Sunday, 12 June 2016

Why Some Parents Give Their Children Weed
Parents of children with severe epilepsy are turning to medical marijuana in a desperate attempt to find relief—and a life—for their kids as the medical community grapples with the growing popularity of an unproven cure.

The idea of using cannabidiol (CBD) on kids went mainstream in 2013, after a documentary by Sanjay Gupta, a US neurosurgeon and medical reporter, featured the story of a six-year-old Colorado girl with Dravet syndrome who had experienced a dramatic decrease in seizures while on a daily CBD oil regimen.

High-CBD cannabis oil is used commonly, and with great anecdotal success, for kids with severe epilepsy, but there are also reports of parents using it to treat their children’s autism, ADHD and anxiety.

Although CBD has met with stiff criticism from many quarters, medical marijuana advocates are quick to explain that not all cannabis products are the same; and parents of kids with drug-resistant epilepsy choose CBD oil because it’s made from strains of the cannabis sativa plant that are bred to be both high in CBD and very low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical responsible for the stereotypical “stoner” high.

Meanwhile a study just published in The Lancet Neurology journal involving 214 patients aged one to 30 enrolled showed a median 36.5 percent decrease in the frequency of seizures over 12 weeks. The most common side effects included drowsiness, decreased appetite, diarrhea, fatigue and convulsions, while the most common “severe adverse event” was the six percent of patients who experienced prolonged or back-to-back seizures.

Good or bad?-- The stigma surrounding weed will take years to erase.

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