note: the terms Charlotte's Web and Alepsia will be used interchangeably in this interview. They are both names for a specific strain of high CBD/low THC cannibdiol oil. For a glossary of terms and acronyms used in this interview please see the right sidebar of this page.



How did you become interested in Alepsia (Charlotte's Web Cannibidiol Oil)?

Dr. Davis:

My initial interest was not in Alepsia specifically, but in affecting behavior through pharmaceutical intervention.  My inspiration came as a teenager in observing that alcoholism was prevalent in certain families.  I thought that there was perhaps a genetic component which could be addressed with
pharmaceutical intervention like any other disease, so I was inspired to get a doctorate in biochemistry so I could develop the capacity to help.  I first became aware specifically of Alepsia when I saw your testimony to the Louisville
Metro Government on Facebook.  My training and research provided a context for me to look more into Alepsia, which I am convinced needs to be rigorously studied.


What have you read concerning Alepsia that convinced you it warrants further investigation and for what conditions?

Dr. Davis:

Two things. First, all the reports of severely epileptic children who have taken Alepsia and experienced miraculous relief of nearly all their seizures. As a person, you can't help but be curious that a plant extract could be so powerful.
If it is, it would be unconscionably cruel to withhold Alepsia from everyone who would benefit.  We can only learn who will benefit and what is the specific therapeutic component, or components, through rigorous scientific research.

That alone would be enough, but there are also distinguished scientists who believe in Alepsia.  Physician-scientists in academic settings. Society, unfortunately or not, is all too ready to relate children's recovery to the parents' hope rather than the therapeutic agent.  We don't so easily dismiss
trained, experienced, knowledgeable professionals.

As for what Alepsia is suitable to treat, only the research will tell.  The obvious place to start is epileptic seizures.  With the available information it is reasonable to study Alepsia's effect on autism, Traumatic Brain Injury, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and perhaps other late onset brain disorders.  Alepsia could potentially help a whole lot of people from children to veterans. There is no doubt we need to answer this question.


In an ideal world how would you see the future of Alepsia unfold in Kentucky in terms of both scientific research and the ability for epileptic children to access the oil?

Dr. Davis:

Not to be flip, but science is about the real, not ideal. While ideals do inspire us, the real can be measured, assessed, improved, and prescribed.  The starting place is to establish Alepsia's safety. Once that is done, the next step is defining its therapeutic range and delivery methods.  Then standard
clinical research moves to large scale studies to validate effectiveness. On the positive side, this process ensures safety and efficacy. Unfortunately, for new candidate drugs, the process is excruciatingly slow for families looking for
relief as wide availability can be months or years away.  Alepsia, however, is not new.  The timeline can and should be shortened based on currently available information. Most importantly, there have been significant numbers of epileptic
children taking Alepsia with dramatic relief of seizures. Secondly, Alepsia's ingredients are well characterized, and there is no evidence of unacceptable side effects. My conclusion is that legal and social barriers to the availability and study of Alepsia must be removed.


There is some discussion regarding the classification for THC levels in Kentucky's hemp law. Any cannabis sativa containing under 0.3% THC is now considered a hemp allowable for research purposes. Some of these high CBD strains might fall into that category, or if they do not now they can be bred that way. Therefore, it could be legal
for certain strains to be grown in Kentucky. How might such research best be designed, say, for epilepsy and/or autism?

Dr. Davis:

Perhaps I got ahead of the questions, but I described the research concept in some depth in the previous question. I will decline to address legal strategies for producing or obtaining Alepsia  in that I am not a lawyer. What I do know is that Alepsia contains THC levels so low that the Alepsia does not
result in any effect sought by recreational drug users.  I also know that cocaine, a drug which I have studied and published papers in scientific journals, is a widely abused recreational drug.  No component of Alepsia is know to be addictive, and no person has ever been documented to have died from using
any component of Alepsia. Cocaine on the other hand is clearly addictive, clearly dominates the lives of its addicts, and clearly kills people who abuse it, in some cases the first time they use it. But cocaine does have a legal medical use where Alepsia still has significant legal barriers in most states. As a voter and taxpayer, it is easy to emphatically say that Alepsia's legal barriers must be eliminated.


Dr. Davis currently serves as proprietor and sole member of small town, Big Ideas, LLC (stBI). stBI is dedicated to helping others achieve their full potential through mentorship, training, and education. Dr. Davis is also Chair of the Kentucky chapter of USA Cares, training officer for the Oldham County Hazardous Materials Team, and is co-owner of Davis-Harbridge Homes. He lives in Oldham County, Kentucky with his wife of thirty-three years. They have two adult children and three grandchildren.


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