MJWellness
Apr 19, 2017 12:05 PM

When Does Your Child Need Medical Marijuana?

Though marijuana is not typically considered as medicine for children, there is a significant number of anecdotal cases when the herb has helped kids manage their severe illnesses. So, when can medical marijuana save the life of your child?

Many parents are greatly surprised when pediatricians advise them to treat their child with medical marijuana, but the herb has proved to be effective in relieving severe pain and seizures.

Thus, some doctors even think that it is unethical that children are denied the right to treatment with medical marijuana just because of their age.

Although there is a great scientific interest in the herb, the long-term effects of marijuana are still understudied. The illegal status of the substance in most countries creates obstacles in its investigation, and researchers are not allowed to conduct sufficient clinical trials. However, there are three medical conditions in children that are successfully treated with medical marijuana.

1. Epilepsy

Epileptic seizures are one of the most common conditions treated with medical marijuana. Children with epilepsy can experience up to a hundred seizures each day. Fortunately, such marijuana compounds as cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabidivarin (CBDV) can significantly reduce the frequency and severity of seizures.

Parents of Ava Twomey understood that medical marijuana was the only possible medicine after their daughter had had a heart attack during one of her intractable epileptic seizures. Before taking CBD, the girl experienced up to 20 attacks per day, but marijuana helped her reduce the seizures by 80 percent.

GW Pharma has recently successfully tested its CBD-based medicine Epidiolex on children with two severe types of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome. The company is also going to carry out a CBDV study later this year.

Marijuana and Epilepsy: Another Cannabinoid May Be as Beneficial as CBD
Marijuana and Epilepsy: Another Cannabinoid May Be as Beneficial as CBD
Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds of the cannabis plant. Today, scientists know 113 types of cannabinoids. All of them have a broad range of properties and functions. Researchers are mostly focused on studying the two main cannabinoids—THC and CBD.

2. Cancer

Medical marijuana helps cancer patients cope with the side effects of chemotherapy. The healing properties of the herb allow reducing the vomiting and nausea and relieving chronic pain. A 1995 study conducted by Israeli researchers discovered that delta8-THC was an effective agent against nausea and pain in children diagnosed with leukemia.

Moreover, thanks to its powerful anti-cancer properties, marijuana can even bring cancer into remission, according to early scientific studies. These beneficial effects of the herb were also confirmed with numerous anecdotal cases. For instance, seven-year-old Landon Riddle managed to overcome leukemia, the cancer of the blood, after undergoing treatment with a highly concentrated cannabis oil.

The anti-cancer qualities of marijuana have also been confirmed by several animal studies carried out at the Complutense University of Madrid. Thus, Spanish scientists found that both THC and CBD could significantly reduce the development of melanoma, brain tumors, and breast cancer in animal models.

4 Ways Marijuana Affects Cancer Cells
4 Ways Marijuana Affects Cancer Cells
Though there is enough scientific evidence that marijuana can potentially affect cancer, it is still hard to believe it is possible. This article is aimed to explain to you how cannabinoids, marijuana's active compounds, can actually prevent cancer cells from growing or spreading, and even destroy them altogether.

3. Autism

Autism is a complex illness that causes many troubles both for the parents and suffering children. However, medical marijuana may be effective in reducing the symptoms of autism in children. Particularly, it helps kids behave less aggressively and become more communicative.

Autism is included into the qualifying list in several American states, but doctors recommend medical marijuana for autism only in very extreme cases.

Medical Marijuana Treatment for Autism: How Can Weed Help Autistic Kids?
Medical Marijuana Treatment for Autism: How Can Weed Help Autistic Kids?
According to CDC statistics published in 2014, about 1 in 68 kids in the U.S. have autism spectrum disorder (ASD). But a recent parent survey suggests that the number may be significantly higher than we thought before.

The advanced autism of Alex Echols was one of such cases. The disease led to the growth of lesions in the brain that caused seizures. After applying for the medical marijuana program in his home state of Oregon, the boy took a blend of high-CBD and high-THC oils. Thanks to this treatment, Alex managed to control his self-injurious behaviors.

Another case of successful treatment with marijuana is the story of Joey Hester-Perez. The boy consumed THC-infused edibles and became happier and more sociable than before.


Other Conditions

The healing properties of medical marijuana are impressive. Perhaps, future investigations in this field will allow considering the herb as an effective alternative to conventional medicines. Considering the anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-nausea properties of the substance, marijuana can be potentially effective for treating the following medical conditions:

What Pediatric Diseases Can Be Treated With Marijuana?
What Pediatric Diseases Can Be Treated With Marijuana?
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.
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