Is Medicinal Cannabis The Last Hope For Sick Kids?
For me, “Charlotte’s Web” stirs up sweet childhood memories about a friendship between a spider and a pig. But for parents of kids who are running out of medical options to save their children, it’s a wonder drug.
Charlotte’s Web is the nickname for a strain of medical cannabis that is low in THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that gives users a “high,” and high in cannabinoids, or CBD. This ingredient that has been studied and is showing amazing results as a natural treatment for seizures with minimal side effects.
What Would You Do If It Were Your Child?
Cannabis for kids? I know it’s a touchy subject. And I know there are lots of opinions about it – in medical circles, in the blogosphere, and in congress.
But each day I learn more about the children with epilepsy, cancer, and other life-threatening conditions that have not responded to traditional medicine, I am increasingly hopeful about the potential of medical cannabis. Is it safe for young, developing brains? Will legalizing it encourage recreational use among teenagers?
If it were your child who was desperately ill and you’ve tried all of the traditional roads with no success, would you consider medical cannabis for him or her?
Along with epilepsy, medicinal cannabis is also being used to treat patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, muscle spasms, severe pain, and nausea.
When Pharmaceuticals Fail
Today, 25 states and the District of Columbia have laws legalizing marijuana in some form. With so many people affected by chronic, life-threatening conditions and disappointed when traditional pharmaceuticals fail them, it’s a subject that is gathering interest from plenty of people – especially parents of kids with life-threatening conditions.
Charlotte’s parents learned she has Dravet Syndrome, a rare, severe form of epilepsy that can’t be controlled by medications. Prior to the diagnosis, Charlotte’s mother, Paige, had consistently voted against marijuana use.
But that was before the issue became personal.
Charlotte Figi (pictured above) was only 3 months old when she had her first seizure – one that lasted a full 30 minutes. At her worst point, was suffering 300 grand mal seizures a week, along with heart failure. She was also in a wheelchair and had lost most of her ability to speak when her parents, desperate, got doctors to recommend for her a type of cannabis that is now nicknamed “Charlotte’s Web,” after this beautiful little girl.
For Charlotte and her family, the results of medical cannabis were nothing short of a miracle. After receiving a small dose of oil extracted from a strain of cannabis called R4, her seizures stopped for a full 7 days. And after continued use, her seizures became more and more infrequent – now just 2-3 episodes a month, compared to the 300 per week she was experiencing previously. Today, thanks to medical cannabis use, Charlotte can speak, walk, and eat again.
And Charlotte’s family isn’t alone. I’ve been touched by so many stories of teens and children whose lives have been saved by medicinal cannabis stories. Kids whose parents are speaking out about the positive impact that medicinal cannabis has had on their lives.
Do We Want To Help Children with Medicinal Cannabis?
What Would You Do?
So, my question to you, friends: Where do you stand on this issue? If your child had a life-threatening illness, would you consider medical cannabis as a possible treatment?
Do you have friends or family members of children who pursued a physician’s recommendation for medicinal cannabis to treat their condition? I’d love to hear your stories, and I promise to follow-up and (with their permission, of course) share them with you. Please tell me your thoughts and experiences with medicinal cannabis here in the comments.
Can children benefit from medical marijuana? Some individuals and groups think so. Moms for Medical Marijuana and Realm of Caring are advocating for legalization of its use with children. Medical organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) oppose the legalization of cannabis, but support rigorous scientific research of the use of marijuana for the relief of symptoms that aren’t effectively treated by pharmaceutical medications.