A group of mothers who’ve been fighting the stigma, paving the way and educating themselves about the benefits of medical marijuana. They say they are doing it for their kids, all of whom are fighting chronic diseases.

Parisa Mansouri-Rad, one of the moms, says she began looking into the benefits of marijuana while striving to figure out methods to bring comfort to her 16-year old daughter, Yazy, who was born premature at 23 weeks. She’s blind, has cerebral palsy and scoliosis. A spinal fusion operation left her in a great deal of pain. Subsequently her lower intestine failed, resulting in a serious chronic illness, that also caused a great deal of pain and distress.

“We attempted a multitude of pharmaceuticals to figure out what would work, she was like a guinea rabbit for the doctors,” said Mansouri-Rad.

“Not only was she on pain medication that was really damaging to her body, but on other pharmaceuticals that we then had to treat with other pharmaceuticals due to the side effects,” she added.

She got a medical marijuana health professional card, for her daughter so she could get her access to products with CBD and THC, vital ingredients in the plants.

Mansouri-Rad says the results were astonishing.

“It helps with pain, sleep, depression and stress. Additionally she’s not suffering from nausea anymore, not suffering from pain, her overall mood is better, she’s behaving like a child again,” she added.

Brandy Williams has a 6-year old son with autism and epilepsy. She says she was emotionally overwhelmed with the impact medical cannabis had on her kid’s behavior.

“He was having 7-15 seizures a day. He was slamming on his head 75-150 times each day. I have scars all over my arms from him biting through my flesh. Every door in our home had a hole in it from his head,” said Williams.

She said as soon as she gave his first dose of CBD oil, she saw the transformation in 20 minutes. He was serene, can concentrate more, and was really able to sit through film.

“My son’s whole world has changed,” said Williams.

“I couldn’t imagine going through another four years of autism without medical marijuana,” she added.

The boy who once couldn’t go out to eat with his family could now sit through an entire meal, said Williams. She says he was connecting more with his siblings, learning and retaining more information, and smiling much more than he did prior to medical marijuana.

For Yazy, her medical marijuana came in the form of patches put on her skin. For Logan, it was a little bit of the CBD oil/paste, smaller than a grain of rice, blended in with his favorite cereal.

The moms who are members of the organization MomForce Arizona said they were now dedicating their lives to educating other parents about the effects it had on their kids.

“To me it means everything. I feel if we can help spread and share this message we can save other children from suffering,” said Mansouri-Rad.

Opponents of medical marijuana said there were no actual studies citing the effects of medical marijuana on the body. Many physicians were reluctant about prescribing it to patients, particularly children.

Both women said, their primary care physicians, who didn’t prescribe the medication, were amazed by the impact it had on their patients.

Mansouri-Rad added that many studies had been done about the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs she was giving her kid, and some of what she read was quite frightening.

“We don’t have any problems giving our children antidepressants, and all these other drugs so what’s wrong with giving them something natural that makes them feel happy,” she added.

The most recent State Department of Health report indicate 176 kids in Arizona have qualified for a medical marijuana card. The parent has to apply as a health professional, and two physicians need to sign off for the application to go through.

As part of National Autism Awareness Month MomForce AZ conducted a special meeting to educate other mothers regarding how medical cannabis has affected their autistic kids.