Cannabis for Children, a Pediatrician’s Experience, with Dr. Bonni Goldstein

Cannabis for Children, a Pediatrician’s Experience, with Dr. Bonni Goldstein

Cannabis for Children, a Pediatrician’s Experience, with Dr. Bonni Goldstein. We spoke with Dr. Bonni Goldstein at the IACM Cannabinoids in Medicine conference 2019 in Berlin, Germany. Dr. Goldstein is a trained pediatrician and practicing cannabis specialist in Los Angeles, USA.

Dr. Goldstein has successfully treated over 900 children with serious medical conditions including epilepsy, autism, various cancers, anxiety, depression, bipolar, eating disorders, OCD and ADHD among others, using cannabis medicines. Dr. Goldstein explained her “do no harm” approach to giving these otherwise untreatable kids and their families a second chance to live healthy, happy lives.

She said patients achieve the quality of life improvements, fewer side-effects, more alert, more awake, starting to talk, using fewer pharmaceuticals, fewer hospitalizations, and other benefits.

Dr. Goldstein also said other physicians are now understanding that they can alleviate unnecessary suffering using cannabis as medicine. She describes that for pediatric epilepsy this means significant reductions in potentially brain-damaging seizures or even complete freedom from seizures [without the terrible side effects of current anti-epileptic drugs].

In her practice, cannabis medicines reduce the crazy behavior of kids with autism to reveal the person underneath [where there is no safe and effective treatment currently available].

Cannabis for Children

Dr. Goldstein says ADHD is a neurotransmitter disorder and cannabis is another medicine that can manage it [without the terrible side effects of current ADHD drugs]. She explains that children may have anandamide deficiency and that THC is a replacement, but that she nonetheless often tries to achieve the same effect with other cannabinoids.

Dr. Goldstein says endocannabinoid deficiencies can be the root cause of many such conditions, and if the deficiency is not addressed doctors are leaving children in a deficiency state, untreated, which is malpractice.

Cancer patients (even with stage 4 brain cancer) in her practice have seen a reduction in tumor sizes, remission, and freedom from cancer. The anti-cancer effects came from both cannabis in combination with traditional anti-cancer medicines, and from cannabis alone after discontinuation of chemotherapy.

Dr. Goldstein addresses the risks and precautions necessary for the safe and successful treatment of children using cannabis medicines. She believes cannabis medicines are “safe and effective when managed”. She sees no reason to withhold them from a child who was suffering but also notes the importance of adherence to medical supervision.

She says she has never had a patient get psychosis, but that she rarely recommends THC alone in young patients, as the combination with other cannabinoids is much more beneficial, among other benefits. Dr. Goldstein also notes that for teen patients with a family history of schizophrenia or bipolar the combination of other cannabinoids with THC is particularly important [to avoid the risk of such negative outcomes].