• Wed, Jul 10 - 1:54 pm ET

Giving Sick Kids Weed May Be Just What The Doctor Ordered

Kush DoctorThough I have never been a fan of the big cheeba cheeba myself (the few times I did it in college made me feel positively craptastic), I do think it should be legalized. Not only is it harmless when used for recreation, but it seems to have medical value that scientists are just now starting to truly understand. The big question that has been coming up lately, however, is whether giving sick kids the ole’ Fatty Boombalaty is a good idea.

Using marijuana as a medical treatment for adults isn’t exactly new. Wacky tobacky use for medical purposes is legal in 18 states (plus Washington D.C.). A handful of these states allow prescriptions for kids, under parental supervision, for a variety of reasons including epilepsy, cancer and autism.

This has many parents feeling leery, and some experts agree. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there hasn’t been enough research done on children in particular and we may not fully understand the ramifications. Of course, the same can be said about Ritalin. I’m not knocking Ritalin, mind you. My point is that there isn’t the puritanical morality factor in play with other drugs, even ones we know less about than good old hippie lettuce.

NBC reports that medical marijuana was used on 10-year-old Zaki Jackson after almost a decade of as many as 250 seizures a day. According to his mom Heather, he would stop breathing completely and not take another breath until the seizure was over. Over the years his doctors tried 17 medication, before attempting weed. The result was immediate, from what his mom says:

“I probably stared at him for a good three hours after his first dose and then I fell asleep. I didn’t feel any seizures after his first dose.”

It’s been more than eight months since Zaki had his last seizure. Regardless of your opinion on recreational skizzunk, those results are amazing.

One fact that makes parents feel kinda icky is the thought of getting their kids high. But what most people don’t understand is that many strains of Mary Jane that are used for medical reasons have been bred to have lower levels of TCH and higher levels of cannabidiol (CBD) — which make them non-psychoactive. (In layman’s terms, this means it won’t make you crave Twinkies and Cheech and Chong movies). What it will do is treat nausea, pain and seizures.

According to  Dr. Margaret Gedde of the Clinicians’ Institute for Cannabis Medicine, clinical trials are important, but “medicine existed before the Food and Drug Administration.” While there are obviously still some questions about what impact the herb may have on growing brains, Gedde went on to say:

“This is a substance that’s been used for thousands of years and it has a known safety profile and there’s a long history of women using it in pregnancy. If there was some terrible  defect that came up in children exposed in utero, we’d know about it by now.”

No one is trying to shove a log-o-the-hoobastank in our kid’s face in the name of medicine. But there seems to be serious science behind the use of medical marijuana, along with serious benefits.

(Photo:  hey it’s anika)

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  • SusannahJoy

    The only thing I disagree with is that statement about how medicine existed before the FDA. I mean, yeah, it did, but people were also killed by “medicine” that turned out to just be “poison,” which is why the FDA is around now. One would assume though, that if marijuana had a lot of severe side effects those would have been found out by now. If my son had cancer, I’d be ok with giving it to him.

    • Rachel Sea

      People are still killed by medicine that turns out to be poison. Google drug recalls, and you’ll get pages and pages of drugs that weren’t studied rigorously before the FDA gave them the okay, and then a bunch of people died as a result.

    • SusannahJoy

      Well yeah, i didnt say it was perfect, but it has improved. No more “What? All that mercury didn’t make you feel better? Maybe you just have too much blood, let’s remove some!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/RetiredSceneQueen Emmali Lucia

    There was a story a few months ago about a young child (Maybe 7 or 8) who had awful cancer and she would take the oil, most pediatric medicinal users take the oil, because smoking is bad for you. But anyways, with the oil she was able to eat and keep things down and without it she almost starved to death because she was so nauseous

    • Blueathena623

      Well, that answered my question. I was wondering if the kid lit up or ate brownies or whatever.

  • AStewart

    I am a firm believer in that synthetic drugs aren’t always the be all and end all (aspirin is naturally derived from goat willow), and also that there are way “softer” strains of pot – you hear old hippies saying all the time that the stuff on the street now (which CAN messpeople up) is way stronger than whay they smoked. I imagine medicinal marijuana is more along those lines. So if it works and has a minimum risk of harm, why not? It’s also good to know they can take it in forms other than smoking.

    But let’s be honest, I mainly loved this article for the various weed synonyms.

  • rebecca eckler

    Actually, I recently wrote an article for a magazine about ganja yoga. The woman who runs it had a teenager, who had awful arthritis and was told she would probably be in a wheelchair. Teacher gave daughter weed and now daughter has no issues and no pain. Not sure, either, tho, how she gave it to her. Imagine a bit in a cookie or something.

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