CBD and Children
We’ve looked at the use of Cannabis in relation to children’s health in the past, but we’ll continue with that in this blog post. This time also some experience stories about this health condition. Here will be our previous articles:
CBD is the abbreviated term for cannabidiol, a substance derived from the Cannabis plant. It can be bought in many forms, from oils, tinctures to chewing gum and patches. It has become very popular in reducing the symptoms of several diseases, including those in children.
Parents sometimes use commercially produced CBD to treat some of the milder children’s health conditions, such as anxiety and hyperactivity. For more serious diagnoses, doctors already prescribe specific doses of CBD and THC ratios to try to reduce certain health problems.
Those who are parents know that our love as parents for our child can bring down mountains, especially if the child is seriously ill and conventional medicine is not effective. In many cases, and all over the world, it is often a violation of the law to obtain much-needed medicines that are banned in most parts of the world. This much-needed remedy is Cannabis, especially for children with life-threatening diseases such as epilepsy, it seems to be effective. But is Cannabis safe for children?
This disease, which affects children and a huge number of parents around the world, has been one of the main drivers for making Cannabis legally available to children with the disease. For almost 60 years, Cannabis has been on the list that it has no therapeutic effect and that it can even be abused. This classification and inclusion on this list has stifled many studies, hindering changes in legislation around the world. Also, with the fact that there are several significant cases where children with epilepsy have not dropped their classics without the help of classic medicines, and only thanks to Cannabis, have seizures been reduced, governments have finally been forced to rethink their position.
We all already know the story of Charlotte Figi, who under the age of five had a rare type of epilepsy called Dravet’s syndrome, which caused her to experience about 300 seizures a week. When doctors lacked a solution, her parents decided to try Cannabis by choosing a strain with high CBD. Charlotte’s attacks were stopped and she was named after a Cannabis strain (Charlotte’s Web), and she became the unofficial star of CNN’s documentary Weed.
In Ireland, Ava Barry, who also suffers from Dravet’s syndrome, has become the harbinger of her national campaign to legalize medical Cannabis. CBD oil reduced her seizures by 80%. Ava’s parents also saw a significant improvement in her daughter’s general well-being and cognition, a story that led many other parents to use CBD to treat epilepsy. “Her posture straightened,” says Mom Vera. “She was able to keep eye contact, and the next thing, as the family joked, Ava giggled just like the other children. She had never laughed like that before. “
Considering that Ava’s condition would be further improved if a small amount of THC, which was illegal in her native Ireland, was added to her CBD oil, the whole family moved to the Netherlands for treatment there.
Meanwhile, the story of 12-year-old Billy Caldwell, a Northern Irish boy, is as follows. Billy, also with severe uncontrolled epilepsy, was diagnosed with a combination of CBD and THC at a pediatric neurologist in Canada. Upon entering the UK, Billy’s medicine was confiscated. Following a concerted media campaign and public outrage, the government reclassified Cannabis as a List 2 drug, launching a major legalization of medical Cannabis across the UK.
These pediatric stories also provided additional impetus to studies conducted using CBD to treat drug-resistant, rare forms of pediatric epilepsy, creating the recently approved CBD-containing drug Epidiolex, developed by GW Pharmaceuticals.
These positive results reflect the findings of a retrospective study describing the experience of five Israeli pediatric epilepsy clinics in the treatment of seizures in children with CBD-enriched medicinal Cannabis oil. Overall, CBD resulted in a reduction in seizure frequency in 89% of cases, as well as ‘improved behavior and alertness, language, communication, motor skills and sleep’.
Parents’ endurance and determination to find alternatives to their child’s health when traditional medicine doesn’t really help is no longer limited to epilepsy alone. The use of medical Cannabis in children with autism spectrum disorders (AST) has attracted considerable public interest in recent years.
In the United States, Mieko Hester-Perez started giving medical Cannabis to his nine-year-old son, Joey, who is severely ill with autism, to help improve his appetite after he was rapidly losing weight. Not only did the high THC strain help him regain weight, but he also changed his behavior.
“When you’re the parent of a child with autism, you have a simple goal, and one of my goals was just to see my son smile,” says Mieko. “Joey started interacting with other people. He doesn’t speak, but he now has a funny personality, something we haven’t seen before. ”
The experience of Israeli mother Abigail Dara with her severely autistic and non-verbal son Yuval echoes Mieko. Despite being prescribed antipsychotic medication, Yuvalam was violent not only against his family members but also against himself. When he started taking medical Cannabis, it all changed.
“It was like a miracle,” says Abigail. My son became a calm, more focused person with a smile on his face. And during the year, he didn’t show any self-harming behaviors or outbursts, which was a miracle to me and him. It changed our lives. “
In fact, Israel is at the forefront of research into the medical use of Cannabis in children with autism, and two studies were published last year. The first of Raphael Mechoulam’s laboratory to use CBD-rich oil showed a significant or moderate improvement in AST symptoms in 85% of subjects. Just a few months later, Dr. Adi Aran published her findings after 60 children with AST who were given CBD-rich Cannabis. Significant improvement in behavioral problems was observed in 61%, as well as a reduction in anxiety by 39% and communication difficulties in 47%.
However, it should be noted that pediatric AST researchers often rely on parental observations because many children are non-verbal and unable to express how they feel.
Probably one of the biggest nightmares a parent can experience is that a child is diagnosed with a tumor. For children, they are usually not only more aggressive, but parents experience heartbreaking experiences as their child suffers from the side effects of anticancer medications, such as chemicals. Exactly one of the first studies examining the therapeutic use of Cannabis in children was as a potential antiemetic for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.
CBD oil research in Israel was conducted in 1994 by Raphael Mechoulam, a pioneer of Israeli cannabinoid research. Tablets containing 18 mg of THC were given to children two hours before chemotherapy. Not only was vomiting completely eliminated, but the side effects were minor. However, the fact that THC has intoxicating effects in humans means that its administration to children is taboo, which most doctors are not prepared to question, and no further studies have been performed.
In fact, the use of THC in children with a variety of serious health conditions remains a controversial topic for pediatricians, despite their desire to prescribe other prescription drugs, such as opioids, which even have very serious side effects. So why not be a Cannabis with a safe profile and minimal side effects ?!
The use of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD as anticancer drugs has been an exciting area of research for the past 20 years. Despite the achievements in the laboratory, few clinical studies have been performed and none have been performed in children.
A large number of parents around the world have given Cannabis to their children just for their care and love, when all possible means are sought to improve the condition of their sick child in any way.
Wendy, a three-year-old Landon Riddle mother in Colorado, gave her son Cannabis oil, which contained both THC and CBD, when he was diagnosed with lymphocytic leukemia. She told CNN: “I think the chemistry in combination with Cannabis made him experience remission and now it will keep him healthy.”
His doctor agreed that Cannabis may have played a role in his response to treatment, saying: “When you look at children undergoing the same course of treatment and compare Landon with them, he seems to be doing better than expected.”
But in general, most oncologists or pediatricians are reluctant to treat children with Cannabis, citing a lack of evidence and sufficient knowledge of the plant’s safety profile.
Children’s cerebral palsy.
Cannabis has been associated with improving the symptoms of spasticity in adults with multiple sclerosis. As a result, researchers want to find out if the effects recur in other conditions where patients develop spasticity, such as cerebral palsy.
An Israeli experimental study in patients with cerebral palsy aged 1 to 17 years, in which different THC and CBD coefficients were administered, found a ‘significant improvement in spasticity and dystonia, sleep problems, pain severity’ and with very few side effects.
Haaretz, the mother of a two-year-old child who took part in the trial, said: “The difference was felt immediately and was reflected in his calm state compared to his previous unrest. There was also a significant improvement in sleep, resulting in improved sleep for all of us. His motor function also improved, but we don’t know if it was due to treatment or that he was just getting older.”
Brain damage in newborns.
If we believe that a taboo is enough for medical Cannabis in children, imagine the possible consequences of prescribing cannabinoids to newborns. But this is exactly what the current clinical study is doing in cases of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (damage to the brain caused by a lack of oxygen).
In combination with current therapy, hypothermia, by lowering the baby’s body temperature to 33-34 ° C within six hours of birth, the researchers hope that intravenous administration of pure CBD to infant deficient infants will replicate extremely positive preclinical results. In studies in newborn piglets, they found that the combination of CBD with hypothermia reduced brain damage by almost 100%.
We may have all heard of Oscar Parodi, who was born in Norfolk, Norwich University Hospital on 11 March 2020 with neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.
The child became the first to try the above therapy.
His mother, Chelsea Parodi, said: “After my son was born, I was approached to take part in this study and I first consulted with my mother and brother who was studying to be a medical worker. It was very difficult to make a decision, but I wanted to do my best to help my baby.
Oscar was in the hospital for nine days and was monitored around the clock. He’s doing fantastically well, and I’m really grateful to Dr. Clarke and his team for what they’ve done for us.” On June 23, Oscar’s mother announced that her son was feeling great.
Is Cannabis safe for children?
The most complete information on the safety of Cannabis in children is based on studies in children with Epidolex as an anticonvulsant in rare cases of epilepsy.
Thanks to these studies by GW Pharma, we know that CBD has a good safety profile in children. All reported side effects have been relatively minor and include somnolence, diarrhea and loss of appetite.
However, one area of concern is how CBD, the major compound in Epidiolex, may interact with some antiepileptic drugs. The researchers found that co-administration of CBD with clobazam, a common pediatric antiepileptic medicine, blocked the breakdown of clobazam by cytochrome P450 enzymes. This resulted in higher plasma levels of clobazam, potentially altering its therapeutic window and exacerbating adverse reactions.
It should also be remembered that Epidiolex is given in doses of 5 to 20 mg per kilogram body weight, which is much more than the total amount of Cannabis oil prescribed for children in Cannabis medical clinics. Only high doses of CBD are thought to interfere with the metabolism of some prescription drugs, but more research is needed.
THC, on the other hand, has its own range of side effects that need to be considered before taking the predominant THC Cannabis. It can affect memory, mood, changes in behavior, appetite and in a small number of cases can lead to addiction and, in very rare cases, psychosis. The medical community has warned about the use of THC in adolescence because it can adversely affect brain development.
Medical Cannabis doses for children.
Medical Cannabis is a personalized medicine. However, there are additional challenges when children are unable to fully articulate how Cannabis affects them.
Approved Cannabis-based medicines, such as Epidiolex, have a dosing regimen based on the results of clinical trials. Otherwise, doctors prescribing it in pediatric cases will use the same dosing method as adults.
California-based MD and Canna-Centers Wellness & Education Medical Director Bonni Goldstein shares her dosing protocols for a variety of children’s health conditions in this helpful presentation. However, if you are thinking of giving medical Cannabis to your child, you should consult directly with a doctor who has experience with Cannabis, as each child’s case is different.
Unfortunately, CBD oil has not been studied enough to be used safely in children. It has a beneficial effect on conditions such as epilepsy and autism.
CBD oil has been shown to be effective in treating seizures in children with certain rare types of epilepsy. But it is not officially FDA approved for any other child health condition.
Parents themselves have reported that CBD oil has improved their children’s health. However, always consider all aspects of children’s health.
When it comes to prescribing Cannabis to children, education in the medical profession lags behind that of the patient/parent. But as more and more studies appear on the effectiveness and safety profile of cannabinoids in children, doctors around the world may end up feeling a little safer prescribing Cannabis-based medicines, or in some cases other prescription medicines instead.
The information on the internet about CBD products and their use will be ambiguous, so we always recommend reading safe and reliable sources. We also use websites related to the Cannabis industry, research and education to prepare information.
The content of this site is for informational purposes only. We are not medical experts and this should not be interpreted as medical advice. Be sure to consult your doctor before undergoing CBD or other treatment.
The chemistry of every human body and brain is unique, so the use of CBD to improve mental as well as physical health does not guarantee results. However, many GWEEPRODUCTS CBD oil users have included it into their daily routine as one of the therapies for improving mental, physical health and quality of life.
References: cbdoilreview.org; ncbi.nlm.nih.gov; projectcbd.org