Can cannabis help treat childhood illnesses? Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com
For thousands of years, humans have used cannabis to heal both the body and mind in various cultures. Slowly, as the use of medical-grade cannabis becomes legalized, the stigma attached to this healing plant is starting to diminish. The cannabis plant, which contains hundreds of compounds, is recognized as a potent anti-inflammatory agent with many health benefits.
Smoking it for recreational use is often confused with its effectiveness as a natural medication. As such, its use to help childhood illnesses is still largely undiscovered. However, many studies are discovering that the use of medical cannabis can help several childhood illnesses.
Although the FDA has not approved the use of CBD and THC — two of the most beneficial compounds found in the cannabis plant — many parents and kids are finding relief from various ailments with its use. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the childhood illnesses that medical cannabis can help with.
Children on the autism spectrum suffer from issues related to anxiety and stress. These kids often become overwhelmed by normal levels of stimulation and can have trouble processing different types of stimuli. Kids with autism often develop coping mechanisms to help them survive the way that they see the world. In many cases, the high levels of anxiety that come with having autism result in kids withdrawing into their comfort zones. Autistic children who take medical cannabis show significant improvement in mood and irritability.
When children with epilepsy take CBD oil, it is highly effective in preventing seizures. The CBD compound does not contain THC, which includes the psychoactive ingredients that cause a high, so the child will not show any outward symptoms of intoxication. Kids who take regular doses of CBD have experienced more than a 50% reduction in seizures.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Many known CBD to help with muscle relaxation, and because it contains many anti-inflammatory properties. For children and adults that suffer from MS, regular doses of CBD may provide relief from painful muscle cramps.
Crohn’s disease causes the bowels and intestinal systems to become chronically inflamed. This is complicate when it affects children. Most patients find relief through regular steroid treatments; however, these medications can have side effects after long-term use. Regular doses of CBD can help prevent flare-ups due to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Research has not shown any adverse effects on adults or children form the long-term use of CBD.
Childhood cancers can be difficult for the whole family. While traditional treatments like surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy are still the most effective ways to fight cancer in kids, CBD can be a helpful complementary therapy. Kids that are going through cancer treatment often lose their appetites and suffer from anxiety. CBD can help to restore a healthy appetite and reduce the amount of anxiety that a child is feeling.
There is more research to be done into the benefits and long-term effects of using medical cannabis to help childhood illnesses. If your child is fighting an ailment, talk to your doctor about how CBD may be able to help.