Updated: Dec 16, 2022
Cannabis has been used as a therapeutic herb since ancient times. However, strict regulations imposed between 1930 and the early 70s, including its classification as a Schedule 1 drug, limited its use.
Fortunately, in recent times, people have begun to embrace the plant after research established there is more to the plant than meets the eye. The laws have also begun to favor the plant, looking at the 2018 Farm Bill and the latest bill passed to decriminalize marijuana.
When people hear about cannabis, getting ‘high’ crosses their minds almost instantly. But did you know that the plant contains some medicinal properties that help millions of people around the world?
The cannabis plant comes in two varieties; hemp and marijuana. These plants contain over a hundred cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and essential oils. These compounds have numerous therapeutic potential. Cannabis has strong anxiolytic, antiemetic, anti-inflammatory, ant-depressant, and analgesic properties that largely contribute to the management and treatment of a myriad of conditions.
Apart from adults, children have been known to benefit from cannabis treatment for various ailments. Kids are sensitive in every sense of the world, and that’s why many parents take caution before introducing something new to their kids, especially medicine.
Cannabis is natural, effective, and safe for consumption. The World Health Organization has described CBD, the highly therapeutic compound, as safe and well-tolerated. It has minimal side effects and possesses no potential for abuse or dependence.
Below, we look at how cannabis is helping sick children suffering from various conditions:
“Have you ever heard of Charlotte Figi?” She was diagnosed with intractable epilepsy (Dravet’s syndrome) at a tender age, and no treatment seemed to work for her. Figi used to suffer more than 300 epileptic-related seizures weekly until her parents decided to try out cannabis as an alternative form of treatment.
Figi experienced a notable improvement in her condition, with the seizures reducing to less than three a month. CNN highlighted this remarkable improvement, thus providing hope for parents with kids suffering from the same condition. The CBD medication used to treat Figi was later renamed ‘Charlotte’s Web.’
Consequently, the FDA approved using a CBD-based medicine made from a Cannabis Sativa strain known as epidiolex. It is used to treat Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, two severe rare forms of epilepsy. Epidiolex was subjected to three randomized drug trials before it was approved. The studies were placebo-controlled and double-blind and included 516 participants with either of the two intractable forms of epilepsy.
Epidiolex proved to be effective in reducing the frequency of seizures. Other studies conducted have made similar observations and conclusions. Currently, many children who have either Dravet’s Syndrome or Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome are under epidiolex, which has significantly improved their quality of life. You’ll be posting loads of engaging content, so be sure to keep your blog organized with Categories that also allow visitors to explore more of what interests them.
Autism Spectrum Disorder
ASD is a condition that inhibits a child’s development and is characterized by speech impairment, repetitive behaviors, social interaction challenges, and inability to understand or relay non-verbal cues. Past studies indicate that medical cannabis and CBD have displayed the ability to improve the symptoms associated with ASD.
A study published in 2019 looked into the effectiveness of high CBD and low THC treatment regime on 188 children with ASD. The researchers administered 30% CBD and 1.5% THC sublingually, thrice daily. A majority of the children experienced an improvement in rage attacks, seizures, and restlessness after a month. These symptoms continued to reduce over a period of 6 months.
Several human and animal studies have shown that CBD can help in alleviating anxiety. The studies were primarily centered on adults, and they showed that CBD could treat the following forms of anxiety:
Social anxiety disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
Attention Deficiency Hyperactivity Disorder
There is a scarcity of studies looking into the therapeutic benefits of cannabis in relation to ADHD. However, anecdotal evidence from parents indicates a reduction of symptoms after administering CBD.
Cannabis, specifically CBD oil, has proven to be an effective treatment for epileptic seizures in children with Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet’s syndrome. It also shows promise in the treatment of anxiety, ADHD, and autism. As a parent or guardian, we all want the best for our children. Considering that the CBD industry is unregulated, ensure that you only buy from reputable and authentic companies. Look for 3rd party test results and online reviews. This ensures that what you give your children is safe.
Also, given the limited research into the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, it is prudent to consult your pediatrician before starting on any alternative form of treatment for your kids. The doctors are best placed to give professional advice on whether the child should be given the cannabis and how much should be administered. Further research is required to definitively conclude the range of conditions that cannabis can treat in children.