Pediatrics

Video: Do-It-Yourself Cannabis Tinctures

One of the terrific realities of modern Cannabis is that it is possible, and often quite simple, to make effective products at home. With suitable education and access to testing facilities, the soil, nutrients, and plant growth can be supported at home, lab-tested for make-up and potency, as well as safety-checked for potential microscopic contaminants, and ultimately, individualized medicine can be created right at home!

Here is a sample instructional for just one way that cannabis tincture can be made at home. There are countless others and hopefully, many that are yet to be discovered!

To explore related information, click the keywords below:

Benjamin Caplan, MDVideo: Do-It-Yourself Cannabis Tinctures
read more

A Call for More Research: Adolescent Cannabis Use and Mental Health Risks

Title: Adolescent Cannabis Use and Risk of Mental Health Problems – The Need for Newer Data

Here, an article presenting a case, justifying the need for new research to determine how cannabis use in adolescents may affect their risk for mental health. Few recent studies have come out discussing mental health and adolescent use. This is problematic because, over the years, cannabis products have been curated to be significantly more potent than in the past. Considering how vulnerable the brain is, during adolescence, because it is still developing, longitudinal studies need to be conducted to fully elucidate the effects of cannabis on development. 


This review highlights how poorly adolescents consuming cannabis seem to be at titrating their dose, or correctly self-regulating consumption of cannabis. There is an overall need for greater education before cannabis is acquired, from a dispensary or otherwise. For adults and teens seeking to self-regulate their use of cannabis, irrespective of the consumption method, it is difficult to succeed, considering the gross lack of knowledge and sophistication around the dosage. The wide variability in choice and make-up of cannabis products, added to the complexity associated with how each patient may process the myriad of cannabinoids within the products consumed leads to a complexity of confounding variables, and here, a call for more studies to be conducted on more than just adolescents. 

View this review (yellow link) or download:

This paper is also stored here:   http://bit.ly/2XGXNLC      inside the CED Foundation Archive

To explore related information, click the keywords below:

Benjamin Caplan, MDA Call for More Research: Adolescent Cannabis Use and Mental Health Risks
read more

Pediatric Oncology Center Justifies the Use of Medical Cannabis

Pediatric oncologists from Minnesota recently published an article justifying their use of medical cannabis as palliative care for their patients.

The majority of patients at the oncology center were approved for medical cannabis use during their first round of treatment, in order to immediately address the negative side effects of chemotherapy such as nausea, pain, and cancer cachexia. The data provided from the center described much higher chemotherapy compliance rates among patients, and that patients have a much better quality of life when utilizing cannabis.

This article highlights a few promising trends and issues with using medical cannabis; one promising trend is the hope for cannabis to provide antitumor effects. Cannabis has been a subject of exploration for antitumor effects and it has shown promising results. But, there are many limitations to the few studies that have been published, leading the authors to defer any definitive conclusions. The center in Minnesota noted that many of the patients diagnosed with brain tumors were especially hopeful that cannabis would aid in curing them of cancer, second to utilizing the drug for nausea. This is a promising trend because it means the greater public is showing interest in the therapeutic possibilities of cannabis and their support and call for research will aid the drive for the federal rescheduling of marijuana. 

Also highlighted in this article is that, of all the patients certified to use medical cannabis, a subset of 24% never actually registered through the state to receive it. The authors have no firm explanation for these circumstances but seem to suspect that the $200 annual certification fee, on top of the cost for each additional dispensed product may be limiting of patients abilities to afford cannabis. Without the backing of the federal government, insurance companies are unable to cover medical cannabis. As the depth and reach of cannabis research grow, there are good reasons for patients to feel optimistic about medical cannabis.

View this review (yellow link) or download:

This paper is also stored here:    http://bit.ly/2Xb2O3N     inside the CED Foundation Archive


To explore related information, click the keywords below:

Benjamin Caplan, MDPediatric Oncology Center Justifies the Use of Medical Cannabis
read more

Case Studies Reveal Difficulties in Differences between State Cannabis Laws

Crossing the Line: Care of a Pediatric Patient with Intractable Seizures and Severe Neuropathic Pain in Absence of Access to Medical Marijuana

A recent case report discussing a six-year-old patient suffering from a seizure disorder has exposed the difficulty is receiving treatment across state lines. The patient was prescribed medical marijuana that alleviated the severity and duration of her seizures but was weaned off that medication when traveling to Nebraska for a therapeutic surgery due to the legal status in the state. This case study exposes the difficulty of treating patients across the country due to the legal variability of cannabis across states.  

An interesting question brought up in this case study is how to handle palliative care in the absence of opioids and without synthetic products. A combination of massage, essential oils, and salt light therapies were able to compensate for medical marijuana, but not without great effort. Natural therapies like the ones administered here are costly and highlight the simplicity and effectiveness of medicinal cannabis.

View this review (yellow link) or download:

This paper is also stored here:   http://bit.ly/2IxPoWN      inside the CED Foundation Archive

To explore related information, click the keywords below:

Benjamin Caplan, MDCase Studies Reveal Difficulties in Differences between State Cannabis Laws
read more

Cost-effectiveness of treating pediatric drug-resistant epilepsy

Cannabis-based treatments may reduce seizures among children with drug-resistant epilepsy, but are these treatments cost-effective? 

Economic evaluations of cannabis treatments are needed, and they should address issues including weight-gain over time, switching or discontinuation of treatments, the effectiveness of interventions, and long-term success, beyond the duration of available clinical studies.

This paper is also stored here:     http://bit.ly/2INWAOJ    inside the CED Foundation Archive

To explore related information, click the keywords below:

Benjamin Caplan, MDCost-effectiveness of treating pediatric drug-resistant epilepsy
read more

Vaping cannabis among adolescents: prevalence and associations with tobacco use from a cross-sectional study in the USA

Out of 2,835 high school students from North Carolina, 272 students (or 9.6%) reported ever vaping cannabis. Interestingly, the odds of ever vaping cannabis were significantly higher among males (11.0%) compared with females (8.2%), and significantly higher among non-Hispanic white students (11.3%) compared with non-Hispanic black students (5.0%).

It’s clear that white males are the most likely to have ever vaping cannabis. Why might minority students engage less with recreational drug use?

View this review (yellow link) or download:

This paper is also stored here:    http://bit.ly/2L6zYdv     inside the CED Foundation Archive

Benjamin Caplan, MDVaping cannabis among adolescents: prevalence and associations with tobacco use from a cross-sectional study in the USA
read more

New Study Finds Cannabis May Be “Unsafe” For Pregnant Women

https://www.wbur.org/commonhealth/2019/06/18/cannabis-unsafe-pregnant-women

In a study of 661, 617 pregnant women, researchers found that cannabis use was significantly associated with an increased risk of preterm birth. But these findings may be limited due to other risk factors like tobacco, alcohol, and opioid use. 

View this review (yellow link) or download:

This paper is also stored here:    http://bit.ly/2L0vTaY     inside the CED Foundation Archive

To explore related information, click the keywords below:

Benjamin Caplan, MDNew Study Finds Cannabis May Be “Unsafe” For Pregnant Women
read more

Adolescent Executive Dysfunction in Daily Life: Relationships to Risks, Brain Structure and Substance Use

Researchers assessed 817 youth (aged 12 to 21) who previously participated in the National Consortium on Alcohol and Neurodevelopment in Adolescence study. They found that 123 subjects (15.2%) had used cannabis in the past year, and that cannabis use impaired inhibitory control, emotional control, and task planning.

View this review (yellow link) or download:

This paper is also stored here:    http://bit.ly/2L0aMWa     inside the CED Foundation Archive

Benjamin Caplan, MDAdolescent Executive Dysfunction in Daily Life: Relationships to Risks, Brain Structure and Substance Use
read more

Medical Marijuana and Treatment of Pediatric Epilepsy Patients

Medical Marijuana in the Pediatric Population With Epilepsy—What You Should Know

A recent review has discussed the known benefits of treating children who are suffering from epilepsy with cannabis-based medicine. Medical marijuana (MM) is a viable option for treating this population that comes with risks due to the high that comes from THC and its legal status as a Schedule 1 drug. The legal status is currently preventing larger scale research to be done so that physicians can better educate parents on how to care for a child taking MM.

View this review (yellow link) or download:

This paper is also stored here:     http://bit.ly/2KNbGVS    inside the CED Foundation Archive

To explore related information, click the keywords below:

Benjamin Caplan, MDMedical Marijuana and Treatment of Pediatric Epilepsy Patients
read more

Video: Cannabidiol as a suggested candidate for treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder

This 2018 review summarizes the available data regarding the safety and effectiveness of medical cannabis in young ASD patients. Here’s our video adaptation:

  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) defines a group of neurodevelopmental disorders that are frequently associated with general cognitive deficits
    • DSM-5 criteria of ASD include:
      • A. Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction
      • B. Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities
      • C. Symptoms must be present in the early developmental period
      • D. Symptoms cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of current functioning.
      • E. These disturbances are not better explained by intellectual disability or global developmental delay
    • ASD is frequently accompanied by co-morbidities:
      • sleep disorders
      • attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
      • Psychosis
      • Anxiety
      • mood and cognitive disorders
      • epilepsy
    • Despite it being one of the most severe chronic childhood disorders with relatively high prevalence, morbidity and impact on the society, no effective treatment for the core symptoms of ASD is available yet.
    • There is increasing interest in cannabinoids, especially cannabidiol (CBD), as monotherapy or add-on treatment for the core symptoms and co-morbidities of ASD.
  • CBD Use for Epilepsy
    • 20-30% of people with ASD also suffer from epilepsy
    • Surveys conducted among parents of children suffering from epilepsy suggest improvement following treatment with CBD-enriched cannabis extracts. These results however, do not necessarily apply when it comes to treating adults with epilepsy (Alexander et al., 2009).
    • Still, in a retrospective study that examined the effect of CBD enriched medical cannabis oil on children with intractable epilepsy, the treatment caused a reduction in seizure frequency in 89% of patients (Tzadok et al., 2016).
  • CBD Use in Psychiatry
    • CBD in Psychosis
      • In some cases, psychosis can be a comorbidity of ASD, with the simultaneous onset of schizophrenia at adolescence or early adulthood (Sagar et al., 2013).
      • Ineffective
        • A 2006 study that investigated the influence of CBD as monotherapy in treatment-resistant schizophrenia found that it was ineffective (Zuardi et al., 2006).
      • Effective
        • But a 2018 study showed that, in patients with schizophrenia, adding CBD to ongoing antipsychotic treatment resulted in greater antipsychotic activity and beneficial effects, as compared to placebo add-on (Mcguire et al., 2018).
    • CBD and Anxiety
      • Many ASD patients suffer from anxiety disorders that harm their quality of life (Gu, 2017; Haan et al., 2008; Perrin, 2011).
      • CBD may possess anxiolytic effects both in animals and humans (Bergamaschi et al., 2011).
      • When tested in humans, CBD showed an anxiolytic effect in patients that suffer from social anxiety disorder (SAD), contrary to THC that may induce anxiety (Devinsky et al., 2014).
    • CBD, mood and cognitive disorders
      • It was previously shown that a variety of psychiatric co-morbidities may occur in ASD patients, the most common one being mood disorders (Ghaziddin and Zafar, 2008).
      • Risks of THC
        • THC use may be associated with onset or aggravation of depression, bipolar disorder, mania and psychosis (Rong et al., 2017).
        • THC administration may also result in memory impairment (Ranganathan and Souza, 2006; Rong et al., 2017).
      • Benefits of CBD
        • On the other hand, CBD possesses agonistic activity at the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor and shares similar mechanisms with lithium. These pharmacological properties may indicate its potential role in the treatment of mood disorders (Rong et al., 2017).
        • Therapeutic CBD properties were investigated for cognitive deficits as well. In a preclinical study that tested the effect of CBD on cognition in an Alzheimer’s Disease mouse model (APPxPS1), chronic CBD treatment reversed the cognitive deficits without affecting anxiety-related behaviors (Cheng et al., 2014).
    • CBD and sleep disorders
      • Sleep disorders are highly prevalent among children with ASD.
      • In the general population insomnia is the most common sleep complaint, and treatment with medical cannabis may be effective, especially when the insomnia is associated with pain (Gates et al., 2014).
      • It has been claimed that long term use of cannabis may induce sleep disturbances (Gates et al., 2014). however, a case series indicated that CBD treatment may actually improve the quality of sleep in Parkinson’s disease (Chagas et al., 2014).
    • CBD and ADHD
      • ADHD is one of the most common psychiatric co-morbidities in young ASD patients (Ghaziddin and Zafar, 2008), with comorbidity rates in the range of 40-70% (Antshel et al., 2016).
      • In a pilot randomized placebo-controlled experimental study of a cannabinoid medication (an oral spray containing 1:1 ratio of THC:CBD) in adults who suffer from ADHD, there was no significant improvement in the cognitive performance, but there was a significant improvement in the hyperactivity, impulsivity and inhibition measures after the treatment with the medical cannabis (Cooper et al., 2017).
    • The role of cannabis use for social behavior
      • Risks
        • Some studies show that THC administration may lead as well to a reduction in social interaction in rats, while co-administration of CBD seems to attenuate this effect (Malone et al., 2009).
      • Benefits
        • On the other hand, in a study that tested the influence of marijuana smoking on healthy human volunteers, subjects reported retrospectively that while smoking marijuana they were happier, friendlier and calmer, responded more warmly to others, seemed to have a better understanding of their peers’ state of mind and were less likely to respond angrily or defensively. However, they had a harder time focusing and paying attention to what others said (Galanter et al., 1974).
        • CBD Use for Children
    • The administration of cannabinoids for children and adolescents suffering from ASD is a controversial legal and ethical issue (Khalil, 2012).
      • Risks
        • Those who oppose the use of medical cannabis in pediatrics claim that this treatment might harm young children and adolescents’ brain development.
      • Benefits
        • In the field of pediatric mental illnesses, CBD is sometimes used as a treatment for anxiety disorders. In a case report describing a 10-year-old girl who suffered from PTSD after being sexually abused, it was reported that CBD treatment reduced her anxiety and improved her sleep (Shannon, 2016).
  • Conclusions
    • The use of cannabinoids in general and CBD in particular in the treatment of numerous medical and mental conditions, including ASD, is growing rapidly.
    • There certainly is a big gap in the field and such studies are needed before drawing any conclusions on the potential therapeutic applications of cannabinoids in ASD.
    • Further pre-clinical and clinical studies are needed in order to examine the pros and cons of CBD and other cannabinoids in ASD, before they are established as a treatment for ASD symptoms and co-morbidities.

View this review (yellow link) or download:

This paper is also stored here:   http://bit.ly/2FfC5rQ      inside the CED Foundation Archive

To explore related information, click the keywords below:

Benjamin Caplan, MDVideo: Cannabidiol as a suggested candidate for treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder
read more