F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

Welcome to F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum. This is a free service provided for parents of those suffering from eating disorders. It is moderated by kind, experienced, parent caregivers trained to guide you in how to use the forum and how to find resources to help you support your family member. This forum is for parents of patients with all eating disorder diagnoses, all ages, around the world.

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Heyjac
Has anyone tried or considered medical marijuana for their AN young adult? It helps with anxiety and is an appetite stimulant. Our pediatrician is not apposed to our giving it a try. It is a bit expensive, but I wondered if anyone has given it a try and had success. I am willing to do whatever I have to do to get this young man well.
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greekdude
Isn't it addictive and illegal?
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Enn
In some countries it is legal. It is legal in Canada now for the last year. Prior to that a proper prescription was required  to ensure it was used for medical purposes.
A few here on this site have used CBD oil to help calm their child or the gummies. 
When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
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Heyjac
no. Here is NJ "medical marijuana" can be prescribed by a doctor and is perfectly legal. it has many very good medicinal uses. as far as addictive, It can be for some, but usually mild symptoms. Many of the over the counter drugs we give our children for anxiety and depression have to same effects. idk, it doesn't seem that bad to me
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Torie
Personally, I would first pursue evidence-based treatments (CHOP; the one-week intensive program in Ohio).  If I could not make progress with those, I might consider something experimental.  Since your son is 18 (right?), your parental authority is eroding by the month.  I urge you to call Laura Hill's program right away. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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mjkz
My ex husband is an ER physician and has been for over 20 years.  He is vehemently opposed to legalizing marijuana because of all the people he has seen as a doctor struggle just as much with marijuana being addicting and also mind altering in the same way "harder" drugs are.  I wouldn't do it any more than I would offer my 17 year-old alcohol or cocaine.
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Enn
https://www.google.ca/amp/s/childmind.org/article/cbd-what-parents-need-to-know/amp/

Here in Canada cannabinoids are not  recommended for those under 25.
edited to add in Canadian Pediatrics society guidelines. This is controversial for sure.
https://www.cps.ca/en/documents/position/medical-use-of-cannabis
When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
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mamabear

I’m also married to an ER doctor. He couldn’t be more opposite on this. 

it helps a ton of people with a ton of things. 

And no one has ever died from it because you cannot overdose. Cocaine and alcohol can kill you. Pot cannot. A lot of people have issues with it bc they do multiple other things as well. Alcohol is by far the worst drug. 

It can be beneficial for depression and anxiety in adults. It can help with insomnia. For pain relief. 


I find it strange that people trust man made chemicals made in a lab more than a plant that’s been around and used by humans forever. 


my son takes CBD oil for his depression and insomnia. It doesn’t have THC in it as he is only 16. There are lots of CBD oils that have a very low THC content and high cannabinoids. In other words there’s very little to no “ high”. Edibles as well. 

There hasn’t been enough actual study of its use in ED. 

Persistent, consistent vigilance!
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Heyjac
Thank you. I agree. 
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Kali
Hi Heyjac,

There is really no evidence nor have there been any clinical trials showing that smoking marijuana is helpful in any way at all with anorexia. My daughter smoked lots of weed and not the medical kind while she was in the throes of her ED and as far as I could see, it did absolutely nothing to help. 

It both puts me to sleep and increases my anxiety, so i usually stay away from it.  My d recently brought me some chocolate with CBD oil from a legal dispensary and I ate a piece of it. It made me literally see double, become out of it, and then put me to sleep. It is possible that different people have different reactions, but I didn't feel like it did anything positive for me and didn't even much like how it made me feel. I like my real brain much better.

Just my experience. I was a teenager in the 70s and I did inhale. 

Just curious—is it your son who is asking to do this?

Kali 
Food=Love
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Scaredmom2019
I have to agree that I would pick marijuana as treatment over lab pharmaceuticals. Not legal for much yet where I am but may be one day. Marijuana has done wonders for many ailments that traditional lab medicine could not. I think it needs tweaking and learning but I don't think we are that far away from seeing marijuana being used for many conditions.
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Heyjac
Kali, 
No, he has never asked, and he defiantly will not smoke it! He has no interest in smoking anything!  I was never crazy about the effects as a teen, but I was willing to explore it as an option if I thought it may help him in any way. He is also a chronic migraine sufferer, and it has been shown to help with migraine pain. It is just something I am looking into.
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mjkz
I have to agree that I would pick marijuana as treatment over lab pharmaceuticals


That's funny since a lot of pharmaceuticals are based on plants,isolating the active ingredient, and manufacturing it.  Also pharmaceuticals have to be approved by the FDA so you know what you're getting.  Some people don't like the FDA but I would point out that DES and Thalidomide, both drugs with long-term health consequence, were never legal in the US.  Marijuana is not legal in the US at least by federal law which supersedes any state law and is not subject to any kind of FDA approval.

And no one has ever died from it because you cannot overdose. Cocaine and alcohol can kill you. Pot cannot. A lot of people have issues with it bc they do multiple other things as well. Alcohol is by far the worst drug. 


Plenty of people have died of it-mainly from doing stupid things while stoned just as much as while drunk.  There's a reason they are developing breathalyzers for cannabis now.
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Kali

mjkz,

Interesting that you should mention DES. I am a DES daughter. 

Kali

 

Food=Love
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mamabear

We will agree to disagree. 

I guarantee you many many more people have died from alcohol, opiates, meth etc than from “ doing stupid things” while high from pot. 

The history of the illegality of it’s all pretty fascinating. Based on politics and racism. 

“ Medicinal Cannabis and it’s effect on Human Health” is a great documentary. 

 

Persistent, consistent vigilance!
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Torie
It seems unlikely that marijuana would be a magic bullet against AN.  It's possible it would help some; it's also possible it could cause problems.  CHOP can help.  The one week intensive program in Ohio can help.  The clock is ticking. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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Mamaroo
I'm now going a bit off topic, but since we are discussing alternative medication, I will add my experience. My d also struggled with very high anxiety, but the doctors would not prescribe anything for her. I got some over the counter anti anxiety meds for myself and when I saw how well it worked, gave it to my d, with great results. It took off enough of anxiety's edge to get her to eat real food again. It's called ashwangandha (sold in Aus as EQ Control) When she went through the extinction burst phase her anxiety ramped up and I found 5htp (an amino acid and a precursor to serotonin), which also helped very well. Today I still give her half an EQ control tablet during the school week.
D became obsessed with exercise at age 9 and started eating 'healthy' at age 9.5. Restricting couple of months later. IP for 2 weeks at age 10. Slowly refed for months on Ensures alone, followed by swap over with food at a snails pace. WR after a year at age 11 in March 2017. View my recipes on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKLW6A6sDO3ZDq8npNm8_ww
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ValentinaGermania
I know that some parents here had great progress with cannabis oil to calm them down and get them to sleep. Maybe worth to use the search button for that?
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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deenl
Hi heyjac,

This is a vey controversial question and unfortunately there is no body of research that provides a trustworthy answer so it is all a question of personal gut feel. What really strikes me about your question is the very strong desire to find a way, any way, the quickest way, the least painful way to help your son. This is a feeling we are all intimately familiar with.

You are at the beginning of your journey and there is a very steep learning curve involved. Part of that learning is gathering information and you seem to be right on that. The other part of the learning curve is a bit more touchy-feely as it were. Things like acceptance that we are where we are, that the journey to health is never easy and, in fact, to all of our very great disappointment there are no short-cuts or easy answers, that we all have to learn to tolerate difficult emotions (here is a recent thread on how to help ourselves and our kids tolerate distress). If there were any easier way I think the collective desperation of the many, many parents on the forum would have discovered it.

Ultimately, it is for you and your son to choose whether or not to take CBD oil. There are just a couple of points I would like to raise for consideration when weighing up the pros and cons on the understanding that any decision you make should be well researched for your own peace of mind.

Firstly, there is no way to know what is actually in the oil that you are buying; if the concentration of CBD matches what is on the label or whether the THC has all been removed. This last point is a particular concern as THC has been linked to psychosis and schizophrenia. The recent genetic news has shown
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The genetic basis of anorexia nervosa overlaps with other psychiatric disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia.
. We have schizophrenia in our family genes and, honestly, it is worse than ED, in my experience. In our family, we have made a choice to avoid marjuana in all its forms. Why take the risk for only possible benefit?

The second area to give consideration to is the fact that malnutrition from any source causes changes in the brain. This can cause medications to react differently in people who are undernourished. I know someone who had a life-threatening reaction to prescribed medication when malnourished. The difference in reactions is also the reason why most specialist ED clinics do not prescribe SSRIs to severely malnourished people. Their general rule of thumb is that you should be 95% of personalised goal weight before prescribing SSRIs. On the other hand, medications such as olazapine seem to be well tolerated. I am not a doctor or in the medical field at all. This infomation is just what I have picked up in the 4 years since my son got ill and I am sharing with you so you can make the best choice possible.

We have been able to see our son healthy and happy again but it has not been an easy journey. The medicines we have used are food, food & food mixed with love, support, patience and time. This is a route that is much more demanding and at times very upsetting but it is the treatment that has the most evidence to support it. We did not have professional care to support this much but if the option of going to the 5 day program was available to us, I would grab it with both hands asap. It is spoken of very well by most who have been there. In fact, I looked at travelling from Eurpoe to the US at one stage for a similar program.

Hoping the telephone call goes well.

D
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, stable but no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly and cautiously gaining weight at home and seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Building up hour by hour at school after 18 months at home. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. [thumb] 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
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Torie
Kali wrote:
Just my experience. I was a teenager in the 70s and I did inhale.  


Hahaha.  I, too, was a teenager in the 70s, but I fear our non-US friends may miss the reference about inhaling.

I didn't realize that today's marijuana is w-a-a-a-a-y stronger than what was around during our youth. 
This article from the NIH is sobering:

"Many people who have voted for legalization thought they were talking about the marijuana of the 1960s to 1980s when the THC content was less than 2%....  In the 1990s it grew to 4%, and between 1995 and 2015 there has been a 212% increase in THC content in the marijuana flower. In 2017 the most popular strains found in dispensaries in Colorado had a range of THC content from 17–28%.... We now have concentrated THC products such as oil, shatter, dab, and edibles that have been able to get the THC concentration upwards of 95%. There is absolutely no research that indicates this level of THC is beneficial for any medical condition."

The article goes on to detail numerous risks (increased suicidal ideation, psychosis, etc.) that are worth considering.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6312155/

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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deenl
I was not pushed about legalizing marijuana until I moved to The Netherlands. Personal use and the sale of weed in coffee shops has not been prosecuted in The Netherlands since the 70s. Seeing the actual reality of that relaxed regulation on people has changed my mind. I guess are opinions are formed by the balance of positive and negative in our own personal experiences.

And I think many people in the world know exactly what you mean by "did inhale" ðŸ˜‚ It was a great excuse! LOL!

D
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, stable but no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly and cautiously gaining weight at home and seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Building up hour by hour at school after 18 months at home. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. [thumb] 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
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mjkz
I think too we have to be clear on what we are talking about-CBD VS THC.

Kali, so was my mother.  The history of the FDA is fascinating.  I'm listening to a podcast now called "Bad Batch" about stem cells which is another "cure-all" that is unregulated.  Not that long ago we had a real epidemic of fungal meingitis because compounding pharmacies aren't regulated.

Torie, that is very true.  The pot of the past is a whole different ballgame than what is available now.
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