(WJBF) —  A medical cannabis dispensary could be on the way to Augusta. Further discussion on the issue will happen once Botanical Sciences puts in an application with the Planning Commission. As conversations about cannabis continue, one doctor shares her journey of hope, resilience, and groundbreaking medical breakthroughs.

Dr. Annabell Manalo-Mogan, a cell and developmental biologist and a mother, wrote Mighty Flower: How Cannabis Saved My Son. She spoke with weekend Good Morning Augusta anchor Shawn Cabbagestalk.

“He had a stroke at birth, and he immediately started having anywhere from 200 to 500 seizures per day,” Dr. Annabelle Manalo-Morgan told Shawn about her son.

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For her, the journey to healing began with a miracle, but not the kind you’d expect. It started with the birth of her son, Macario. “We spent the first five weeks of his life in ICU and, shortly after that, at five weeks old, he had 38% of his left brain removed. So he is basically missing almost all of his left brain,” she shared.

That was threatening to rob him of a normal life. His mother, a scientist, and trailblazer in cannabis medicine, refused to give up. “The outcome didn’t look very good as far as developmentally. However, you know, we took him home, and he was eating out of a tube, and he was growing. However, he was not developing,” she recalled.

When her son struggled, she created her solution. Macario’s heavy medication regimen, replaced with his mom’s creation, given through a feeding tube. The results — nothing short of remarkable. “I quickly started seeing him immediately flourish. Not having his left side of the brain, you would expect his right side to be developmentally challenged. He was supposed to be paralyzed on the right side,” Dr. Annabelle Manalo-Morgan shared.

Her pioneering work challenges long-held beliefs about cannabis and its medicinal powers. “I started in neuroscience, so I knew a little bit about these compounds, and I knew about the possibilities. And I knew it was natural. I knew exactly what I was doing. There was no toxicity that I had to worry about. So, I gave it a shot. I felt like I had nothing to lose at that point.”

Misconceptions and misuse hamper medical marijuana acceptance. Commercial CBD oils are often far from pure and filled with hype.  “That divide is bigger than cannabis, it’s about taking these ancient medicines and utilizing modern technology and bringing them together cuz that’s what’s going to be the most useful for the individual patients.”

In her book Mighty Flower, Dr. Annabelle aims to unlock the full potential of cannabis in healing. Integrating ancient healing traditions into science is her goal. “It’s education, and it’s honestly the ability to do science. So I think the biggest thing that legalization stops us from being able to do is, is to get studies and to fund these studies and to get traditional scientists like me to get in the lab and actually do that work. And that will really bring out the truth about cannabis.”

Macario is seven. She told Shawn that he uses both the left and right sides. He’s no different than any other first grader in his class. Reads, writes, talks, and jumps around.

You can get Mighty Flower: How Cannabis Saved My Son wherever books are sold.