State Rep. Bill Friend’s (R-Macy) legislation to allow the use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil for severe epilepsy passed out of the Indiana House of Representatives Tuesday with a vote of 98-0.

House Bill 1148 would allow a person to possess CBD oil if they or their child have been diagnosed with severe epilepsy, and they meet certain commonsense safety requirements. Friend said CBD oil is a compound refined from industrial hemp that has a wide scope of medical applications, including the control of epilepsy and seizures.

“Allowing CBD oil would provide desperate parents another possible treatment for their children,” Friend said. “Many families have exhausted all of their options trying to find the right medication to effectively relieve the symptoms of juvenile epilepsy without some of the dangerous side effects. Under this legislation, parents and physicians would be able to explore CBD oil as a treatment option without the threat of prosecution.”

Friend said CBD oil, while derived from industrial hemp, has extremely low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, so it cannot be used as a recreational drug.

CBD oil has shown documented effectiveness in helping manage the symptoms of otherwise persistent conditions of epilepsy, such as Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.