Medical Marijuana Won’t Help Most Sick Kids

News Picture: Medical Marijuana Won't Help Most Sick KidsBy Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Oct. 23, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Medical marijuana appears to hold only limited promise for sick children as well as teenagers, a brand-new review suggests.

of which can help kids fighting cancer with chemotherapy-related nausea as well as vomiting, as well as of which can control seizures somewhat in children with epilepsy, said study author Dr. Shane Shucheng Wong. He will be a psychiatrist with Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston.

however there’s not enough evidence to say of which medical marijuana can help kids with any different medical conditions, such as neuropathic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or Tourette’s syndrome, Wong added.

Medical marijuana will be today legal in 29 states as well as the District of Columbia, creating of which potentially available as a medication for kids.

“Children as well as adolescents can legally access medical cannabis if they have certification through a doctor as well as through their legal guardian,” Wong said. “As a result, doctors as well as families actually need to understand what we know as well as what we don’t yet know about medical cannabis to make the best decision for the child’s health.”

A review of medical literature revealed 21 studies directly examining the potential benefits of medical pot for children as well as teens, the researchers said. These included six studies on the impact pot has on chemotherapy-induced nausea as well as vomiting, as well as 11 studies on epilepsy.

Studies involving pot’s usefulness in controlling chemotherapy side effects — four of which were randomized, controlled trials — found of which medical cannabis was significantly better than anti-nausea drugs, according to the review.

The active intoxicating ingredient in pot, THC, appears to reduce nausea as well as vomiting in these young patients, the trials showed.

Since 1985, there have been two drugs approved by the U.S. Food as well as Drug Administration to treat chemo side effects of which are forms of synthetic THC, Wong said. The drugs are dronabinol (Marinol) as well as nabilone (Cesamet).

The epilepsy studies, which included one randomized trial, showed of which another chemical compound in pot called cannabidiol (CBD) appears to reduce the frequency of seizures in children as well as teens. CBD does not cause intoxication.

An epilepsy drug based on CBD, Epidiolex, will be currently in fast-track phase 3 trials “to try to show enough scientific evidence to support its use for potential [FDA] approval,” Wong said. “of which certainly will be promising.”

Research will be lacking on any different uses for medical marijuana in children as well as teenagers, the researchers concluded.

Studies to see whether medical pot could help treat different conditions all lacked control groups as well as different gold-standard research procedures, “so they were at very high risk of bias,” Wong explained.

Even though there seem to be some not bad uses for medical pot, doctors as well as families need to weigh potential negative effects in treating children as well as teens with marijuana, Wong noted.

“Particularly frequent use of high-potency THC over extended periods of time suggests negative effects on learning, memory, attention as well as problem-solving ability,” Wong said. “Children’s brains are actually actively developing, as well as so they seem to be much more vulnerable to the potential negative effects of cannabis for cognition than adults.”

different side effects can include drowsiness, dizziness, modifications in mood as well as appetite, diarrhea as well as, in some cases, actually causing seizures to grow worse, Wong said.

as well as, according to Dr. Kashmira Rustomji, there’s also some concern of which kids who use medical pot might feel more comfortable later using of which to get high. Rustomji will be an assistant professor of pediatrics as well as psychiatry with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in brand-new York City.

“The danger in legalizing marijuana as well as creating of which available to kids will be of which the perspective through young people might be, ‘of which’s medically OK to use, so of which should be OK to use of which recreationally as well,’ ” she said.

“My perspective will be of which there will be some not bad evidence for some medical uses of marijuana, however we don’t have enough pediatric data,” Rustomji continued. “We still need to do a lot of different pediatric studies as well as randomized controlled studies to see where there will be not bad long-term data for these uses.”

The review was published online Oct. 23 inside the journal Pediatrics.

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

SOURCES: Shane Shucheng Wong, M.D., a psychiatrist, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; Kashmira Rustomji, M.D., MPH, assistant professor, pediatrics as well as psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, brand-new York City; Oct. 23, 2017, Pediatrics, online

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