Medical Marijuana for Kids: Pros and Cons

Medical Marijuana for Kids: Pros and Cons

Although medical marijuana is legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia, there are only a few states where medical weed is allowed for kids. The question of whether medical cannabis should be legalized for children and adolescents or not remains open. AllWeedNews summarized the available data about medical marijuana for kids so that it would be easier for you to make your own conclusions.

Medical cannabis prescription

What is medical marijuana for kids?

Medical cannabis is believed to be helpful for the people with severe diseases, including cancer, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and glaucoma. Although there is not enough hard evidence on marijuana’s effectiveness in these cases, we know quite a few stories of people, both adults and children, who found relief in medical cannabis.

But if an adult person can take the risk deliberately, kids cannot make that decision for themselves. Which is why while the parents of the kids who found medical marijuana to be helpful demand its legalization, the lawmakers and medical professionals claim that the nation needs more studies on medical cannabis pros and cons.

Both scientists and parents, however, insist on separating cannabidiol (CBD) from marijuana. Cannabidiol is a chemical that was recently found in marijuana. In contrast to TCH, which is psychoactive and affects the human brain, CBD affects only the body without causing euphoria or getting you high.

One of the most common forms of CBD on the medical marijuana market is CBD oil. So, when we speak of giving medical marijuana to kids, usually it means giving them non-psychoactive CBD oil, not giving them a joint. That kind of medical hemp oil is based on special strains with less than 0.3 percent of THC, like the Charlotte’s Web strain. It allows the providers to produce a product containing as much as 98-99 percent of CBD. There is even a bill introduced in House that offers to reclassify cannabidiol and cannabidiol-rich plants so as to exclude it “from the definition of ‘marijuana.’”

Medical marijuana prescription

Medical cannabis for kids with chronic illnesses

If you keep a finger on the pulse of the marijuana legalization process, you may know that medical hemp is believed to be an effective treatment for kids with cancer, epilepsy, and autism. Depending on the child’s state, medical cannabis may help them get rid of nausea, chronic pain, seizures, lack of appetite, etc.

Cancer

Children with cancer usually suffer from nausea, pain, vomiting, and having no appetite because of the chemotherapy. Medical cannabis may reduce these symptoms or, in some cases, help the little patients to get rid of them at all.

Little Dahlia Barnhart from Tampa, Florida, is a striking example of how medical marijuana may save a child’s life. When she was two, Dahlia was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. After surgery, the girl was not able to walk, eat or even talk.

Since the other drugs, including experimental medication, were not helping Dahlia, her mother Moriah Barnhart decided to try whole-plant extract marijuana oil. She noticed the first improvements of Dahlia’s condition on the next day.

All forms of marijuana are illegal in Florida, so instead of moving to one of the states with the legal herb, Moriah Barnhart started to fight for marijuana legalization in her home state. The woman founded CannaMoms. The organization helps other parents to get more info on medical weed, raises money for research and works with the lawmakers, demanding marijuana reclassification from Schedule I to Schedule II drug.

Epilepsy

Charlotte Figi has a very rare condition—Dravet Syndrome. In contrast with other kids diagnosed with epilepsy, Charlotte has a treatment-resistant form of the disease, so the standard treatment simply does not work.

The first months of Charlotte’s illness were accompanied by multiple seizures. Sometimes, she had as much as 300 seizures per week. After her parents started to give her hemp oil with a high level of CBD, the frequency of Charlotte’s seizures decreased to 2 per month, her mother said to National Journal.

The girl’s name was given to a CBD-rich extract called Charlotte’s Web. This strain has less than 0.3 percent of THC and over 98 percent of CBD.

Autism/ADHD

Medical cannabis may also help kids diagnosed with autism or ADHD. A little boy from Texas, Lance Michelle suffers from autism. When his mother Thalia started giving him hemp oil, his state obviously improved.

With another parent from her support group for the autistic kids’ parents, Amy Fawell, Thalia founded a Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism (MAMMA) organization. The main goal of the organization is to make medical cannabis legal for the kids on the autistic spectrum. For now, CBD treatment is allowed in Texas only for children with intractable epilepsy.

Marijuana hash, seeds and oils

Hemp oil for kids: what is the cost?

Despite these stories of success, parents of the kids with chronic illnesses need to understand that medical hemp is neither a cure nor a miracle supplement that makes the disease go away. The hemp oil is not a miracle cure that helps everyone; once you stop using it, all the symptoms are usually back again. At least, that is how it was with Dahlia Barnhart and her brain tumor.

Moreover, despite seeing real-life evidence of medical cannabis effectiveness, we have no data on its long-term consequences. According to Dr. Scott Hadland, medical marijuana harms your health in several ways. The most common side effects include intractable vomiting syndrome, decrease in IQ and irreversible changes to the structure of the brain.

Since marijuana is a Schedule I drug, it cannot be an object of any federal study or research. This is the main reason the American Academy of Pediatrics opposes medical cannabis use in children as a regular treatment. According to the AAP, medical weed may be allowed only in cases when all other treatments are unsuccessful, and when it is a life and death question.

Meanwhile, if marijuana becomes a Schedule II drug, the largest institutions in the country will get an option to conduct fundamental medical cannabis studies at the federal level. And this means that we will finally get more hard evidence on whether or nor medical cannabis is a real medication.

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