Medical marijuana and children: What you should know
For thousands of years, medical cannabis has been used to treat, heal and cure widespread illnesses and ailments. In fact, the year 2737 BC was when the plant was first referenced as a “healing drug.” Since this time, there has been a lot of speculation surrounding the topic of administering patients with weed.
Contrary to popular belief, cannabis doesn’t have to make a user feel “stoned” or “high” when it is consumed. Quite the opposite, actually. Many dispensaries like the Green Cross in San Francisco have a wide variety of marijuana products, and not all of them have to be smoked. In many medical situations, children and adults alike have found relief with CBD oil and cannabis extracts.
This might sound pretty controversial, considering the fact the plant has been heavily associated with the typical ‘stoners’ who enjoy the psychoactive effects produced by a cannabis compound called Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, there is another cannabis compound that, when extracted from the plant matter and administered to children (and adults) with medical problems can yield impressive results.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the name of that particular compound. Based on a report published by the New England Journal of Medicine, CBD proves effective at treating children with epilepsy-related seizures. Should you be on the fence about turning to cannabis as a medical treatment for your child, read on.
Why is medical cannabis beneficial for children?
Even the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is backing cannabis, stating how nobody has ever died after using the herb, whether it was by smoking, eating or applying the plant’s extracted cannabinoids directly to the skin. Addiction cannot be triggered by cannabis, unlike pharmaceutical drugs that some users may become dependent on over time. The pharmaceuticals we are talking about are usually part of the opioid group, which includes morphine, codeine and oxycodone (OxyContin®).
Do you really want to be giving your child a type of medication that could potentially result in a fatality? Instead, provide them with a natural, tried-and-tested medication, such as medical cannabis. It might sound bizarre, but when you learn about the children whose lives have been positively changed after using non-addictive cannabis treatments, we are sure you’ll consider the herb as an option.
Medical Cannabis Child Success Stories
Doctor’s around California and further afield are recommending cannabis as a treatment for children, many of whom suffer from neurological disorders. Let’s take a look at some success stories:
- Joey-Hester Perez – At just 16 months old, Joey Hester-Perez was diagnosed with a very serious type of autism. His mother, Mieko Hester-Perez, starting baking cannabis into batches of brownies and feeding them to Joey, whose symptoms began to disappear. Mieko has since been praised for her efforts at helping children with autism, scooping the Evelyn DuPont Award in 2012 and gaining a place on the Advisory Board for Acology Inc. in 2015.
- Silas Hurd – Formerly experiencing more than 500 seizures on a daily basis, 11-year-old Silas Hurd used to be cared for by his parents at home. Now, after being treated with CBD-rich cannabis, he enjoys a life of excitement. Silas’ father Forrest is a medical marijuana advocate and is pushing for more medical cannabis awareness.
- Charlotte Figi – You may have already heard about this young girl’s story. After all, Charlotte’s Web CBD Oil was named after her! Once upon a time, Charlotte Figi experienced 300 grand mal seizures weekly, until the Stanley brothers developed a high-CBD low-CBD extract that is now available at medical marijuana dispensaries everywhere.
- Alexis Bortell – This inspirational 12-year-old wants her story to be heard. She has even hit headlines for suing Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Her motive was a good one – to make sure children like her won’t have to worry about retribution from the federal government if they use medical-grade cannabis to treat epilepsy, just like she did. Alexis uses cannabis oil on a daily basis and has written a book titled “Let’s Talk About Medical Cannabis”.
What are the best methods of medical cannabis consumption for a child?
The most common option for parents who want to slowly integrate medical cannabis into their child’s life is tinctures. This cannabis product is a potent liquid extract that can be dropped beneath the tongue for quick absorption into the bloodstream and fast effects. Oils can also be flavored, making them popular among kids. Alternative choices include baking cannabis into edibles (or buying them from the Green Cross SF,) rectal suppositories and cannabis capsules. However, capsules may be difficult for young children to swallow.
Getting a Prescription for Medical Marijuana and Visiting a Dispensary
Prior to visiting a medical marijuana dispensary to procure some medical-grade pot products for your child, it is essential that you get a recommendation from your Doctor. A certificate of recommendation, along with a medical marijuana card, will be sufficient for a budtender to legally sell you cannabis products. Be prepared to present a valid form of identification to the budtender to prove that you are a state resident. Pay attention to the qualities of a good dispensary, such as proper cultivation and storing, reasonable pricing, varied selection, and good regulations/standards.