Researchers looked at children with a range of medical conditions who were treated with medical marijuana and compared them to children who were not treated with medical marijuana. They measured the benefits and harms of marijuana treatment. They found that:
This was a systematic review. A systematic review summarises all available studies on a health care intervention to provide high quality evidence on the effectiveness of that health care intervention.
Who participated in the study?
This review included 22 studies involving 795 children or adolescents with any kind of medical condition:
How was the study done? The reviewers considered all studies that compared medical marijuana with any other medication, or “placebo”. The reviewers also included studies not directly comparing different treatments (uncontrolled studies).
Any kind of cannabis, including Tetra-Hydro-Cannabinoid (THC), nabilone, dronabinol, and cannabidiol (CBD). These included oral capsules or solutions, or oil extracts.
Some studies compared cannabis to placebo: A pill containing an inactive substance that has no effect.
Some studies compared cannabis to antiemetics, which treat nausea and vomiting.
Some of the studies were small studies without a comparison group, so all the patients received medical marijuana.
Medical marijuana is becoming more common as a treatment for many different medical conditions for adults. It is unclear whether it is appropriate to use medical marijuana to treat medical conditions for children, as there have not been many studies done in children.
This Evidence Summary is based on the following article:
Wong SS, Wilens TE. Medical Cannabinoids in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review. Pediatrics. 2017 Nov;140(5). pii: peds.2017-1818. doi: 10.1542/peds.2017-1818. PubMed
Published: Thursday, August 30, 2018