A Middlesex County mother has begun making her own blend of homemade medical marijuana oil to help her 9-year-old son with multiple disabilities.
Michael Lucas of South River is hypotonic and also epileptic. He has been a client in New Jersey’s medical marijuana program for nearly three years. But his mother Jean Lucas says that the drug she was provided has stopping his seizures for only one year.
Jean says that this is when she perfected her recipe. Michael takes THC oil, after CBD oil did not work for him. The difference between the two is that THC is the psychoactive component in marijuana, often associated with producing a high.
Michael used to seize hundreds of times a day, particularly when he went outside. But the family says that after he began taking the THC oil, he was able to play with his siblings and family dog. They say that he no longer has as many seizures.
“I talked to someone in our group about how to cook it correctly. I made a potent product and I started giving more,” Jean says. She says that rather than putting her son in a daze, the THC oil made him improve. “His school instantly saw. They [asked] ‘What are you doing with him?’”
Jean says that she has gotten some flak about giving her son medical marijuana. “And I think, ‘You’re OK with my son being addicted to opioids because a doctor writes [a prescription] on a little blue pad?’ Yes, [marijuana] is still a drug. Yes it’s still federally banned — but it’s helping my son.”
The Lucas family gets their medical marijuana from the Breakwater Treatment and Wellness Center. Clients are able to choose from a lozenge or a topical oil. Their topical oil is more diluted than an edible oil like the one that Michael Lucas uses.
Because marijuana is federally banned, the Food and Drug Administration hasn’t found marijuana to be safe or effective at treating health conditions. The patients who receive it have to learn whether it will work for them through trial and error and with help from counselors at the dispensaries.
Michael consumes the oil his mother makes in her kitchen three times a day through his feeding tube. He is one of more than 18,000 patients in New Jersey still testing out recipes. Breakwater chief of staff James Frohlich says that he hopes for a change to the law.
Michael’s sister Kylie Lucas says, “I feel like he’s normal — like he was trapped, but he’s normal now.”