The legalization of medical marijuana is a huge controversy today. The way the marijuana battle differs now compared to the past is based upon new ways of taking medical marijuana. Fairly new, marijuana oil is a substance derived from the marijuana plant, but it has so little of the component THC (which causes a high), that it does not cause any mind-altering effects.
“Charlotte’s Web” is a strain of marijuana oil that has shown great potential for controlling childhood epilepsy. This medication would not, of course, be your first choice to treat a seizure disorder, but so many children suffer from seizures that are resistant or immune to mainstream drugs that parents are left with few options.
— Andy McCall (@MonsterMaker65) August 6, 2015
These children have seizures every day, and some of them endure hundreds a day. They have no relief. Their brains are interrupted so often they cannot learn even the simplest tasks such as eating or talking. The approved medicines they try have as many potential adverse side effects as benefits.
For parents, the glimmer of hope grows weaker with each unsuccessful medication. These parents are desperate, and they will try anything that has even the slightest chance of helping their ill children. When the choice is between watching your child die or attempting an alternative treatment, suddenly things like marijuana do not carry the negative connotations they once did.
Sara Boninfante felt this way about her child at one time. Her son, Blake, has myoclonic seizures, which are quick jerking motions. In any given day, Blake can have from 100 to 500 seizures. The search for a cure led them to Colorado, where medical marijuana oil is not only legal but available. Sara explains her reasons for uprooting her family in the attempt to help her son live a healthier life.
“We’re called ‘American medical refugees.’ We’ve gone down the mainstream-medicine path, we’ve done a lot of alternative stuff. We wanted to have full access to cannabis to try to stop his seizures. So that is why we’re here: We want to get seizure relief for him.”
According to the Detroit Free Press, the reason many doctors are not completely on board the medical marijuana train for children is that little hard evidence exists to support the drug. The American Academy of Pediatrics has joined the nonprofit group Safe Alternatives to Marijuana with the intent of creating studies based on the effectiveness of medical marijuana. They hope to increase awareness as well as the legalization of medical marijuana with trials that are like those performed by the FDA.
For now, medical marijuana is becoming increasingly accepted, but the process of legalization and making the oil available to those who need it is not a short process.
Would you give your own child a desperately needed alternative medical treatment, even if it was extracted from the marijuana plant?
[Photos By Mark Wilson / Getty Images]