Cannabis use for medical purposes in children has been stimulated by recent case reports describing its beneficial effect on children with extreme forms of epilepsy.
Overall it is still considered that there is insufficient data to support widespread medical cannabis use in children.
If cannabis is to be administered, certainly smoking is not an acceptable mode of delivery for children. The use of cannabis for medical purposes in specific cases should certainly not be construed as a justification for recreational cannabis use by adolescents.
Recommendations for therapeutic use in exceptional paediatric cases should only be considered after conducting fully-designed research studies to determine safety and efficacy.
Evidence supporting the therapeutic effect of cannabis in children with epilepsy are sparse but do exist. There are animal models demonstrating that delta-9-THC and CBD have anticonvulsant activity in animal models of epilepsy, with the caveat that some studies also demonstrated pro-convulsant activity in healthy animals. In these models, tolerability was limited with respect to delta-9-THC due to psychotropic effects, while CBD was better tolerated.
While research is ongoing, the use of cannabis for medical purposes in children should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and always with a comprehensive discussion of potential benefits and risks. Treatment plans that include cannabis should be constructed with careful attention to dose-finding, evaluation of efficacy and safety monitoring, and should only be conducted by clinicians or health teams with condition-specific expertise and the ability to assess for, and evaluate, both efficacy and toxicity.
Clinicians who treat children with cannabis should have specific expertise and training in the use of potent psychoactive drugs. Treatment should be predicated by robust discussions with the patient (if possible) and family concerning the goals and potential risks of this choice, with a strong monitoring strategy in place to test for efficacy and adverse effects.
Cooking pizza with CBD oil
Put your apron on and join Dr Frank in the kitchen as he shows you how to make another recipe with CBD oil – this time his special Italian pizza.