The Use of Cannabis Oil for Children With Special Needs
Despite the fact that medical marijuana is now completely legal in the state of Colorado, Washington DC and Oregon the idea of giving it to a child with special needs still gives some parents great pause. Marijuana carries the stigma of a drug that is used for recreational use to create a “high.”
Something many feel is not appropriate for young children with any medical need. Yet, desperate parents who have tried all else with little to no success are ready to try what many feel is their last hope for a “cure” for their child. Parents with children suffering from debilitating seizures, cerebral palsy and other neuromuscular disorders are holding out for great promise in cannabis oil which is either orally ingested or inserted through a gastrointestinal tube (G-tube).
Medical experts warn that the effects of the drug on the development of young children is unknown, which is often true of many other types of medications. Critics of those in opposition to supporting wide spread use of cannabis oil in young children often have the belief that it can be addictive and highly habit forming. The U.S. Federal Drug Administration approved two separate trials of a new pharmaceutical drug using cannabis oil called Epidiolex, which consists of 98 percent cannabidiol, an nonpsychoactive compound, and 2 perecent consists of other traces of cannabinoids. The clinical trial commenced in 2014.
Geoffrey Guy, MD, chairman of GW Pharmaceuticals asserts, cannabidiol is more than just an anti-seizure agent. “It’s anti-inflammatory, neuro-modulatory, and has been shown in animals to counter neonatal hypoxic ischemia [oxygen starvation during delivery] —an important problem you see after seizures in these children.” Although cooling of an infant’s brain within hours after delivery is said to reduce the chances of a child suffering a catastrophic brain injury as a result of Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE), many parents aren’t so sure. Some feel that brain cooling did not significantly reduce the damage to their infant’s brain and are eager to have other types of medical opportunities at their disposal to try.
It’s reported that children affected with Dravet Syndrome, otherwise known as Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy (SMEI), and those diagnosed with Infantile Spams, also known as West Syndrome, can also benefit from the use of cannabis oil. Parents of special needs children are reporting they have exhausted all other efforts and have found little to no success with currently available drugs. Desperate to give their children relief, they may hope to give cannabis oil a try.
Parents in legal states are most interested in high CBD strains like Charlotte’s Web, AC/DC, and Harlequin marijuana strains that have gained popularity as a good option for treating seizures as well as a range of other medical conditions. These strains are effective with little to no psychoactive effects (buzz-free), which parents feel overall is a good fit for their child to have a better quality of daily living. Many that oppose the the use of cannabis oil in children may not realize these strains are high in CBD cannabidiol (CBD) and low in, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that most associate with recreational users who get high.
Special needs parents are growing so passionate about this potential cure that they are lobbying in other states to make high CBD starins legal. Many families are desperate for help now and plan to move to legal states knowing it may be their only chance. Epilpesy can be debilitating for many children and carries the risk of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilpesy (SUDEP). Parents of children with epilepsy disorders feel that time is of the essence.
Whether a parent supports or opposes the use of cannabis oil for young children with special needs, it is clear that treatment providers are holding great promise in the potential that cannabis oil could have a positive effect on so many precious lives. There’s no doubt about it, many parents of children with special needs are prepared to move mountains for this life-changing opportunity, while others are cautiously optimistic and remain on the fence with trying it at this time.
Would you consider medical marijuana for your child with special needs or a medical measure in the event of a traumatic birth?