Jason David is the father of Jayden David, who suffers from Dravet syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy. Within the first few years of his life, Jayden started having seizures everyday, sometimes numbering into the hundreds. Doctors prescribed Jayden many pills in order to stop his seizures, including highly addictive benzodiazepines, but nothing worked, and oftentimes just made Jayden’s condition worse.
Pushed to the limit and at his wit’s end, Jason turned to medical marijuana, in particular cannabidiol (CBD). It worked, and Jayden’s pill intake reduced significantly whilst at the same time giving him the possibility of a normal, healthy life. This is one amazing story, and so we decided to get more from Jason, as we know he has lots of important things to say …
People often only talk about THC and CBD. Could you tell us the importance of other cannabinoids and whole plant extracts?
There’s more misinformation than good information about CBD and THC. People think that CBD is good and THC is evil. Well, God made this plant, and he didn’t make it half-good, half-evil. It’s about using it [cannabis] correctly, proper dosing and science. There’s much more to it than just “CBD” and “THC”. There’s also the Entourage Effect that includes the interplay between cannabinoids and terpenes.
What goes on is that a lot of people just go for the CBD, because all they hear is the misinformation and the marketing that goes behind it. They’re all about selling a product, not the real medicinal aspect of the whole plant. With Jayden, I use CBD, THC, THCa. I use them in different ways and administer them differently. Jayden was on 22 pills, and the CBD helped out with the seizures but it didn’t help with drug withdrawals. So what I did was, I started using THC for withdrawals. We used an indica strain to help Jayden get off the pharmaceuticals.
This plant is synergistic and works great as a whole plant. It’s just finding the right dose. There’s science behind it now, so it’s not just any THC – it’s finding the right dosage and what works for you and your body. We microdose thousands of children with THC for epilepsy, autism, ADHD and other different diseases and disorders. Finding the right dose takes trial and error.
So, you use different compositions of cannabinoids for Jayden?
Yes, I use CBD, THC and THCa. Also, we have different ways of extracting it and different bases. A lot of people don’t understand that it’s not “one size fits all”. What will work for one kid won’t work with another, and there’s a lot of trial and error. Without trial and error, you won’t find out what works and what doesn’t.
Different extractions hit people differently. Different bases hit people differently. You can take the same strain, extract it in exactly the same way, and if you put it in different bases like coconut oil, honey, MCT oil and so on, it’ll have different effects.
Could you tell us more about how you used different cannabinoids for Jayden?
I used CBD for the first month, then after that I started using THC for withdrawals. After that, I noticed that Jayden was building a tolerance to CBD, so I started using THCa as well. They work well together.
With THCa, we do a cold extraction, so it’s in MCT oil. That helps out with energy and transitioning from sleep to waking up, which was one of the biggest issues arising out of withdrawal. THCa did that for Jayden. THCa is also an antispasmodic and anti-epileptic, and at the same time it doesn’t go through the same liver channel as benzos. Over time, we were able to switch from benzos to THCa.
What do you think can be done to improve access to medical marijuana?
Education. There’s a lack of information. There’s a lot of people in this industry and all they’re doing is talking about their product. I wish some people would say, “If mine works it’s great, but if not I’ll try another one.” This is your best way of healing.
What I really think they need to do is to regulate products properly, and I’m excited about new regulations coming in to do that. It does hurt some people on the local grower level, but what I’ve noticed with local growers from working on my own dispensary is that a lot of people don’t really care. This is supposed to be medicine, and not just about the money. A lot of people are growing for the money.
People are forgetting about pesticides, powdered mildew, mould, yeast … No one’s testing their medicine. It’s real ugly out there, and I’m excited about new regulations coming in – ones that we really need to have for good medicine. With good regulations, we can find out more about this plant. We’re on the cutting-edge of science and something new that could help out more and more patients.
We’ve been doing our own research with different cannabinoids, terpenes and extraction methods. I am excited about the new products we’ll be coming out with next year. I can’t mention specifics, but we’ve been trying a particular cannabinoid and terpenoid extract for Jayden over the last month-and-a-half, and we’ve seen huge success with that, too. It’s a new cannabinoid we’ve been working with.
What do you say to parents who are reluctant to give cannabis to their children for medical purposes?
My first question would be to ask, “What medications are your children currently on?” This is what I do at my own office here in Modesto, California. I take about 10 patients a day and I sit them down and we talk. I do free consultations, and it usually takes about an hour to convince the parents and about an hour to get the medicine.
I have a local doctor who came in to talk. I showed him the evidence, the proof, the videos, the documentation, the fact that the central government owns the patents to CBD and so on … I ask him, “What medications are the kids you treat on?” Then I pull up the medication list show him the side-effects these meds have – the addiction, the withdrawals and even the lawsuits – as well as the deaths. They’re willing to do trial-and-error with pharmaceuticals that kill, but they won’t trial-and-error with a plant that hasn’t killed anyone and hasn’t got anywhere near the amount of side-effects of many pharmaceutical medications.
So I do a comparison of what we use to treat conditions at the moment with cannabis. Most people are smart after that, but they need to be educated about it first. They need to be told and shown – see the evidence with their own eyes. There’s been so much bad information over the last 80 years.
There was a doctor who came to my store, and he said, “That’s anecdotal evidence” to everything I was showing him. He was impressed, but he said “It’s all anecdotal and I believe in science.” I said in response, “Doc. You believe in science, don’t you? Well the pharmaceuticals you give your kid – your kid’s on three different antipsychotics, doesn’t eat, sleep or poop, and he beats up your wife. Wasn’t there science done on that before you gave him those tablets?”
“Yes,” the doctor responds.
“Well, is it working?”
He said, “No”. He got up, shook my hand, and went and got a medical marijuana card for his kid. He comes back to my store with a smile from ear-to-ear a little while later and said, “Thank you, Jason. Those were the three best weeks of our lives. Not just our kid’s life, but our whole family’s lives. There’s no fighting anymore, and our child’s eating and sleeping properly. His seizures are down 85%, and he comes up to us and tells us he wants Jayden’s Juice in sign language.”
We treat patients from all around the world. We treat about 30,000 patients. Our youngest patient is 6 months old, oldest about 94. We treat for around 100 different conditions, and we also have support groups and seminars here. We show others the people medical marijuana has helped in order to help them and give them hope. I always tell them, “If you don’t try it, how do you know if it’ll work or not?”
Jason is clearly a passionate man, and it comes through loud and clear. He clearly loves the cannabis plant and, considering the positive impact it’s had on his and his family’s life, it’s not surprising why. Needless to say, this is just a snippet of our conversation. We not only talked about revolutionary new medical science and pediatric medicine, but also about the corruption in courts and Harborside dispensary.
Jason also runs one of the best dispensaries in California in Jayden’s Journey, which lab tests its products, and shall hopefully be an example for other dispensaries to follow in the future. Jason has much to say, and anyone interested in improving the state of medical marijuana as a whole must check out Elevate the Conversation on UBN Radio at Wednesday 6 pm PST.