Is Medical Marijuana Right for Kids With Chronic Illness?

Friday, November 6, 2015

 “It is important to know that legalizing marijuana would not mean greater access to potentially effective treatment for children and adults with a medical illness such as epilepsy. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is not at all marijuana.”

CBD is not medical marijuana. CBD does not get anyone high nor does it increase appetite. It may be beneficial in treating children with rare forms of epilepsy, often difficult to control with medication or other available treatments, but it does not work for everyone with seizures.

“The stories of kids having fewer seizures described in the media are heartwarming and can possibly be of some benefit – just like many other medications available to treat seizures,” Dr. Patel adds.

What are the possible side effects?
CBD can cause nausea, diarrhea, or worse, affect the liver.

Dr. Patel states, “There is nothing natural about marijuana and its components. It is broken down in a person’s liver, similar to many other medications. It has interactions with other medications and is still not fully understood. If further studies show that CBD is safe and effective, it will be sent to the FDA for official approval. If the FDA approves this medication, it will be available in the form of a prescription and no laws will need to be changed.”

“Legalization would make our jobs as medical providers more difficult as we will not know what changing, non-tested preparations a child may be getting. I understand that parents are desperate and want to help their children, however, it is dangerous to give a child or patient a product unless it has been studied properly and is the same consistent product each time.” If the ongoing trials show that Epidiolex is safe and effective, then all people can have access to it through a prescription and know that it has been properly tested and is consistent each month. Medical providers will know how to dose it and it will be regulated by the FDA.