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
AUG 31, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
A drug-free rehabilitation system for stroke survivors.
AUG 31, 2021
A drug-free rehabilitation system for stroke survivors.
     Last week, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a first-of-its-kind&nb ...
AUG 31, 2021
Health & Medicine
People Who Have Had SARS-CoV-2 Infection Have Longer-Lasting Immunity Than Those Who Were Vaccinated Only
AUG 31, 2021
People Who Have Had SARS-CoV-2 Infection Have Longer-Lasting Immunity Than Those Who Were Vaccinated Only
Consider yourself among the luckiest if you made a full recovery from infection with SARS-CoV-2, especially if you were ...
SEP 01, 2021
Health & Medicine
Does Regular Cannabis Affect Brain Function? Sometimes in a Good Way
SEP 01, 2021
Does Regular Cannabis Affect Brain Function? Sometimes in a Good Way
With cannabis now legal in many parts of the world, an increasing number of people now count as regular users of the dru ...
SEP 11, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
New NIH Consortium Aims to Understand the Impact of Genetic Variants
SEP 11, 2021
New NIH Consortium Aims to Understand the Impact of Genetic Variants
Scientists sequenced most of the human genome abut two decades ago. It took many years to complete the project because o ...
SEP 16, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
A shot for sore eyes: a novel injectable drug to treat age-related vision loss
SEP 16, 2021
A shot for sore eyes: a novel injectable drug to treat age-related vision loss
According to the Population Reference Bureau, 40 million people in the United States are aged 65 and older. This nu ...
SEP 21, 2021
Health & Medicine
I'm Crying. You're Crying. Viewers' Brains Sync During Engaging Stories
SEP 21, 2021
I'm Crying. You're Crying. Viewers' Brains Sync During Engaging Stories
Researchers find brains synchronize during engaging moments in visual and auditory narratives
Loading Comments...