This is our CBD Oil start and the start of how CBD Oil got to Kentucky. Nothing prepares parents for the first crisis that involves their child. Since day one, Colten had given us a run for our money. Two extra digits on his right foot (What?! Yes. It was the craziest little foot, but it was still adorable), a week-long stay in ICU 4 days after birth while he lounged under lights, and we prayed for him to eat. Nothing with him went according to plan. Looking back now, I’m glad it didn’t. Because it was our plan, he wouldn’t adhere to it. God had another.

In January 2009, at age 3, Colten had his first tonic-clonic seizure while on the stairs with his brother, Gunner (6), and our Great Dane pup, Angus.

boys and their dog

<— That’s them!! (a few weeks before the first seizure.) Adorable, weren’t they?

Hearing the fall followed by Gunner’s yell, running in, and seeing Colten… No. Words. Can. Describe. We aren’t the first parents to see something like this, and sadly won’t we be the last. But needless to say, this scared everyone. Bill went into rescue mode doing all the things one shouldn’t do with someone mid-seizure. I called 911 and freaked out on the operator. Understandably, Gunner ran and hid. (Poor guy.) We weren’t prepared for that day. Thankfully, the EMTs were. Excellent is a word I often use to describe them, and it doesn’t do them justice.

At the hospital, we answer all the doctor’s questions except one. Did the seizure cause the fall, or did the fall cause the seizure? Until that moment, we hadn’t given it any thought. In our minds, the fall caused the seizure. What do you mean? Are you saying this could happen again?

It did. Several times. And it seemed that each additional seizure bred three more. Soon he was up to hundreds of seizures a day, from Myoclonic, Absence, Clonic, Tonic, and Atonic to Generalized Tonic-Clonic. Frightened. That’s what we were. We had no idea what was causing the seizures. Tests were inconclusive. We watched as everyday activities, things we took for granted, became an issue or cause for concern. His Head was falling into his cereal bowl and dropping mid-stride. Losing muscle control and grip on whatever he was holding. Things like these happened often but were minimal compared to the long Tonic-Clonic episodes. We learned about our “new” son and epilepsy with every new seizure and Dr. appointment. And sadly, we know treating epilepsy can be a dangerous game.


Treating Epilepsy Can Be Dangerous


Colten first eegRarely do doctors find the right prescription immediately to stop seizures. It’s usually a guessing game, starting at the top of a list and working their way down. Sadly, every drug on that list has harmful side effects, which get worse the further you go.

While searching for his diagnosis, they finally settled on Idiopathic Generalized Epilepsy. I’m 99% sure it was reached by your standard pasta check. (You know, throwing ideas against the wall and seeing what sticks) Anyway, they started Colten on Keppra.

“Keppra – It’s the best seizure medicine for kids!” said Dr. #1, known for his propensity to be harmful and wrong

In full disclosure, it has been seven years, and I am not sure that the above was his exact quote. However, I remember being sold because it was a miracle worker for kids with epilepsy. Maybe it was/ is… Just not for our kid.  It did nothing to stop the onslaught of seizure activity. However, it completely changed his personality and started his cognitive delays.

We used to try to find humor in the situation and call him the Incredible Hulk. We joked about having a t-shirt made for him that stated, “It’s because I’m medicated.” (Seriously. I wanted that shirt in every color and bet other parents do too!) But honestly, the rage that came with his daily dose of Keppra was awful. Since it did nothing to control the seizure activity, they added Depakote to the mix. This is called polypharmacy and is every dangerous as we soon learned.  When new meds are added, we watch for unknown side effects, as every parent does. We saw weight gain, hair loss, drowsiness, and cognitive delay.

We soon found out it was what we COULDN’T see that was the bigger problem.

Blood tests showed dangerously low platelet levels, and we were told he was within hours of organ failure. Dr.’s immediately stopped all meds and prescribed Lorazepam. We were at our wit’s end. How can a medication that is supposed to help our child be this harmful? Is this list of medicines all that is available to us?  As Doctors worked to find the proper medication, we worked to find alternative treatments – essential oils, ketogenic diet, and nothing was off the table. Our Dr. (at the time) didn’t seem hopeful. He told us that he didn’t believe Colten would improve. He said he’d regress and depend on us for the most basic of needs.

“Prepare a room for him long term. He’ll never leave your house, and you will bury him someday.”

said the same negative Dr. #1

We immediately changed Dr.’s. We weren’t starting this path with a defeatist attitude, and we didn’t need it from our Dr.

Colten eegFlash forward new doctor, hours of visits, EEGs, MRIs, and nights in the hospital, and they finally found a medication that his body would tolerate while containing seizure activity. Praise God! Not to say it didn’t come with its fair share of side effects, like the inability to regulate body temperature, tingling extremities, trouble concentrating, and attitude (nothing like Keppra rage, though!) But in the grand scheme, it was a blessing—a relief. While the dark circles under his eyes, lack of smiles and laughter (seriously, coaches and teachers called him “smiley” because he NEVER smiled due to the meds), was not what we had dreamed of for our son, the fact that he was not seizing at that time was a dream come true. Prayers answered.

This time of seizure reprieve allowed us to focus. We researched as much as we could on epilepsy. I joined forums. We were engaged with other parents in similar situations. This is where we learned about the benefits of cannabis for epilepsy.


Our CBD Oil Story


I remember late-night conversations with Bill. If available, would we give Colten cannabis? We struggled with the stigma. (Please keep this in mind. We were very “green” (pun intended – haha) on the topic. During subsequent research, we would learn and soon educate others on the differences between the plant varieties. High CBD strains, i.e., hemp, is where it’s at… Hemp Helps. Read about the Kentucky Cannabis Company here.

Colten and hempThat was our message. Every time the topic came up, we met with Legislators and advocated for the legalization of hemp; we focused on the benefits seen/proven through CBD treatment. HEMP treatment. Testimonials from parents across the country shouting about the positive effects of CBD treatment, not only for epilepsy but for various other conditions, can be easily found. It wasn’t easy for us to continue to give Colten medication that dimmed his personality that made it difficult for him to participate in activities with his friends. All the while knowing full well there was something else out there. Something that other parents had the opportunity to give their children that we couldn’t.

We were hopeful when reading their success stories but felt helpless daily because it wasn’t available in Kentucky. We wouldn’t/diddododon’t give up.

Eventually (years later), in 2013-2014,  it was like a Perfect Storm. Passionate Parents are hoping to improve their son’s quality of life + a State historically known for hemp cultivation is looking to grow again, + Kentucky Legislators are fighting for the deregulation of a harmless, therapeutic, industry-building plant. Times were changing in Kentucky and for Colten. Thankfully so.

Now, we are cultivating and producing high-quality CBD oil, not only for Colten, who is still seizure, pharmaceutical, and side-effect free but also for many others that need the relief that CBD oil can provide.  Today we know that CBD is safe for kids.  The first full spectrum consistently dosed CBD oil, our Genesis Blend CBD Oil.

You can read more about our company and company industry firsts.

Polyniak family