tv Tech Know Al Jazeera May 30, 2014 1:30pm-2:01pm EDT
you can check us out 24 hours a day by going to aljazeera.com. that is where the news continues 24 hours a day, seven days a week non-stop. a. >> this is "techknow." a show about innovations that can change lives. we're going to explore the intersection of hardware and humanity and doing it in a unique way. this is a show about science by scientists. let's check out our team of hard core nerds. >> dr. crystal dilworth is a monthly ec lar neuroscientist. would you give kids marijuana if it could help them? a look at a scientific test that
may determine if charlotte's web is real medicine or not. lindsay moran is an ex-cia operative and analyst. i'm are phil torres. that's our team, now let's do some science. ♪ hello and welcome to "techknow." my name is phil torres and we're joined today by lindsay moran and dr. crystal dilworth. you went to investigate can marijuana but this marijuana is
missing something. >> right, it's missing thc, the compound responsible for that high. i got a chance to go to colorado and look at a family business who's producing marijuana that helps treat children with intractable are why being diseases. >> more than 400,000 children in the u.s. suffers from epileptic seizures. heather jackson's son zaki is one of them. >> zaki had these, he has a rare form of epilepsy known as doose syndrome. by the time he was 5 years old he had had 500,000 seizures. don't usually start crying this early, actually. it's an emotional day because he's 16 months seizure free today, so i'm happy. it's a happy emotion.
>> today zaki is talking, walking, and being home schooled. his mom, heather jackson, is convinced it's due to an extract found in this controversial plant. >> this is where a lot of the plants are grown. there are approximately 3200 plants in this greenhouse. of those about 80% are charlotte's web. joel stanley runs one of the largest marijuana grows in the state of colorado. it's a family owned operation. the five family brothers went into business in 2008 under the medical marijuana laws passed in the rocky mountains state. jesse stanley supervises the marijuana lab. >> lot of failures lots of successes but we started growing to help cancer patients. from cancer it turned into multiple sclerosis, it turned
into diabetes. >> soon a lest known plant compound caught the brothers attention. cannabidiol. they decided to are breed a strain >> people call it the hippie disappointment. you could smoke it all day, and you wouldn't become high. but we still grew it. so much, that it hurt our other crops. >> it wasn't until the stanleys met charlotte fiji that they were convinced that it could help children. charlotte severs from gervais syndrome. charlotte just up to five at the time, was having up to 500 grand
grand mal seizures in a month. >> joel says hey, there is a woman who wants to treat her daughter with cannabis. i said you're crazy. that's going to end up landing us in jairl. we'll be in orange -- jail, in orange jump suits. >> during an epileptic seizure neurons are firing electrical impulses all at the same time. almost like an electrical storm. >> once we started it, first day, seizure free, no seizures. a week went by still no seizures, and then we were on to something. >> renaming their plant plant ncbd extract, charlotte's web. word spread quickly until epileptic community.
chemist bryson rast demonstrates the preparation of charlotte's web oil. first the plant is soaked in food grade alcohol to draw out the cannabinoids. >> how long do you soak it for? >> the solubility is quite high. so we can soak it for as short as maybe a couple of hours to maybe overnight. >> and you end up with something like this. >> the solution is heated, to maximize alcohol evaporation. that is heated and mixed with olive oil. >> how many quality control processes do you have? >> we use analytical testing on site. to determine the viability of the raw oil. >> none of the stanley brothers have a medical degree. prior to this several works in the oil fields of texas. jesse stanley says they've determined proper dosing through
trial and error. >> how do you know you're getting too much, you need to dial it back? >> it's the point of finding what works. it's not going ocause any effect, like drowsiness or something like tha that. it's can strictly, their body will get rid of it. >> when i drink six cups of coffee i know i've had too much caffeine. >> the effectiveness of marijuana is through the roof but we're very safe. because of charlotte's web we have been able to collect data and help dosing for others who are on the medicine. >> mostly epileptics who have exhausted all medications and treatments without success. >> as bad as i feel telling people they have to come to colorado and leave everything behind i feel good that there's a community waiting here for them. >> many on the list come from
other states where medical marijuana is illegal. >> i think for some people giving any type of marijuana extract to a child might seem kind of extreme. what would you say to those naysayers or the skeptics? >> i would say holding your child praying for them to breathe is pretty extreme. zaki just used charlotte's web, that's all. >> it really seems the me a very difficult decision to give marijuana to kids. it just doesn't sound right. but when you see the effects -- >> i mean it's really hard to argue with the results, right? and a lot of these children their diagnosis he are not good. in some cases it is fatal, so this is a last resort. >> this kind of shows why science and empirical resource can outpace those studies and the research where all they want
is something that's going to make the seizure stop. >> the issue here is we know what marijuana does to the adult brain. we've studied this. but we don't often do toxicology studies on children. here we don't know what the potential outcomes are that are are already being used to treat these diseases. >> we've seen the cases with the two children but this research is starting to take a big leap. >> they just start evidence the clinical trial on cannabidiol. we'll get to see the u.c. researcher next. >> we want to know what you think. join us on twitter and on aljazeera.com. n aljazeera.com.
very little thc which is usually what we think about with marijuana. you got to check out the research that's really getting underway with this. >> given marijuana 's regulation 1, we're going oget the inside scoop on one of them. >> he was probably like a month or a couple months old baby. he didn't have his tone in his neck. he was unable to hold his neck up. the. >> doctors think vahad's son has a rare degenera tiff disease called batten syndrome. it's difficult to diagnose. from the first seizure he suffered it took doctors another five years to identify it. >> when he first started having his seizures from that point on he started regressing and the doctors couldn't find out like what was wrong with him.
they kept on treating him for seizures and regardless of what medication they gave him it would come back to where he would have more and more seizures. >> the batten diagnosis was a tremendous blow to this family because the disease is fatal. so when fajad found areport discussing charlotte's web, he jumped in the car. >> i kept calling the number because it was a number we needed to call. >> they joined a large number of families in order to get treatment under colorado's medical marijuana laws. they are being called weed refugees. >> the charlotte's web plant qualifies for him. we are growing it in colorado and labeled as marijuana. it is a controlled substance. we can't ship it to a family no matter how much people call and
beg and cry for this treatment option. >> currently under federal law all extracts found in the marijuana plant are lumped together by the dea as a schedule 1 drug even though cbd is nonpsychotropic. >> do you plan to take the charlotte's web extract into the clinical trials? >> we do. we feel it's very important. >> but the stanley family face aa number of ca obstacles. a new be drug is approved at ucsf. >> the drug name is pure cannabidiol. the drug name is pure cannabidiol. >> the doctor was granted a full schedule 1 license. she started a study in january.
the roughly 150 childre patiente children diagnosed with intrac intractable epilepsy. according to the doctor there is still little data verifying its efficacy. >> a major obstacle in using this drug, honestly i see them as agency the first application is to protect the patient. >> dr. cilio is testing as pooh single compound. the pharmacological compound is made by request companies in canada. low levels of thc and other coma cannabinoids. >> we decided to use pure cannabidiol. we thought it was safer.
we know how much we are giving so we can evaluate the effect. and also, we thought it was the time to do tonight a way that was more scientifically sound. >> how do you feel about the gw trials that are happening here in the u.s? >> the worst thing that could happen is for that product to be too different from this one. and if it doesn't work and then the scientific and medical communities come back and say, oh, we already looked at that, so just pass it by, that's the worst thing that can possibly happen. >> people tend to see only possible benefits. and i understand, because when you have a child with intractable epilepsy your hope never ends but people have to understand that risks are associated. we want to trust the drug in a scientifically sound way to give answer he more than just excitement and hope.
>> but answers could take years. specifically, why cbd seems to work on epileptic seizures, two leading theories that cbd modulates calcium in neurons, aren't the focus of the gw trials. >> and i have to say that this is also complon for several drugs. we don't know the exact mechanism for which the drug control the seizure. >> and with more physicians like ibramim asis signing off on the drug, families find themselves in a gray area. >> he's tried lots of different medications and they didn't seem to help. we already had our mindset. >> i -- made set.
>> i -- minds set. >> a sick child getting better, nobody wants to deny that. for years, why activates and hippies, knocked on these doors whereas charlotte and zaki busted them down. >> when you hear the influence on their children, why not test charlotte's web, other than those compounds? >> charlotte's web is the potential hundreds of compounds that could be that. we think it's cannabidiol or cbd. the scientific progress is made by testing single components or single variables at a time and making sure you understand the contribution of that single component. that's how they're doing. >> i love how this stoirt kind
of started out as hippie's disappointment can help sick kids. >> the difference between this drug in your pharmacy and the drug charlotte's web, the food grade alcohol that they use to extract those compounds. >> now if you guys want to follow more of our stories as we're shooting them in the field you can follow us on instagram. >> coming up next. i don't know if you saw the apple video that went viral, the guy has two bu >> i'm joe berlinger this is the system i'd like to think of this show as a watch dog about the system... to make sure justice is
♪ ♪ ♪ >> hey guys welcome back to "techknow." i'm phil torres joined today by lindsay moran and dr. crystal dilworth. we got to meet the researchers behind these spectacular machines, take a look. it's an early morning scene played off in households everywhere. jason koger must get himself ready, plus his child. making some important decisions about what he's going to be wearing today. >> being a bilateral amputee you
have to use prosthetics. if you oar single arm amputee, you have the ability to use a real hand to help. you know it's kind of like a tool form. >> near san diego, california, katie walker is putting her latest tool are to effect. customized personally for herself on the field. >> if the attachment pops off. the bat attachment the bat handle goes right inside of here. so it's supposed to after i swing after i pop it through i can pop it right off and start running. >> and then rotate around. cool. >> for upper limb amputees like jason and katie, gone are the days of
hook lever arms. alongside occupational therapists to design custom made prosthetics for patients' dreams. >> the opportunity osee a patient, see what they need, instead of just, we can be really creative. >> thanks to myo credit technical are advances, one of the most sophisticated prosthetics on the market, the ilem revolution, the ability to rotate the thumb and there's even an app for that prospect. you. >> what are these electrodes measuring? >> these electrodes are sensing your muscle contracting. you're now bionic.
>> and so powerful, i should be able to control this robotic hand by moving my muscles. >> you see that spike? the hand is operating. i want you to make a closing, so that's blue. >> an intricate network of tiny wires, allow each finger to articulate separately. 24 advanced grims are now possible. -- grips are now possible. the battery has an 1800 cycle or charge. >> what is the most challenging part of this technology? >> it's matching the technology with the patient. we want to pair technology with the right kind of patient. katie is working with our team in portland. she's born without a hand.
she's interested in paralympics. she wants to track and field. >> how is this different from the one you usually use? >> first of all, it's much lighter. the socket is very comfortable, sweat proof. actually it's really made for starting blocks so it helps me, get down, here, i'll show you. >> on your mark, get set, go! >> the i-limb technology is closest most patients can come to the dexterity of a real hand. for jason, the tiniest household task force are now possible. despite having lost both of his arms in an electrical accident jason is willing to try just about anything, sometimes using
his more durable hooks around the farms, sometimes with his ilimbs. he's one of a field tester, make him one of the first in the world to have bionic arms. >> he has a great personality and he's willing to talk to other people about his experience, what he's been do through, the good, the bad, the ugly. >> why would you like to see the technology go? >> they're wanting to get into single nerve, wanting one nerve to move one finger. >> it's called targeted nerve deinnervation. harvested and transplanted is into that area. if the procedure is successful sensor electrodes will read the nerves then send signals directly to the artificial limb, allowing the limb
to react intuitively. >> it's real and they're starting to implement that in the laboratory setting and will eventually make it out to a human being. >> until then katie walker is training hard for the 100 meter sprint. she hopes to are compete in the 2016 paralympics in brazil. jason is waiting for somebody to tell him something he can't do. >> i do what i do because i want to do it. i'm not superman, i'm just jason koger. >> now as much credit as we give to the technology, it's really the people. as well. when i mate jason and -- met jason and katie i was so inspired. they pushed the limits. for instance on tru tumblr, jason taught me to shoot a cross bow. that was so cool that somebody with no arms would be teaching me this.
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