Is Medical Cannabis Safe for Children?

You might think that parents would be opened to natural remedies to help their sick children, but with divergent information and fear of side effects, sometimes the easiest thing to do is stick to what the health care community knows best: traditional drug prescriptions. But with new information emerging about natural remedies for anxiety, depression, and even sleep issues, parents are taking note of their other options. Medical cannabis, for example, was thought to be taboo until just a few short years ago, and now, parents are opening up to the idea that medical cannabis might be able to help their children who suffer from chronic pain, anxiety, and sleeplessness. With the jury still out on much of what is known about medical cannabis amongst the general public, we thought it was a good idea to run down the facts about how cannabis impacts children and can help their health overall.

Quality Over Quantity

Whether or not your friends and family members agree to the use of medical cannabis to treat your child’s ailment should not be your concern. People like to express their opinion on such matters whether they’ve been prompted for it or not. Instead, focus on the quality and purity of the product that you are choosing to give to your child, and always give cannabis products to children under the supervision of a doctor. You may want to discuss such treatments with your doctor, but with cannabis legal in some countries, such as Canada and some states in the United States, you might be tempted to just go out and buy something off the shelf. Choosing a medical cannabis product for your child is not the same as picking up a glass bong for yourself. You need to do your research to determine if the product is right for what is going on. If your child suffers from seizures, anxiety, or even pain, different variations of THC and cannabis oils can help. But keep in mind that it is a drug; if you are willing to give your child prescription medication, there’s no more risk in trying cannabis to help alleviate some of the problems.

Frequency Matters

If you’ve ever used a cannabis product yourself you know that the more you use it, the less effect it can have on you over time. The same is true for children with chronic illnesses and pain conditions. The more frequently they use the products, the less effective it can become. This might take more time than when an adult uses THC oil products, but it can still happen. It will be important to monitor the frequency of doses to ensure that your child is getting the most effective treatment possible. Giving too much or too little means that your child might not get the relief they need. There is very little risk of overdosing on THC oil products, but it is always wise to be careful, nonetheless. Impairment is possible, however, with too much product.

Treatments are Expensive

Another thing to consider when thinking about treating your child with medical cannabis is the cost. Despite legal availability in much of North America, you are still going to be on the hook for a great deal of the cost associated with such a treatment. Insurance companies are just catching up to the trends in medical marijuana now and it may be some time before your insurance company – if ever – will cover it. Your doctor may convince you to go with a traditional method of treatment that is covered by your health care plan. It will be up to you to decide if that is the route you want to take. As for side effects and risks, there are not many related to medical cannabis use in children or adults. It could be that the treatments are still too new and not enough data is available for treating children. Of course, street cannabis is very different and comes with a different set of risks associated with it. Parents are often ashamed of allowing their children to use this kind of product for medical purposes as there is still a stigma attached to its use in the general public. Many families decide together to go the route of treatment with medical cannabis and don’t share that personal information with others.

Make the Decision Together

Regardless of which treatment options you choose to help reduce the pain or discomfort of your child’s life, do your homework, talk to your doctor, and make sure that everyone is on board with the treatment plan before proceeding. You may have to adjust doses and frequency as you go to find the amount and time that works best for your child. Be patient and hopefully you’ll get the results you are looking for.

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Evan Kadenn

Evan Kaden: Easily entertained by the simpler things in life, Evan spends most of his free time enjoying the outdoors with his Golden Retriever, Skeeter. As a freelance writer, he's thankful for the many opportunities he's been given to express his passion for writing.