What’s The Problem With Minors And Medical Marijuana?
A new strain of marijuana has motivated hundreds of families with epileptic children to pack up and move to Colorado to legally obtain the drug. The jury is still out on whether this special pot strain does indeed have measurable benefits, or if it’s even safe, but drug companies are racing to replicate its effects in pill form. The therapeutic pot strain, called Charlotte’s Web, is bred not have THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Its namesake is 5-year-old Charlotte Figi, a Colorado girl who has Dravet’s syndrome. CBD [cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive component in marijuana bred at a higher concentration in Charlotte’s Web] has shown some signs of promise of suppressing seizures in animals, but testing in humans is still in its infancy. A small number of case reports exist with conflicting results, and researchers have conducted just four placebo-controlled clinical trials that focused on CBD’s efficacy as a treatment for epilepsy.”
Because marijuana remains a Schedule I drug through the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, The AAP was against the use of medical marijuana for minors because of those concerns until last year, when they updated their position to say that the drug could be used in patients with debilitating or terminal conditions.
Parents see the drug as almost a miracle treatment for a number of conditions and symptoms, whereas pediatricians remain unsure if it actually works, and of its safety for kids and their developing brains. However with the tringent restictions on Florida Medical Marijuana Doctors and other states. It makes it difficult to assist minors.
“Watching the legislation, it seems to me that it’s been much more emotionally and politically driven than scientific,” says chair of the Committee on Drugs at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Specifically, it’s still unclear if marijuana is effective for some of the conditions it’s most commonly called on to treat, such as uncontrollable seizures, she says.
“First and foremost, it’s not studied well, and there aren’t good controlled studies to prove whether it works or not. “Parents with seizures want relief for their children and I agree with that, and studies take a long time … but it doesn’t always work.”
There is also concern about the potential for long-term impacts of the drug on kids’ development, and scientists and doctors have little understanding of what those effects could be.
States without comprehensive medical marijuana Doctors in Florida and programs take a similar approach, restricting use of the drug to one or a handful of conditions — typically epilepsy — and usually only allowing use of a cannabis derivative that does not have the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana.