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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.



  1. Mark E Kerr

    January 23, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    Education an medical studies are the key to this whole conversation.Name calling an judging other peoples ideals will solve nothing.

  2. Granger Null

    January 22, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    Raw cannabis is food, but it has even better healing properties than dried cannabis, it is more potent , yet there is no euphoria, sad but it is perfect for children

  3. Patricia Silverman

    October 14, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    thc is just another cannabinoid just like CBD is a cannabinoid, that is the same faulty logic used in modern medicine a single targeted med. Cannabis is not a drug it is a herb and you really need all of it and not just THC and CBD but all 400 compounds, unless or until you understand the endocannabinoid system. these idiots want to try single components just because they want you afraid of thc

  4. Shar Valentine`

    April 2, 2014 at 10:33 am

    I think that it should be legalized completely. As far as some people only wanting CBD’s for children, I think those people that think like that are not educated properly about cannabis, it is their mind-set that the THC part is bad. It is not bad, or harmful. In fact, it helps one to rest and to sleep which is when your body heals the best. With all of the cannabidiols including THC, CBD etc., they all work synergistically to achieve the best results you can get out of it as medicine.

  5. Hazymeerkat

    March 22, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Excellent article, Brandon. When my 15 y/o son was diagnosed with synovial cell sarcoma, I didn’t hesitate one minute to introduce cannabis into his treatment plan. The only thing we knew then was that it releived the nausea and vomiting caused by chemo. He used cannabis immediately before and after chemo treatments and anytime he felt nauseated, couldn’t eat, or was over stressed. It helps heal the mind, the body and the soul when used in toto. Man just can’t do better than Mother Nature. He continued to used it for a couple of years after chemo. It took that long to overcome the ill effects of chemo enough to live a normal life. It’s been 27 years and he’s still cancer free. That’s pretty remarkable. Just wish we could prove what an important role cannabis played in his recovery and healing. The pro-cannabis faction continues to stand strong in support of whole-plant use. Compromising to accept the separate compounds that greedy pharmaceutical companies are trying to push would mean more poison being labeled “medicine.” Makayla is fortunate to have an intelligent and informed Dad on her side.

  6. Christian

    March 21, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    What a great article, with some very good points!
    The ones saying they would rather have children suffering and dieing, than to have them high on a non man made drug, but are okay with the over the counter drugs and all that is at risk using those. Are insane or at least very ignorant.
    Stopped reading the article because they like being ignorant. What can you do?
    Thanks for the article!

  7. Bea

    March 19, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    The high is THE ONLY SIDE EFFECT of this medication! It is not dangerous, it is not addictive. It’s the safest side effect there is. Thank you, ALL CANNABINOIDS for being anti metastatic, anti proliferative, anti angiogenic and apoptotic against cancer. Not to mention anti spasmodic against Parkinsons disease and a large host of other illnesses.

  8. @laughinpaulryan

    March 13, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    … If only the author we’re actually genuine and really a criminal extorting the cannabis industry to fill the void of his failures because of his lack of sincerity …

  9. Justine

    March 12, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    I remember reading something concerning marinol, the “weed pill” when it first was approved for use, a few years after there was a study that showed the efficacy was not as consistent or as desirable as the plant itself. All the components of cannabis effect the other & the ability each compound has to produce results. It’s a sim biotic relationship to make an analogy. You need the other parts for it to work harmoniously.

  10. Adam Hurter

    March 12, 2014 at 7:29 am

    Great piece! Thanks for writing it. The entire cannabis plant is what we need to legalize/medicalize.

  11. Sue Kiefer

    March 11, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    There’s a lot more benefits to it than was discussed in this article. I am all for medical marijuana.

    • Jeff

      March 11, 2014 at 10:01 pm

      This article was very biased and ill-written. Why would anyone give their child Heroin? You dope… You’d give them painkillers… yet highly addictive like Heroin… At that point, I couldn’t to care to read more.

      • Jah

        March 12, 2014 at 6:21 pm

        Typical of most people still stuck in the “reefer madness” -“Couldn’t care to read more” Go back to sleep, YA BIG OL DOPE YOU

      • Chrissie

        March 13, 2014 at 9:00 pm

        Ignorance at it’s best right there!! All of the medications listed there are a form of heroin/opiates and therefore create a higher risk for your child to become addicted to them! Why would you want to give that to your child if you have the option of cannabis, it’s not addictive/habit forming. Both if these children have the EXACT SAME leukemia as my daughter Lacey, T cell ALL. If I lived on a state that legalized medical marijuana, for my daughter’s sake I wouldn’t even question it, she would get it!! There are so many benefits and if you won’t take the time to REALLY DO YOUR RESEARCH, you will not be knowledgable in this subject. Most of us who have a family member, especially a child suffering from a form of cancer, epilepsy, etc are the ones who have actually done our research on these things!! I guess until you’ve gone through something like this with your own child (which I pray you never have to) you’ll never understand where we are coming from!!

      • LOL LOL LOL

        March 15, 2014 at 1:12 am

        LOL go back to sleep and/or stop trolling please.

      • Martha

        March 27, 2014 at 9:47 pm

        Unfortunately ignorance reigns supreme once again. This person had the chance to become educated regarding a subject he apparently knows little to nothing about. This is when it is no longer classified as ignorance but Stupidity. I could go on and on but again another fail to raise the collective consciousness by his stupid and biased remarks.

      • Paul Ramirez

        January 22, 2015 at 5:06 pm

        Bro you’re an idiot. He is showing opiates are all common and all dangerous, dunce. Even legal ones like methadone, which are just legal heroin can and do kill and worse kill from withdrawal alone yet legal. Bs get a clue. Similar is cannabis in what ever form like legal thc pills, they already do it but its big pharma vs natural. Please take head out of butt,!

    • Hamish

      March 12, 2014 at 12:18 am

      This article is brilliant, and is a great example of the proper way to debate legalisation.

      • Eric Bacon

        March 14, 2014 at 11:03 am

        So many of us a so skeptical about benefits of anything we have not heard about as a cure. Your research as stated has your family involved in a medical experiment which is PROVING the benefits of THC
        oils in your daughter. Until anyone of these armchair advisors have had to deal with the reality of debilitative effects of such a horrible
        cancer, let alone in a 7 year old, they are not qualified to pass judgement on how to treat anyone.
        I’m calling this a miracle, Makayla looks fantastic, keep up the good work which is turning the tide in favor of accepting new cures, no matter what archaic stigma they have attached to them. GO MAKAYLA!
        Great job Mom and Dad! Hang in there!

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