Marijuana health effects in adults have been studied for a long time now, but the use of cannabis in pediatrics is still a largely new territory. We have already discussed marijuana use in pediatrics and its influence on children’ brain in our articles Cannabis and Children: Marijuana in Pediatrics and Influence of Cannabis on Child's and Teen's Brain. In this article, we will highlight the list of pediatric conditions that can benefit from marijuana use.
Epilepsy is one of the diseases most frequently treated with cannabis. After several years of being almost completely neglected, CBD is now considered to be the most medically useful component of cannabis. When dealing with pediatric epilepsy, the plant's concentrates appear to be a viable alternative to the conventional medicine. When all usual drugs fail, cannabis can be a remedy to turn to.
A year ago, researchers from the New York’s Langone Medical Center conducted a trial that proved the effectiveness of marijuana derivatives in children with treatment-resistant epilepsy. During these 12 weeks, the researchers used Epidiolex (a medicine that is 99 percent pure CBD) to treat 162 patients. Two-thirds of the patients became completely free of seizures, and the rest reported reduced motor seizures. Another scientist who studies the effects of cannabis on children with epilepsy is Dr. Frances Jensen. According to her, a large group of children with Dravet syndrome responded positively to marijuana treatment.
Unfortunately, cancer is the most frequent cause of death among American children. Even the survivors suffer from a lot of damage caused by the disease’s treatment. While cannabis is usually used to help children manage the symptoms of chemotherapy, numerous researchers study the possibility of using cannabis to treat the disease itself. The first study to prove that marijuana derivatives can kill tumor cells in vitro was conducted by Italian researchers at the Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry in 2006.
However, doctors do not advise parents to abandon chemotherapy in exchange for a pure cannabis treatment—we are still far from developing successful cannabis-based therapies for pediatric cancers.
A few years ago, a study published in the journal Neuron covered the issue of the influence of cannabis compounds on mice with autism-related mutations. The researchers discovered that their subjects lacked in cannabinoid signaling. The endocannabinoid system regulates internal homeostasis and plays a great role in mood, cognition, and immune system functions.
Another study, published the same year in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders links endocannabinoid system to our immune system. According to the research, the dysfunctions in both systems are related. And a certain kind of disruptions in the functioning of our immune system contributes to certain forms of autism. New scientific data concerning our cannabinoid system has great therapeutic potential for treating autism spectrum disorders.
Ganglia necrosis is one of the diseases that can cause loss of motor skills. A few months ago, the media was shocked by the story of a teenage girl who could not completely control her body. After two years of unsuccessfully battling the disease, the girl was blessed with a new way of treatment that allowed her to live a normal life. Sativex, an oral marijuana-derived spray designed to treat muscles spasms associated with multiple sclerosis is responsible for this miracle.