While cannabis was once an illegal drug to warn our children about, today many parents are using it to treat rare and common medical conditions. Global researchers are working hard trying to understand how medical marijuana for kids works and how it might fight our children´s diseases.
But with few U.S. studies and a lot of anecdotal evidence out there about the benefits of medicinal cannabis, pediatricians are still being cautious about prescribing it: Cannabis´ benefits are not yet established in the U.S. medical world, while its potential dangers are.
The Science Behind Medical Marijuana for Kids
For one, studies show how marijuana can cause long-term brain changes in kids. Due to this, pediatricians stay clear of cannabis for kids. “Keep in mind that normally, when we recommend a particular medication for a patient, that medication is carefully formulated by a pharmacy and is given in a specific dosage. Medical marijuana, where available, is sold at a dispensary in a tincture or plant form in which neither its contents nor concentrations are known. It is critical that we engage families in careful conversations about medical marijuana and its potential limitations,” advises Scott Hadland, a general pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital.
But what if all the legal red tape around cannabis were removed and we started to see how its benefits possibly outweigh the negatives for our children’s health issues? In the following 10 cases, parents made their own decision to pursue medical marijuana and saw positive results for their children.
Not one of these children experienced a feeling of being high since medical marijuana for children does not contain high levels of THC which is famously mind-altering.
1. It Reduced Convulsive Seizures in Children with Epilepsy
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine centered on children suffering from Dravet syndrome, a severe epilepsy that begins in infancy with drug-resistant seizures and a high mortality rate, found that 5 percent of subjects reported that seizures stopped after being treated with cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive form of cannabis.
2. It May Fight Autism Tantrums and Improves Speech
Researchers in Israel are studying the effects of cannabis oil on people with severe autism and early returns show “it may work miracles.” Many children have shown significant improvements, no longer hurt themselves or throw tantrums, and are more communicative. Others were able to return to classes after they had been suspended for behavioral problems, according to USA Today.
3. It Alleviated Chemo’s Side Effects for a Colorado Child (and May Even Help Fight Cancer)
After a high-profile news story ran in Newsweek about a boy with leukemia whose mother fought to help pass a state law in Colorado that allows children like him with chronic illnesses to take cannabis, it’s now legal at home and at school in this particular state. The combination of CBD oil and THC seemed to help Landon deal with the side effects of chemotherapy and, based on limited existing lab research, made it more likely that the cannabis could kill the cancer as well.
4. It Dramatically Decreased a Young Girl’s Seizures
Thanks to Colorado doctor Alan Shackelford, whose patient Charlotte Figi experienced a dramatic decrease in her severe epileptic seizures after being treated with a medical cannabis dubbed “Charlotte’s Web,” he triggered a wave of American interest in the medical potential of marijuana, according to the Washington Post.
5. THCA Oil Immediately Relieved Baby’s Pain
To help relieve his daughter Madelynn’s pain and curb her seizures, a father found that THCA oil, which is made from another part of the marijuana plant known to help with epilepsy patients, and isn’t yet legal in Texas, immediately relieved Madelynn’s pain in Colorado where it is legal. “The seizures will slowly kill her,” Garza told The Texas Tribune. “So if this medicine helps her, you’re doing it to try to save her life.”
6. Medical Marijuana for Kids was Especially Helpful in Treating Cerebral Palsy
Medical marijuana significantly improved the condition of children suffering from cerebral palsy, a study by Wolfson Medical Center near Tel Aviv found. And according to Cerebral Palsy Guidance in the U.S., findings from previous studies suggest that it offers a host of benefits, including pain control, reduction of spastic movements, seizures reduction, and more.
7. It’s Suspected to Have Cured a Boy from Cancer
It seems the cannabis compounds CBD and THC do have an anti-cancer effect. As per The Independent, when a London mom thought her 14-year-old Deryn was dying of cancer, she bought cannabis weed for her son and he miraculously survived the disease. He had undergone multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy following his diagnosis at the age of 10, and today Deryn, is studying catering and has a part-time job.
8. A Teen with Brain Disease in New Zealand Feels Radical Improvement
After four years of not speaking, 13-year-old Grace Yeats woke up from surgery and spoke. Diagnosed with the rare brain disease basal ganglia necrosis, where she was unable to talk, walk or sit, it is believed Grace’s breakthrough could be attributed to “the effects of the $1,100 a month medicinal cannabis Grace had been using for the past few months.”
9. It Fights Teen Acne
Smearing cannabis cream on your face may help prevent acne, according to Australian company Botanix. Its findings suggest that due to the combined lipostatic, antiproliferative and anti-inflammatory effects, CBD has potential as a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of acne vulgaris. The only side effect of CBD oil for children thus far is dry skin, not any psychoactive effects.
10. It Relieved the Aches of a South African Child with Costello Syndrome
“Because of the cannabis oil, I’ve got a new child,” one South African mom told News 24 in Johannesburg. She gave it to her seven year son with Costello syndrome which causes delayed physical and mental development, and left him prone to restlessness and joint pain. “A month after he first started taking it (the cannabis oil) he played on his own and didn’t need his mummy.”
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