JUL 14, 2020 10:47 PM PDT

Sick Children and Cannabis: A Hospital Offers a Lifeline to Parents

WRITTEN BY: Angela Dowden

A new report in the journal Pediatrics gets the conversation going on a much under-reported area: sick children being administered cannabis.

The report describes the approach of one hospital—the Children’s Hospital, Colorado—to the issue. At this facility, medics don’t themselves prescribe medical marijuana to patients, but kids inevitably come along who are already taking it. (Where the law stands in Colorado is that children under 18 can use cannabis if two separate physicians certify to a medical need, and parents give consent.)

Knowing that some kids may end up hospitalized who are being given cannabis under the radar, the hospital created a consultation service to give families information and create a culture of openness around the drug. "[We didn’t] want to just say, 'no, you can't do this in the hospital,' because that's not right," Dr David Brumbaugh, the hospital’s associate chief medical officer told HealthDay in an interview. Also, Brumbaugh added, families might continue to use it without telling medical staff, which could of course cause drug interactions and endanger a child.

The Pediatrics paper documents the experiences of the first 50 children who have been seen by this new consultation service, 80 percent of whom had cancer. Parents who were giving medical marijuana, or thinking about it, were usually seeking help for dealing with their child's nausea and vomiting, appetite loss or pain.

The majority of the 50 children were taking CBD (cannabidiol) only products, but this doesn't necessarily mean the products are safe, especially given the FDA found recently that almost half of CBD products actually contain some THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive compound in cannabis. 

In fact, of the 50 unwell youngsters, consultations deemed medical marijuana potentially unsafe for 64 percent, almost always because of possible interactions with their medications.

Parents were often advised to change the timing of the medical marijuana, to make interactions less likely. In one-fourth of cases, the advice was to avoid the products altogether.

Such ventures as the Colorado Children’s Hospital one are to be applauded as, so often, cannabis use is covert. While the drug is legal both medically and recreationally in many states, it's hard to study, because federal law still deems it a schedule 1 drug—meaning no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.

 

Source: HealthDay, U.S. News & World Report

About the Author
  • I'm a Journalist and author with many year's experience of writing for both a consumer and professional audience, mostly on nutrition, health and medical prescribing. My background is food science and I'm a registered nutritionist.
You May Also Like
OCT 01, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Canadian Scientists Hope to Take Lead in Neutron Research, Again
OCT 01, 2020
Canadian Scientists Hope to Take Lead in Neutron Research, Again
(Pixabay/geralt) Neutron sources are the key to advancing research in many areas such as energy storage, mechanical engi ...
OCT 07, 2020
Neuroscience
Researchers Discover Molecular Mechanism for Memory Formation
OCT 07, 2020
Researchers Discover Molecular Mechanism for Memory Formation
Researchers from MIT have found that when the brain forms a new memory, neurons known as 'engram cells' encode t ...
OCT 13, 2020
Immunology
Why Halloween Is Extra Scary for Kids With Peanut Allergies
OCT 13, 2020
Why Halloween Is Extra Scary for Kids With Peanut Allergies
A recent study showed that there is an 85 percent spike in peanut allergy anaphylaxis cases on Halloween. The study, per ...
OCT 17, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
Fat Droplets in Cells Help the Immune System Fight Infection
OCT 17, 2020
Fat Droplets in Cells Help the Immune System Fight Infection
Scientists have found that our immune system has a surprising helper: droplets of fat that sit inside cells.
OCT 22, 2020
Neuroscience
Psychedelic Experiences Reduce Narcissistic Personality Traits
OCT 22, 2020
Psychedelic Experiences Reduce Narcissistic Personality Traits
Researchers from the UK have found that psychedelic drugs can positively affect narcissistic personality traits- by redu ...
OCT 22, 2020
Microbiology
SARS-CoV-2 Has Multiple Routes Into Cells
OCT 22, 2020
SARS-CoV-2 Has Multiple Routes Into Cells
Since the pandemic virus SARS-CoV-2 emerged on the scene late last year, it's left a trail of devastation around the glo ...
Loading Comments...