While treating minors with any form of medical marijuana continues to be a source of heated contention, a new study suggests children and teenagers who suffer from seizures or chemotherapy-induced nausea may benefit greatly from cannabis treatment.
Researchers from Harvard’s department of psychiatry conducted a meta-analysis of 22 studies on treating children and teens with medical marijuana. They found that, of all the compounds in cannabis, THC improved nausea and vomiting for young chemotherapy patients. They also discovered that CBD had an impact on seizures.
“The real-world results of these programs indicate that cannabinoids can play a role in pediatric care, particularly in the treatment of life-threatening seizures, and that they can do so in a manner that is sometimes safer and more effective than conventional treatments,” Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), told Healthline.
Given concerns expressed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that minors who consume cannabis could face weakened motor skills control and memory function – as well as mental health issues like depression – the researchers say appropriate dosing is paramount.
“Our research supports the AAP’s concerns that cannabis can be harmful to children’s brains,” said lead study author Dr. Shane Shucheng. “Studies of children and adolescents who use recreational cannabis, particularly frequent use of high potency cannabis over longer periods of time, suggest negative effects on learning, memory, attention, and problem-solving ability.”
That’s why it’s so critical to administer proper dosages of cannabis medicine for any condition, say the researchers.
The researchers also caution that the use of cannabis in pediatric cases must be judicious due to the drug’s potential psychoactive effects.