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Would you give your sick child, Marijuana?

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Zaki Jackson was 6 months old when doctors diagnosed him with a form of epilepsy so severe that it sparked as many as 250 seizures a day.

For years his mom, Heather Jackson, feared for his life. “He would stop breathing,” she told NBC chief medical editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman. “All the air leaves his lungs and he does not take another breath until that seizure is over.”

After 10 years and 17 medications, Zaki wasn’t getting any better. Then, finally, his doctor wrote a prescription for a medication that calmed the electrical storms in Zaki’s brain. The surprise was that it wasn’t for a standard anti-seizure medication -- it was a prescription for marijuana.

Zaki’s case isn’t unusual as it may seem. Eighteen states, plus Washington, D.C., allow use of medical marijuana. A number of them provide prescriptions to children, with parental supervision, to treat a host of ills, ranging from autism to cancer to seizures.

Critics, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, argue that the remedy hasn’t been clinically tested in kids and might have some long-term ramifications.

Zaki’s parents were surprised at first and a bit taken aback. “We are Christians,” Jackson said. “We are conservative. And we’re using medical marijuana. That’s a kind of big hump for people to get over. Despite the stigma associated with cannabis, we owed it to Zaki to give it a try.”

Jackson said the results were immediate and stunning. “I probably stared at him for a good three hours after his first dose and then I fell asleep. I didn’t feel any seizures after his first dose,” his mother said.

In fact, it’s been eight months since Zaki’s last seizure and he's finally starting to do normal kid activities, like ride a swing.

Zaki's pot is provided specifically for him by a team of brothers who legally grow medical marijuana. It has been bred to have low levels of TCH, but higher levels of another cannabinoid called cannabidiol, or CBD.

While both cannabinoids impact pain, nausea and seizures, CBD isn’t psychoactive, said Dr. Margaret Gedde of the Clinicians’ Institute for Cannabis Medicine. That means that kids using this type of marijuana won’t get high.

Cannabinoids work by hijacking normal brain circuitry.

In other words, the cannabinoids in pot are very similar to substances our own brains naturally make, called endocannabinoids. These substances serve to quiet excessive activity, whether it’s in the immune system, in the gut or in the nervous system, Gedde explained to NBCNews.com.

When cells become overactive, a switch is thrown and endocannabinoids are released. Once they lock on to receptors in the brain, “a message is sent to tell the cells to calm down,” she said. “It’s a balancing system and it’s what keeps seizures from happening in healthy brains. In these kids the system is overwhelmed. It needs a little extra help.”

That’s where the pot comes in. For Zaki, it’s delivered in a syrup that he takes each day, which contains an extract of purified cannabis oil that is high in CBD, Gedde said.

While the drug seems to be working miracles for Zaki, some doctors believe its safety in children needs to be tested in clinical trials.

“I worry that we just don’t know enough about it,” said Dr. Sharon Levy, of the Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. “I think they’re putting their child at risk of long-term consequences of marijuana use that we don’t fully understand.”

There are plenty of examples of highly touted therapies that turned out to be ineffective, or in some cases downright harmful.

“A couple of generations ago physicians were recommending tobacco as a good method of relaxation or to relieve stress,” Levy said. “It seems unbelievable now.”

While clinical trials are all well and good, there are children like Zaki who need help right now, Gedde said, adding “medicine existed before the Food and Drug Administration.”

While there may still be some questions about the impact of marijuana on growing brains, “this is a substance that’s been used for thousands of years and it has a known safety profile,” Gedde said. “And there’s a long history of women using it in pregnancy. If there was some terrible defect that came up in children exposed in utero, we’d know about it by now.”

Ultimately, for a child like Zaki with a dangerous condition, even approved anti-seizure drugs can cause side effects, Gedde said.

For the Jacksons, it was an easy decision.

“Medical marijuana is definitely saving Zaki’s life,” his mother Heather said. “It’s saving his life and it’s giving him a quality of life."

 

Would you give it to your child if they were sick? At what age would you consider giving it to them?

by on Jul. 10, 2013 at 12:44 PM
Replies (51-60):
momof2girls220
by on Jul. 11, 2013 at 9:08 PM


good to be ignorant huh

Quoting MrsKaufold1990:

because it  can mess with you and screw you up. 

and it's addictive. 

and that's my opinion, and i don't care if you like or not. 

so do not try and shove bs articles and shit into my face. 


Quoting momdoes:


Why not?

Quoting MrsKaufold1990:

hell no. 







momof2girls220
by on Jul. 11, 2013 at 9:10 PM
1 mom liked this

that is the dumbest thing i have read all day.


Quoting autiovisual:

No no no. Linked to irregular heart bbeat, can be fatal. Have lost many friends who continued to smoke in advanced years. fifty is too young to die of heart failure. Perhaps a liquid form containing compounds for a cancer patient but medical stuff is not the same as what is sold on street today which is many times stronger than pot in the sixties-seventies. Also linked to apathy. 



DrkPixie86
by on Jul. 11, 2013 at 11:21 PM
Yes! If it would help my child I would do ANYTHING as long as its safe for then. If it means pot is the answer then I would be on board 100% . What's the list of side affects?

Munchies
Mellowness
Dry mouth

Heck yeah! I would go for that before I put some of the other drugs in their system. Has anyone really looked at some of the side effects.
alexis_06
by on Jul. 12, 2013 at 1:36 AM

i really dont know...

autiovisual
by on Jul. 12, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Replied before reading. Agree. Still considering how many dying at my age, I hope physicians take notice. When smoking pot in yyounger years I was put on Tenormin. Miss a day and risk dying medication. Recently was called by acquaintance who had heart surgery which went wrong and finally killed him. He regreted not taking bmy advice about quitting the pot and drinking. I was recalling that medication and how it made me arrhythmic.

mama23brie
by on Jul. 12, 2013 at 4:24 PM
Sadly you can't open EVERY person's eyes. You'd think people would see the fast spreading legalization and think 'well obviously it can't be that bad. 18 states and counting can't be wrong' but not everyone will realize this. There will be some who still hop on the 'druggie' bandwagon. Either because they are brainwashed by the anti weed campaign the government shoved down everyone's throats for decades. Or maybe they know someone who abuses it, lets it run and ruin their lives by being lazy and unproductive because they smoke it in excessive amounts. They don't realize that
ANYTHING can be abused in excessive amounts. or that the government was wrong in their assumption of weed being bad when it first came over from mexico. everyone thought the mexican's were sitting around stealing jobs and 'getting high' off this mysterious plant. so they outlawed it. without researching anything. so stupid.

but anyways. point being, people r gonna think what they want to think. just sucks that weed gets such a bad rep.


Quoting momof2girls220:


good to be ignorant huh


Quoting MrsKaufold1990:

because it  can mess with you and screw you up. 

and it's addictive. 

and that's my opinion, and i don't care if you like or not. 

so do not try and shove bs articles and shit into my face. 



Quoting momdoes:



Why not?


Quoting MrsKaufold1990:


hell no. 












Posted on CafeMom Mobile
mom_dl6
by Platinum Member on Jul. 12, 2013 at 4:30 PM

Yes i would in a heartbeat !

                         


momof2girls220
by on Jul. 12, 2013 at 7:48 PM

you are so right.


Quoting mama23brie:

Sadly you can't open EVERY person's eyes. You'd think people would see the fast spreading legalization and think 'well obviously it can't be that bad. 18 states and counting can't be wrong' but not everyone will realize this. There will be some who still hop on the 'druggie' bandwagon. Either because they are brainwashed by the anti weed campaign the government shoved down everyone's throats for decades. Or maybe they know someone who abuses it, lets it run and ruin their lives by being lazy and unproductive because they smoke it in excessive amounts. They don't realize that
ANYTHING can be abused in excessive amounts. or that the government was wrong in their assumption of weed being bad when it first came over from mexico. everyone thought the mexican's were sitting around stealing jobs and 'getting high' off this mysterious plant. so they outlawed it. without researching anything. so stupid.

but anyways. point being, people r gonna think what they want to think. just sucks that weed gets such a bad rep.


Quoting momof2girls220:


good to be ignorant huh


Quoting MrsKaufold1990:

because it  can mess with you and screw you up. 

and it's addictive. 

and that's my opinion, and i don't care if you like or not. 

so do not try and shove bs articles and shit into my face. 



Quoting momdoes:



Why not?


Quoting MrsKaufold1990:


hell no. 














Anoronlight
by Bronze Member on Jul. 13, 2013 at 11:35 PM

Those who use the excuse, "its harmful and causes death" then I hope they don't buy aersols or cleaning products or any other product out that most people use every day just to clean or use for health reasons. Cause the last I checked, kids were sniffing the legal junk too and dying from it or over dosing on things like Nyquil. ANYTHING can be dangerous when abused, ANYTHING, the difference is...what is better for your body? Man made chemicals that were never meant to be in your body to begin with and can cause things like cancer or heart problems OR natural stuff, that when used CORRECTLY has way less side effects and is much more better for you overall.

In proper use of anything can cause death...healthy or not healthy.



Quoting momof2girls220:

you are so right.


Quoting mama23brie:

Sadly you can't open EVERY person's eyes. You'd think people would see the fast spreading legalization and think 'well obviously it can't be that bad. 18 states and counting can't be wrong' but not everyone will realize this. There will be some who still hop on the 'druggie' bandwagon. Either because they are brainwashed by the anti weed campaign the government shoved down everyone's throats for decades. Or maybe they know someone who abuses it, lets it run and ruin their lives by being lazy and unproductive because they smoke it in excessive amounts. They don't realize that
ANYTHING can be abused in excessive amounts. or that the government was wrong in their assumption of weed being bad when it first came over from mexico. everyone thought the mexican's were sitting around stealing jobs and 'getting high' off this mysterious plant. so they outlawed it. without researching anything. so stupid.

but anyways. point being, people r gonna think what they want to think. just sucks that weed gets such a bad rep.


Quoting momof2girls220:


good to be ignorant huh


Quoting MrsKaufold1990:

because it  can mess with you and screw you up. 

and it's addictive. 

and that's my opinion, and i don't care if you like or not. 

so do not try and shove bs articles and shit into my face. 



Quoting momdoes:



Why not?


Quoting MrsKaufold1990:


hell no. 
















Momforhealth
by on Jul. 13, 2013 at 11:45 PM
Well...marijuanna is a plant. Plants are medicine. So yes. If it helped yes. My big sister was locked in her house for five yrs due to seizures and its crippling. It cant be worse than some of the synthetic and othe meds out there. I dont feel it is nonchristian. The ppl who abuse pot for recreation makes it seem bad.
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