Medical Uses of Marijuana Products: Effective? Safe?

As marijuana use becomes increasingly common in the USA, our patients and parents are asking more questions about medical uses of this plant and products derived from it (cannabinoids). The short answer is that research on the effectiveness of such products in children is scant and the results do not support their use.

There are many convincing stories about the benefits of treating seizures, chronic pain, side effects from cancer chemotherapy and other conditions with cannabinoids. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises that these not be used by children and adolescents, legally or illegally, because of the known problems which they cause and the lack of clear benefits. They do acknowledge that there is a place for "compassionate use" in children who have not found conventional therapies to be effective. 

Boston Children's Hospital, one of the top institutions providing medical care to children in the US, recently researched the studies done on medical marijuana for children and came to similar conclusions. as did a 2017 article from the journal Pediatrics. 

There is much information emerging on these topics. Please ask your pediatrician if you have questions or need help accessing additional resources.