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Medical Marijuana Use for Children Requires More Comprehensive Research

Medical Marijuana Use for Children Requires More Comprehensive Research


Medical marijuana for children was legalized in Florida in 2016. Since then, many families and physicians swear by its relaxing effect on children living with medical conditions like autism, epilepsy, and PTSD. However, concerns about quality control and a lack of studies on medical marijuana in children have sparked debate in the state.

Jonathan Rose, a 20-year-old living with autism, experienced severe anxiety for much of his early life. His father, Rich Rose, said that they tried various treatments to soothe Jonathan, but nothing seemed to work. When Jonathan was 13, the family decided to try medical marijuana as a possible remedy.

"It was like turning on a switch," said Rich. "Once he started taking the medical cannabis, CBD, it actually calmed him down to the point where his body was more normalized."

Dr. David Berger, a pediatrician with Wholistic Pediatrics & Family Care in Tampa, and Dr. Jessica Chapman, a pediatric neurologist at the University of Miami Health System, both agree that medical marijuana has helped some children in Florida. However, Dr. Berger also acknowledges that there is a lack of research on the subject.

"Everything in life - and when it comes to any kind of medical treatment, you weigh the potential benefits versus the potential risks, and you make the decision that's best for that individual patient," said Dr. Berger.

Dr. Chapman added that while there is anecdotal evidence of the benefits of medical marijuana for children, more research is needed to understand the long-term effects. Both Dr. Berger and Dr. Chapman agree that parents should do a lot of research before considering medical marijuana for their children.

The use of medical marijuana in adolescents has shown promise in helping children with certain medical conditions. However, more research is needed to understand the long-term effects and to ensure quality control. Parents should carefully consider the potential benefits and risks before deciding if medical marijuana is the right choice for their child. 


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