Children Living With Cancer Can Get Relief Through Medical Marijuana
Cancer ranks as the #2 leading cause of death for Georgia, as reported in data as recent as 2017. Nationally, Georgia sits in the top ten worst states for cancer mortality.
Because of this, Georgia has approved cancer as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana, allowing patients to apply for a medical marijuana card in Georgia.
And while research is ongoing to determine the total efficacy of medical marijuana as an alternative or additional medicine, many parents struggle to find knowledge or resources concerning medical marijuana and cancer for their children.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the basics of using cannabis as an alternative or additional therapy for children with cancer and share some success stories of kids who have used medical marijuana to help their fight against cancer.
Child Cancers & Cannabis Therapies – Leukemia
Leukemia is a term for cancers that affect the white blood cells, bone marrow, and red blood cells, which are all critical parts of your immune system.
While Leukemia occurs most often in adults aged 55 and older, it is also the most common type of cancer in children younger than 15.
There are four main common types of leukemia:
A rarer form of leukemia in adults, and the most common type of leukemia in children, where immature lymphoid cells grow rapidly in the blood.
Occurring in both children and adults, where immature myeloid cells grow rapidly in the blood.
Rare in children and usually occurring in adults aged 55 and older, where a slow-growing cancer of lymphoid cells is present.
A chronic condition where the myeloid cells grow in the blood, mostly affecting adults.
Symptoms of leukemia can include:
o Weight loss
o Excessive bruising
o Swollen lymph nodes
o Severe pain
How Cannabis Can Help Kids with Cancer
It’s important to understand that as of right now, alternative therapies such as cannabis do not have enough medical and scientific evidence to suggest that these therapies should be exclusive, or used as a first-line defense against cancer.
Often it is in combination with traditional treatment options such as chemotherapy and radiation that much of the information on cannabis as a potential therapy for cancer is available.
As such, it is currently inconclusive as to whether cannabis by itself can help reduce or fight cancers, and although there is medical evidence to suggest this may be a possibility, more conclusive data and research is required to fully understand the benefits that cannabis may have as an alternative or complementary therapy for cancer patients.
But there are both anecdotal, as well as research-based stories on how cannabis has helped not only adults with certain types of cancers, but in children as well.
And more doctors and researchers are trying to look at medical marijuana as a source of potential benefits for cancers and other conditions for children.
Medical Marijuana Studies for Children with Cancers
A 2018 survey of pediatric oncology providers determined that 85% of providers that are certified to provide access to medical marijuana were willing to help children with cancer access it.
The same survey concluded that 95% of doctors who were not certified to provide access to medical marijuana reported that they would do the same, although lacking the certification to do so.
A 2017 study in the International Journal of Oncology suggests that THC and CBD when used in conjunction with chemotherapy offered “slightly improved” results.
The same study also found that when THC and CBD were used alone, the compounds were able to kill cancerous cells.
A 2013 study cited a case of a 14-year-old diagnosed with Acute lymphoblastic Leukemia where chemotherapy and radiation weren’t responding, so the family started a treatment plan of cannabis oil extracts.
15 days after introducing the extracts, the doctors found that the patient had a decrease in the need for morphine and an increased proclivity for euphoria and alertness, often insurmountable problems for children diagnosed with terminal conditions.
At the patient's time of death, it was noted that they had died of a secondary infection, and that in fact the leukemia seemed to be in remission.
Can Cannabis Help with the Side Effects of Cancer Treatment?
And aside from the possible application of treating cancer, cannabis is known to help with many of the complications that can arise from a cancer diagnosis.
Problems with nausea, sleep, and anxiety or depression have been conclusively linked with cancer, and cannabis is known to specifically help with these areas.
Weight loss and insufficient appetite are also problems that can severely plague cancer patients, and cannabis has been proven to stimulate appetite and can help promote weight gain.
Chronic pain is another complication that can arise from both cancer and its potential treatment methods, such as chemotherapy and radiation. Cannabis is known to help alleviate pain and promote elevated mood, which can make a world of difference for someone suffering from chronic or terminally ill conditions.
While there are associated risks with cannabis use in young adults and children, these complications need to be weighed against the mortality of potentially terminal conditions such as cancer.
Cannabis use in children and young adults is linked to potential neurocognitive disadvantages, and it is important to take the full gamut of available data into consideration when looking at cannabis as an alternative therapy for children and young adults.
Although sometimes the risks significantly outweigh the rewards, in some cases they do not. While more research is needed to understand exactly what cannabis does to a developing brain, in some cases the trade-off for this uncertainty may be improved quality of life, or in some cases, extended life expectancy.
For more information on using cannabis as a complementary treatment for children with cancer, consult with our staff of qualified doctors who can help walk you through the process of obtaining a medical marijuana card in Georgia.
Get Your Georgia Marijuana Card
As a Georgia marijuana patient, you can legally purchase up to 20 ounces of low THC cannabis oil. For Georgians, this means getting the relief you need naturally and organically, and Georgia Marijuana Card is here to help.
Reserve your appointment today and get $25 off when we start processing applications!
Feel free to give us a call at (866) 781-5606, and we can help answer your questions about getting medical marijuana in Georgia