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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: