Adults have been using medical marijuana for ages. But is it safe for kids? Growing numbers of parents are giving their kids medical marijuana to treat symptoms like epilepsy, autism, cancer, and more. NBC recently profiled a family who gave their son marijuana after trying 17 other medications to treat his seizures. The marijuana worked. But that's just one instance. Do we know enough about marijuana's effects on kids to experiment with it?
The American Academy of Pediatrics clutches its stethoscope and says heavens, no! We need more clinical trials to make sure it's really safe for kids. The organization is especially concerned about marijuana's long-term effects on kids. Sure they're okay now, but THC can linger in the body for years. And we don't know what the impact marijuana can have on kids' growing brains.
But when it comes to medical marijuana, we're not even talking about the same stuff you (one?) use to party. Some growers are breeding a variety of marijuana with low levels of TCH and higher levels of cannabidiol, or CBD. You won't get high off of this pot. However, the CBD is very similar to a chemical produced in the brain called endocannabinoids that tell brain cells to calm down and can balance brain activity.
So we've got one side saying we need to learn more -- and we've got another side saying it's helping their kids a lot. I think we should look into the use of medical marijuana more closely. More clinical trials ... oh, but that would take money. Which means I guess we have to wait until pharmaceutical companies become interested in growing weed. Which -- can you imagine that ever happening? Maybe. I think there's so much growing interest, they probably should look into it.
Until then, people are going to keep experimenting. And I think the medical community needs to get ahead of this trend so they can provide guidance. I don't think telling desperate parents to "just say no" is going to work.
Do you think medical marijuana for kids is a good idea?
Image via NBC News