British newborn first baby in world to join cannabis therapy trial

A newborn boy who was delivered by emergency caesarean section in March at a Norwich hospital became the first baby in the world to join a cannabis-derived treatment trial. The study is the first step in what researchers say could one day lead to a cannabis-derived medicine being used routinely in neonatal care to help babies at risk of seizures and brain injury. His mother, Chelsea Parodi, from Watton, Norfolk, said: “I was approached after the birth about taking part in this study and I consulted my mum and my brother who is training to be a paramedic. The study is examining whether the medicine is safe and effective in lessening the degree of brain injury for babies with the condition neonatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). “We have always had good support from families wanting to take part in research on our [unit] and they often do it from an altruistic point of view to help benefit future babies. The therapeutic ingredient of the medicine occurs naturally in the cannabis plant and is extracted under highly controlled conditions to ensure that the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) component which causes a “high” is minimal.