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As a Parent of a Child Using Medical Cannabis, I Do Not Support CBD-only Legislation

Brandon holds his daughter Mykayla, who uses CBD oils to treat her cancer.
Brandon and Mykayla

Joint Opinions

As a Parent of a Child Using Medical Cannabis, I Do Not Support CBD-only Legislation

Understanding the basics of the poppy and opiates, those against a child being “high” due to the psychoactive nature of a plant based or man-made medicine are hypocrites.

Currently there is a big debate concerning cannabis legislation, or should I say cannabinoid legislation. The cannabis community at large is united on demanding the end of marijuana prohibition, valiantly fighting off biased and uneducated comments and claims against our recreation and medicine.

This community understands the benefits of THC. There is however, a small sect growing outside the medical cannabis community that does not tout the medical benefits of cannabis honestly; they only champion a single compound found in the plant material: CBD or Cannabidiol. The perception is that CBD is non-psychoactive, so therefore preferable to marijuana because it doesn’t get them “high”.

Would you give your child heroin if they broke their arm and were in pain? What about in the case of post-operative palliative care? I’m going to make reasonable assumption that you would not.  No parent in their right mind would give their child that highly addictive and dreaded opiate fondly known as “smack.”

You all think you wouldn’t, however, I beg to differ.

People allow their children the warm and encompassing embrace of an opium high every single day. If you have administered any of following drugs to your child, you have unwittingly allowed them to use the pharmaceutical version of smack: Codeine, Hydrocodone, Morphine, Oxycodone, Diamorphine, Oxymorphone and Fentanyl. Heroin is just one substance that is produced using the poppy plant or “Papaver somniferum.”

Naturally occurring in the poppy plant are the opiate compounds Morphine, Codeine, Thebaine as well as Narcotoline and Noscapine. Morphine is converted into heroin by a simple chemical reaction with acetic anhydride, followed by a purification step. The poppy is known for providing many wonderful pain-relieving drugs that people buy both on the streets and in pharmacies.

READ: Why America’s Children Have the Right to Get High

This year there has been a major push for CBD-only legislation. Individuals and groups are lobbying for the right to use this seemingly magical “non-psychoactive” substance found in the dreaded cannabis plant. These people are claiming that CBD does the same job as THC if not better. These claims of a panacea are falling like music upon conservative politicians’ ears.

Finally there is a way they can compromise with the people’s demands and allow certain zero to low-THC, high-CBD cannabis plants to be grown and utilized without allowing the use of the highly stigmatized compound that gets people high.

The biggest claim is that CBD is non-psychoactive. THC is again being compared to psychedelic substances like psilocybin (magic mushrooms) and Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) for the high associated with the decarboxylated form of THC.

Yes, THC is psychotropic; it can alter the perception and mental processing of a user in many different ways. Ninety-nine percent of the time, these effects are found to be beneficial for the user. THC delivers the mental effects by binding to endocannabinoid receptors in the brain. Scientifically speaking, CBD is technically psychoactive in the sense that is has effects on the brain, because are receptors that CBD binds to in the brain much like THC.

Psychoactive: psy·cho·ac·tive (sī′kō-ăk′tĭv) Affecting the mind or mental processes.

CBD-only legislation is not all encompassing but rather discriminatory; not all people receive benefits from this compound alone. Many patients, children like my daughter, Brave Mykayla Comstock and pediatric cannabis patient Landon Riddle rely on THC rich medications to treat not only their conditions, but the side effects of the toxic pharmaceuticals they are required to take. Both children share a diagnosis of T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and both children use cannabis oil. THC rich preparations of cannabis not only relieve all of the side effects of chemotherapy, but also cause apoptosis of malignant cells, which effectively helps to cure cancer. The entire time these children are undergoing cannabinoid therapy, they experience the “high” delivered by THC and their quality of life is better because of it.

Those who denounce the benefits of THC as a medicine because of a “high” must realize that they are then forced to take the same position against opiate based medications for children and adults. I had this debate with an oncologist who would have rather had us give Mykayla opiate based medications for pain and symptom relief over cannabis oil even though the opiate based medications come with a risk of overdose and death. Cannabis gives Mykayla a quality of life other pediatric cancer patients don’t have safe access to.

What do you think about giving children THC? Tell us in the comments below.

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