Medical Marijuana For Children With Cancer Broadly Supported By Doctors

Photo Credit: 7raysmarketing (pixabay.com)

Photo Credit: 7raysmarketing (pixabay.com)

According to a survey of pediatric oncologists which was published in the journal Pediatrics, 85% of physicians who were certified to prescribe medical marijuana were willing to help children with cancer access the medication. Additionally, 95% those who were not eligible to provide the medication supported medical marijuana access for pediatric cancer patients. The survey was sent to 654 doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, psychologists, social workers and registered nurses who care primarily for children with cancer at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Seattle Children’s Hospital Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Of the 288 who responded, a third were certified to prescribe medical marijuana. Physicians were less likely to support smoking marijuana (57%) than they were to support oral formulations (89%) for administering the medication, and 93% were interested in more advanced clinical trials investigating these uses. Physicians were more likely to support the use of medical marijuana in patients as their conditions advanced.

Of the respondents, 3 in 10 providers who were asked for medical marijuana at least once in the previous month were asked to prescribe it for nausea and vomiting (79%), and half of those requests additionally wanted to manage loss of appetite (52%). A quarter of patients wanted medical marijuana for pain management (26%), or for the management of depression and anxiety. While only 8% of providers recommended medical marijuana to patients in practice, 92% still said they would be willing to help children with cancer get the medication and approve of its use for treating children’s symptoms. Nearly half of providers cited the biggest obstacle in providing medical marijuana to pediatric cancer patients as not having standard medical marijuana formulations, dosages, or strength. Authors explained, “Given burgeoning interest in medical marijuana, especially in oncology care, it is critical that providers who are routinely approached for access to medical marijuana possess baseline knowledge on regulations, known benefits and harm… Randomized clinical trials using such MM [medical marijuana] formulations for supportive care in children with cancer are needed to better understand the therapeutic potential.”

This information has been provided by Forbes and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Marijuana Can Help Children with Seizures, Cancer Nausea

Photo Credit: pixabay.com

Photo Credit: pixabay.com

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics suggests medical marijuana can treat seizures and reduce chemotherapy-related nausea in adolescents. The study analyzed 22 studies related to the use of marijuana as a therapy for children and young adults, and found THC improved nausea and vomiting in young patients undergoing chemotherapy, which CBD was beneficial for treating seizures. This information is especially welcomed for children who have not responded well to other treatment options. While cannabis was seen as beneficial for young patients suffering cancer or epilepsy, the review did not find promising information regarding its use in pediatrics for the treatment of neuropathic pain, PTSD, and Tourette’s syndrome.

On the other hand, the review found cannabis may present certain harms for young patients, and one of the study’s lead authors, Dr. Shane Shucheng Wong, explains, “Our research supports the AAP’s concerns that cannabis can be harmful to children’s brains… Studies of children and adolescents who use recreational cannabis, particularly frequent use of high potency cannabis over longer periods of time, suggest negative effects on learning, memory, attention, and problem-solving ability.” Because of this, there should be extra care in following proper dosing guidelines. That’s where our CannaBest Medical smartphone app can be extra useful! With it, you can keep track of the amount of cannabis used, the frequency of its use, the cannabinoid composition, and the preferred vehicle for administration, so that you can discover the most appropriate treatment regimen. Journal daily for the most accurate results.

This information has been provided in part by HealthLine and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. The views expressed in this post do not reflect an endorsement by HealthLine for our product.

Study Finds Medical Marijuana Is Helping Kids with Cerebral Palsy

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

A new study conducted by Tikun Olam at the Wolfson Medical Canter near Tel Aviv, Israel, has found cannabis oil significantly reduced symptoms and improved motor skills, sleep quality, bowel movements and general mood in children suffering from Cerebral Palsy. The study, which started three years ago, involved 4o children between the ages 1-17 with high levels of motor disorders, of which 20 have completed testing, and the majority will continue medical marijuana use as an effective supplement alongside current medications. For the first two months, researchers looked for changes in each child’s condition before allowing them to receive medical marijuana. After two months of stability, the children received cannabis oil orally or through a feeding tube three times a day, as a supplement to their current medications. There were two types of oils containing different proportions of THC and CBD.

Researchers used indexes that evaluated medical marijuana’s effects on spasticity, dystonia, motor changes, mood, sleep, constipation, pain, and quality of life, and found after three to four months, the children’s conditions began to improve. They found medical cannabis to be safe with few side effects, and children experienced the strongest improvements, statistically, in motor function, followed by pain relief and improvements in sleep and bowel movements. They also found THC to be most effective for symptom relief, but because of its psychoactive effects, use CBD to buffer these effects. One of the research managers Lihi Bar-Lev Schleider explains, “The THC’s effect is especially relevant to motor function, whether it’s Parkinson’s disease or other motor symptoms… But the THC is also responsible for the psychoactive effect, so we picked a variety that also has a lot of CBD, which moderates the euphoric effect.”

Researchers now want to determine the most effective vehicle for administering the medication. This information has been provided by High Times and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Study Finds CBD Reduces Potentially Fatal Seizures In Children

Photo Credit: Civilized 

Photo Credit: Civilized 

A new study led by Dr. Orrin Devinsky of the NYU Langone Medical Center and published in the New England Journal of Medicine found the liquid form of CBD treatment called Epidiolex reduced the number of seizures in children with severe forms of epilepsy. The 120 children and teenagers from the U.S. and Europe who were involved in the study took a teaspoon of Epidiolex or placebo oil twice a day along with their traditional anti-seizure medications over the course of 14 weeks. Patients who took CBD saw a decrease in serious seizures with convulsions from 12 per month to 6. Three of those patients became seizure free. Those who took the placebo saw no change. Epidiolex did produce some side effects, however, and patients who took the medication experienced more frequent diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. Additionally, 12 patients removed themselves from the study, nine of which were on the drug and three of which were taking placebo. 

Still, the information is positive, and Devinsky says, "This is the first solid, rigorously obtained scientific data that CBD is a safe and effective treatment for this medical problem." This information has been provided by Civilized and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Study Suggests CBD and THC Help Treat Neuroblastoma in Kids

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

A new study from Israel suggests cannabinoids like THC and CBD could mitigate the multiplication of neuroblastoma, which is primarily a childhood disease. In the study, which was published in Current Oncology, researchers found CBD and THC were able to impede the growth of tumors by reducing their viability and invasiveness, and induce apoptosis. Of the two cannabinoids' anti-tumor effects, CBD was found to be more active.

Researchers used culture and animal models to test the effects of these cannabinoids on neuroblastoma. In the culture models, cells were treated with either cannabinoid or left untreated. In the animal models, mice were induced with tumors via subcutaneous injection, and were then injected with 20 mg/kg THC or 20 mg/kg CBD or left untreated for 14 days. Both models investigated the tumors by measuring and testing viability, cell cycle distribution, growth rate, cell invasiveness, and apoptotic cell death rate. Researchers conclude, “Our findings about the activity of CBD in [neuroblastoma] support and extend previous findings about the anti-tumor activities of CBD in other tumors and suggest that cannabis extracts enriched in CBD and not in THC could be suitable for the development of novel non-psychotropic therapeutic strategies in [neuroblastoma]."

This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Randomized Controlled Trial Finds CBD may Reduce Pediatric Seizure Frequency by 50%

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital have found cannabidiol (CBD) may be an effective treatment of a rare and severe form of epilepsy. The study, which was randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled, involved 225 people with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome who received a CBD agent free of THC over the course of 14 weeks. Before enrolling in the study, participants had tried an average of 6 traditional anti-epileptic medications without success, and experienced an average of 85 weekly "drop seizures," which occur when the muscles become limp and cause an individual to fall. During the study, patients received either high doses of CBD (20 mg/kg), low doses of CBD (10 mg/kg), or placebo, of which 40% of high-dose patients and 36% of low-dose patients experienced 50% or greater reductions in drop seizures. High-dose patients experienced a decrease in drop seizures by 42%, on average, per week, and low-dose patients saw this decrease by an average of 37%. Those who received CBD were 2.6 times more likely to say their condition had improved than the patients who received placebo and experienced a 17% reduction.

Study author Dr. Anup Patel writes, “Our study found that cannabidiol shows great promise in that it may reduce seizures that are otherwise difficult to control.” Patel noted that those who received CBD were more likely to experience side effects like a decrease in appetite and sleepiness, but that these side effects were mostly well-tolerated.

This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Dr. Carlos Aguirre Publishes Results ON Effects of CBD on Childhood Epilepsy

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

A new study, performed by Dr. Carlos Aguirre-Velazquez and published in Neurology Research International, suggests CBD may successfully treat refractory epilepsy in children. In the study, Dr. Aguirre-Velazquez provided structured online surveys to parents in Mexico and other areas of Latin America who were using CBD to treat their children's epilepsy. The study involved 53 epilepsy cases in children between the ages of 9 months and 18 years old, and several different forms of childhood epilepsy, including Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, unspecified refractory epilepsy, West syndrome, Doose syndrome, and Ohtahara syndrome.

Of the 43 cases in Mexico, 51% of patients experienced a decrease in convulsions by more than 75%, while 16% of patients became seizure free. 47% of all of the cases in the study had reported previously using 9 or more anticonvulsant therapies, and when CBD was used, parents reported a decrease in convulsions in over 81% of cases. In 9 of 43 cases, the use of CBD allowed patients to reduce the number of anti-epileptic drugs involved in their therapies. No adverse side effects were reported throughout the study, with only minor side effects like increased appetite or changes in sleep pattern reported. Overall quality of life was reported, with 88% showing improved cognition, 86% showing improved emotions or moods, 77% showing improved sleep, and 67% showing improved appetite.

This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Study: Oral THC Safe and Effective for Treatment of Spasticity in Pediatric Patients

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

According to clinical data published in the European Journal of Pediatric Neurology, the oral synthetic THC Dronabinol is both safe and effective when treating refractory spasticity in pediatric patients. The study coming from the University of Dusseldorf, Germany, has found two daily doses of oral THC effectively reduced spasticity without producing serious or enduring side effects in the majority of 16 adolescents who suffered from complex neurological conditions. The treatment regimen lasted about 181 days, and the study is one of the first of its kind to look at the safety and efficacy of THC for treating adolescent patient populations. Authors said of their results, "Our data shows evidence that dronabinol can effectively be administered over a longer period of time to... young children... without severe side effects or aggravation of pre-existing concurrent conditions." 

This information has been brought to you by the Daily Chronic and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. You can also find the abstract of this study here

Survey: Pediatric Oncology Providers Favor Cannabis For Pediatric Treatment

Photo Credit: NORML

Photo Credit: NORML

Current research shows cannabis is a well tolerated and effective treatment option for treating a wide range of symptoms, including those caused by cancer and cancer treatments. While young cancer patients could benefit from this treatment option, many people are wary of the medication due to the potential negative side effects on children during their important development. Now, however, a survey presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology in 2016 suggests more than nine in ten pediatric oncologists surveyed favor patient access to medical cannabis.

Over 300 of the 654 pediatric oncology providers from US cancer treatment centers in Illinois, Massachusetts, and Washington completed the survey, of which 92% said they were "willing to help pediatric cancer patients access medical marijuana." Over a third of the participants also said cannabis therapy is "appropriate in the early stages of cancer treatment." Authors of the survey concluded pediatric oncologists presented "predominantly favorable attitudes toward medical marijuana use in pediatric cancer patients."

This information has been adapted from NORML and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Study: CBD Oil “Highly Promising” In Pediatric Epilepsy Treatment

Photo Credit: NORML

Photo Credit: NORML

According to recent data published in the journal Seizure, high CBD cannabis oil extracts effectively reduce the frequence of seizures that occur in children with intractable epilepsy. In the Isreali study, researchers looked at the effects of CBD oil with a stardardized ratio of 20:1 CBD to THC over a three month period on a multicenter cohort of 74 patients who suffered from a treatment resistant form of intractable epilepsy. The researchers reported, "CBD treatment yielded a significant positive effect on seizure load. Most of the children (89 percent) reported reduction in seizure frequency. ... In addition, we observed improvement in behavior and alertness, language, communication, motor skills, and sleep." They went on to conclude, "The results of this multicenter study on CBD treatment for intractable epilepsy in a population of children and adolescents are highly promising. Further prospective, well-designed clinical trials using enriched CBD medical cannabis are warranted."

The results of this study support the findings of other previously published retrospective studies, which suggest cannabidiol is not only effective in reducing the frequency of seizures in children, but that it also might have an adequate safety profile for these young patients. This information has been brought to you by NORML and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. You can also find an abstract of the study here.