Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Marijuana's Journey into Pediatrics

            With many states legalizing marijuana as more of it’s benefits surface, a controversy that’s arising is whether or not CBD should be used medicinally to treat children or adolescents. CBD, or cannabidiol, differs from THC in that it doesn’t have any psychoactive effects, therefor it doesn’t get one high. Its known to work exceptionally at easing nausea that’s often caused from chemotherapy, reduce seizures with those who have disorders such as epilepsy, and even increase the ability to focus with those whom have attention deficit disorders. Even though marijuana is becoming legal among most states as it’s benefits become more known, the long term effect on use while the brain is developing is still unknown. This brings in the issue on whether or not its ethical to treat children with CBD rather than past treatments.
Image result for painkillers vs marijuana
     One pediatrician took the child out of the picture when trying to settle this debate. Regardless of the effects it poses on the child, Julie Kim a pediatric oncologist of fifteen years has been seeing a side of prescribing opioids that’s often overlooked. A huge issue found is many parents taking the medications themselves instead of their sick child, creating an opioid addiction. In some cases, the parents make up the children’s pain just to get the prescription.  It’s often seen that parent keep persisting that the original recommendations of rest, ibuprophen, and physical therapy aren’t helping their child until they’re finally prescribed things such as oxycodone or morphine. From there, Kim has found that parents who struggle with these addictions start obtaining these prescriptions at an alarming rate that would normally way too often for a child to take. In attempt to try and trick these parents into stopping their addictions, Kim prescribes CBD instead, a much less dangerous and addictive drug. This way she eliminates any responsibility or liability she may have had if a parent ever experienced an overdose.
Image result for addicted parents
            Kim makes it clear throughout her article that she is pro-marijuana because she is anti-opioid. I think this is a very important way to look at this issue. When researching the pros and cons to prescribing a child medicinal marijuana, most cons consisted of there not being enough search to know that long term effects it may have on the child’s development, or that certain cognitive abilities may be impaired. Those are valid cons, but when looking at the bigger, more dangerous effects that other opioids prescribed to them have cannabinoids don’t compare. Plus, there have bee many cases in which CBD is more effective than other treatments. Until the opioid business gets proper regulation, marijuana may be a better way to help treat your child.

-Katherine Patota (3)



  1. I also wrote a blog post about the opioid crisis. It is crazy that adults are abusing a form of treatment that is made to help people in pain management. I think people should be more open in their views of CBD and be willing to learn about it positive affects before they make uneducated determinations about it. Because it really can help people, especially those going through intense treatments such as chemotherapy

    -Zoe Israel

  2. This is kind of an alarming read. I think that when you compare opioids vs CBD, the answer is pretty obvious that CBD is vastly the better choice of the two due to the highly addictive substances present in opioids. Due to this factor alone, I think CBD should be used as a treatment for children over opioids. Although not many studies have been done on this and the effects on the developing brain are unknown, the known effects of opioids are so negative that it outweighs the unknown. I think more studies should be done regardless, but from this point of view it outweighs the opioids. Hopefully as time goes on we will learn more about this drug and implement it in treatment!

    -Kamilla Leao (2)

    1. It's really crazy that there are as many arguments as there are against CBD just because cannabinoids have been illegal for so long. But when compared to their competing legal opioids they have so many more benefits.
      -Katherine Patota (3)

  3. It is scary to think about the effect of using opioids in treatment for pain especially when CBD can be used instead. Addiction to opioids can happen so quickly and if there is any sort of way out of this I would suggest it. It is scary to think about putting kids on opioids just to get them out of pain when there may be a less dramatic drug that can do the same and avoid any sort of addiction that may come out of it.

    Posted by Sarah Aboody (1)

  4. I never would have guessed some people get hooked on prescription pills by taking medicines that are prescribed to their kids. Scary! I love how she says she is pro-marijuana because of the fact that she is anti-opioid.

    -- Hannah Kullberg (2)

    1. I also thought this article was eye opening! It's understandable but often overlooked when thinking of medication ending up in the wrong hands. I imagine as the child gets older theres also a higher chance of their heavy painkillers getting distributed among their peers.
      -Katherine Patota (3)

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