Earlier this year, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett sponsored a research mission to determine whether medical marijuana could help children that are plagued by symptoms of serious health problems, such as the most severe epilepsy. There are doctors that are skeptical of the effectiveness of cannabis substances on those who suffer from epilepsy because there is limited data to support its use (Gilbert). Although, many parents of ill children have become proponents of the use of medical marijuana extract, known as Cannibidiol, or CBD, oil. It is important to keep in mind that the parents of sick kids are not advocating for the traditional use of marijuana. Marijuana has other properties besides the THC, the psychoactive compound. The Cannibidiol oil, without having the psychoactive effect that creates a high, has positive medicinal properties. The future for CBD oil is promising since all of its medicinal benefits have not been uncovered yet.
A specific strain of marijuana has garnered a lot of attention for its potency of CBD. The strain’s name is “Charlotte’s Web” and it’s named after Charlotte Figi, 6, a young girl from Colorado who suffers from Dravet syndrome. Dravet syndrome is a crippling pediatric epilepsy that leaves Charlotte unable to eat, talk, or walk (Allen). This is a nightmare come true for the Figi family. Charlotte’s mom, Paige has been very public about Charlotte’s medical marijuana use because they have seen fantastic results. After having 300 grand mal seizures in the previous week, Charlotte miraculously went seven days without one seizure after beginning the medical marijuana treatment. After 8 months of cannabis treatment, Charlotte is showing 99% seizure reduction on top of eating and drinking on her own (“Should Marijuana Ever Be Used to Treat Children and Adolescents?”). Charlotte is a remarkable example of a child whose life was restored due to medical marijuana. Vivian Wilson, a 3-year old with severe epilepsy, has seen a very similar level of success from the medical marijuana treatments, like Charlotte (Swartz).
There is no denying the effectiveness the CBD has on some children, but is prescribing cannabis oil to minors immoral? I believe that it is no legislature’s place to deny a child the joys of life because it comes from a traditionally illegal substance. Since there is no psychoactive effect on the child, the CBD oil cannot be abused for recreational use. I’m sure as more states take on a progressive mindset and legalize medical marijuana (to minors, as well) then the snowball effect will occur and it won’t be long before the majority of U.S. states are allowing victims of awful diseases to get the treatment they deserve.
Allen, Greg. “Florida Bill Would Allow Medical Marijuana For Child Seizures.” NPR. NPR, 16 Jan. 2014. Web. 24 Oct. 2014.
Gilbert, Scott. “The Medical Minute: Medical Marijuana Extract for Epilepsy in Children.” PennStateNews. Pennsylvania State University, 4 June 2014. Web. 24 Oct. 2014.
“Should Marijuana Ever Be Used to Treat Children and Adolescents?”Medical Marijuana– Pros and Cons. ProCon.org, 21 Feb. 2014. Web. 24 Oct. 2014.
Swartz, Aimee. “Medical Marijuana for Kids?” The Scientist. N.p., 17 July 2013. Web. 24 Oct. 2014.