cbd oil for children in michigan

Does CBD and Kids Mix? Hear What the Docs at Metro Health Say

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Is CBD a new Wonder Remedy, or is it Too Good to be True?

I’ve given my big dog CBD. He was so anxious on walks that he was becoming a danger to himself and to me. None of the trainer’s methods worked and I was desperate. Unfortunately, I could never figure out a proper dosage, I gave up on it.

But now I’m giving CBD a second look – for my kids.

Known to help with conditions like seizure disorders, anxiety, ADHD and chronic pain, I wonder if CBD may be the help my family needs.

I have two anxious kids who can lose sight of reality on bad days, and at times therapy and home efforts are not enough. What else can I do, short of medicating them?

CBD is a natural supplement that’s been around for ever, so it’s got to be safe, right?

Not exactly, according to Dr. Haley Zimmer, Metro Health — University of Michigan Health pediatrician.

Dr. Zimmer says there are still a lot of unknowns about the efficacy of CBD and its long-term effects on children. She also warns that you may not be getting what you paid for.

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[fusion_highlight color=”#e03f86″ text_color=”#ffffff” rounded=”no” WHAT IS CBD? [/fusion_highlight]

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CBD, or cannabidiol, is the metabolically active compound derived from the cannabis plant.”

“However, unlike the THC compound, CBD is not psychoactive and does not cause a high, ” explains Dr. Zimmer.

You may have heard parents joke that CBD could make our kids trip out, but it actually doesn’t.

Studies have shown that CBD helps specific refractory seizure disorders as well as nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy.

It’s also said to help with anxiety, ADHD, chronic pain, autism and insomnia. Dr. Zimmer notes that there are no studies to support these specific claims, though.

Honestly, CBD sounds like a wonder drug for my family.

If you’ve considered giving your kids CBD, Dr. Zimmer enocurages you to consider the following before you dive in.

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[fusion_highlight color=”#e03f86″ text_color=”#ffffff” rounded=”no” CBD Facts [/fusion_highlight]

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4 Things to Consider Before You Give Your Kid CBD

[fusion_highlight color=”” text_color=”” rounded=”no” CBD is not FDA Regulated [/fusion_highlight]

There’s No Guarantee You’re Getting a Safely-Made Product.

CBD’s use should be approached with caution, warns Dr. Zimmer. Like other supplements and herbal remedies, CBD is not FDA regulated. There’s no guarantee that what’s printed on the label is actually in the bottle.

Because there could be a chance that a CBD product contains an unknown concentration, THC or other contaminants like pesticides, you want to be very careful.

[fusion_highlight color=”” text_color=”” rounded=”no” If you Give Your Child CBD, Please Monitor Them Closely [/fusion_highlight]

First, assess whether CBD is improving the condition you are trying to treat. A symptom log can be a helpful way to track whether the frequency or severity of symptoms is actually improving,” suggests Dr. Zimmer.

Second, be on the lookout for side effects. The safety profile for pure CBD is pretty good, but the studies on Epidiolex (the FDA-approved epilepsy medication) did show side effects including sedation, nausea, diarrhea and liver enzyme changes.

“As with any therapy, we always weigh the risks and benefits to decide if the treatment is the appropriate choice. Therefore, keeping your pediatrician involved in the process is important,” she says.

[fusion_highlight color=”” text_color=”” rounded=”no” Marijuana Affects IQ, and we Don’t Know if CBD Does, Too [/fusion_highlight]

CBD is still so new to the mainstream that we just don’t have enough data to know if CBD has any longterm effects on children.

“We don’t know if it impacts the developing brain,” says Dr. Zimmer. “Studies have shown that marijuana use has a negative impact on mood and IQ attainment in adolescents. We don’t have the data to say if that applies to CBD as well.”

Dr. Zimmer encourages parents to not treat their children like “tiny adults” when it comes to CBD. Just because you may take CBD and feel great, it doesn’t mean your kid will have the same experience.

[fusion_highlight color=”” text_color=”” rounded=”no” CBD Isn’t Your Only Hope [/fusion_highlight]

Often parents view CBD as their last ditch attempt to help their child. They’ve tried everything else and are at a loss.

“As a parent and a pediatrician, I completely empathize with parents who want to alleviate their child’s symptoms and help their child excel,” says Dr. Zimmer.

She urges families hoping to avoid medication to explore behavioral interventions. Ask your pediatrician for information.

It’s Dr. Zimmer’s top priority to find safe, effective solutions for her patients. And when it comes to CBD’s safety, “We just don’t know, yet. There just isn’t the data to support it.”

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[fusion_highlight color=”#e03f86″ text_color=”#ffffff” rounded=”no” CBD RESOURCES [/fusion_highlight]

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Want to know more?

Dr. Zimmer recommends these online resources:

  • New York Times – Should You Give Your Kid CBD?
  • Child Mind Institute – What Parents Need to Know About CBD
  • Consumer Reports – Can CBD Help Your Child?

Metro Health – University of Michigan Health is here for you with leading expertise for every age and every stage of your child’s life, for newborns, teens and everyone between.

Metro Health’s physician-led excellence means our youngest patients will always receive the best care available. Our pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists are supported in their work by our affiliation with Michigan Medicine, nationally ranked in 10 children’s specialties. To find a location near you or to schedule an appointment, visit: https://metrohealth.net/services/pediatrics/

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Medical Marijuana

Marijuana is a drug that is made up of the leaves, flowers, and buds of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. Medical marijuana is the use of this drug to help treat symptoms like pain, muscle stiffness ( spasticity ), nausea, and lack of appetite. It may be used by people who have conditions like cancer, AIDS, or multiple sclerosis.

In the United States, it is against federal law to possess, sell, give away, or grow marijuana for any purpose. Many states have passed laws that allow people with certain health problems to buy or grow marijuana for their own use. Some states allow or license people to provide medical marijuana to those who need it. And in some states your doctor can write a certificate for you to be able to buy medical marijuana from a state-licensed dispensary.

If you use medical marijuana to treat an approved medical condition, the federal government might not prosecute you. But there’s no guarantee.

Medical marijuana laws vary from state to state. If you think you might want to try medical marijuana, talk to your doctor. You can also call your state department of health or health services to learn more about the laws in your state.

What do the experts say?

The medical use of marijuana has been studied for decades. But experts still don’t agree on how safe it is or how well it works.

Some medical experts don’t recommend marijuana because:

  • It hasn’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
  • Marijuana may impair your memory, judgment, and coordination. It can increase your risk of being in a car crash.
  • Marijuana smoke may harm your lungs.
  • There are legal drugs that may work just as well, such as new kinds of pain and nausea medicines.

Other medical experts do recommend marijuana because:

  • It can provide pain relief when normal pain medicines don’t work or have unwanted side effects.
  • It can improve appetite and relieve nausea in people who have cancer or AIDS.
  • It may help relieve symptoms such as pain and muscle stiffness (spasticity) in people who have multiple sclerosis.

Be sure to let your doctor know if you are using medical marijuana. If you’re pregnant, it is not safe to use alcohol or drugs, including marijuana.

How do you use medical marijuana?

Medical marijuana should only be used after treatments with commonly used medicines have been tried. Marijuana interacts with many other medicines. It can be dangerous if taken with medicines that cause sleepiness or control mood, such as sedatives, anxiety drugs, or antidepressants. Marijuana lowers blood sugar and blood pressure, so use caution if you take medicines for these conditions. It also increases the chance of bleeding if you are taking blood thinners.

Marijuana is usually smoked. It can also be brewed into tea, vaporized, sprayed under the tongue, applied to the skin, or cooked in food.

You may be affected for hours after you use marijuana. How soon you feel the effects of marijuana and how long they last depends on many things, including:

  • How much you used.
  • How you took it.
  • How your own body responds to it.

Unwanted side effects may include:

  • Dry mouth.
  • Red eyes.
  • Anxiety or paranoid thoughts.
  • Faster heart rate.
  • Nausea and vomiting.

Can marijuana use lead to cannabis use disorder?

Some people who use marijuana develop cannabis use disorder. Severe cannabis use disorder is sometimes called addiction. This means that they keep using marijuana even though it’s having harmful effects on their lives.

The risk of cannabis use disorder is higher in people who:

  • Start using marijuana when they’re young.
  • Use it every day.
  • Have mental health problems.

People who use marijuana often and then quit may have withdrawal symptoms. These include anxiety, trouble sleeping, and intense cravings for the drug.

Are there alternatives to medical marijuana?

Doctors can prescribe two legal alternatives: dronabinol (Marinol) and nabilone (Cesamet). Both of these drugs contain a man-made form of THC, the main chemical in marijuana.

Nabilone is used to relieve nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy. Dronabinol can relieve this kind of nausea and vomiting too. It may also improve the appetite of people who have AIDS. Both dronabinol and nabilone can be used to relieve pain and spasticity in people who have multiple sclerosis. Both drugs come in pill form.

Talk to your doctor if you think these medicines might help relieve your symptoms.

What is synthetic marijuana?

Synthetic marijuana is made of dried plant material that is treated with chemicals that produce effects like marijuana’s effects. It is sold in the form of incense under many names, such as K2 or Spice. The labels often claim that these products are “safe” or “natural.” But in fact, the active chemicals are created in a lab. And they could be dangerous.

But young people often try these products because they are easy to buy and they may not be detected by drug tests.

People think that using these drugs will make them feel the same as when they use marijuana. But these drugs are different from marijuana. And the effects are hard to predict. That’s because the type and strength of the chemicals used are often unknown. Some people have reported severe symptoms, such as:

  • Fast heart rate and high blood pressure.
  • Vomiting.
  • Feeling agitated or confused.
  • Feeling like others want to harm them (paranoia), or seeing or hearing things that aren’t there (hallucinations).

Related Information

References

Other Works Consulted

  • Aggarwal SK, et al. (2007). Dosing medical marijuana: Rational guidelines on trial in Washington state. Medscape General Medicine, 9(3): 52. Available online: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2100129.
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Credits

Current as of: September 23, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD – Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD – Family Medicine