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Medical cannabis and children – what childhood conditions could it help?

Research is still in its infancy, but many families report its benefits in managing a range of childhood conditions.



medical cannabis and children

Research is still in its infancy when it comes to medical cannabis as a safe and effective treatment for children, but many families report its benefits for a wide range of conditions.

Since cannabis has been legalised in many states across the United States, its acceptance has grown tremendously, both in terms of recreational and medical use.

Science hasn’t yet determined whether medical cannabis is an effective treatment for paediatric ailments. 

However, several advocacy groups and families may support it based on their personal experiences.

To determine if cannabis is a safe alternative treatment option to opioids for your children, you need to carefully analyse the nature, pharmacology, and mode of action of cannabis.

What is cannabis, and what’s its mode of action?

The psychotropic 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the non-psychoactive cannabidiol are the two primary cannabis components having CNS activity (CBD).

THC activates the endocannabinoid system in the brain, which is involved in synaptic communication.

CBD potentiates anandamide-mediated neurotransmission to alter the endocannabinoid system by antagonistically binding to the cannabinoid receptors.

CBD also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant characteristics and is involved in regulating other cerebral neurotransmitters and receptors. CBD’s mode of action is unknown; however, researchers have found that its anticonvulsant capabilities are not dependent on the cannabinoid receptor (CBR).

It is now being explored as a potentially beneficial therapeutic medication in numerous CNS and extra-CNS disorders, including epilepsy, in both experimental models and humans. Its multiple targets and high toxicity threshold account for its effectiveness.

What are the health benefits of using cannabis for kids?

The concept of cannabis being used as a treatment for children is still new to both parents and doctors. 

Cannabis, however, is beneficial for many debilitating and even life-threatening disorders, such as childhood epilepsy, autism, anorexia, and attention deficit disorder/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD).

Let’s explore more about the health benefits of using cannabis for kids.

These are a few of the medical conditions among children that can be treated with medicinal marijuana.


A youngster with refractory epilepsy is likely to benefit from the cannabinoid CBD molecule. CBD does not provide the same “high” as THC does. Some data suggest a controlled dose of CBD could help children with severe and chronic epilepsy. 

Some research has shown that children who were given a dose of CBD to treat epilepsy experienced a 50 percent reduction in seizure rate. 

A few CBD-based liquid treatments on the market may help with epileptic seizures.


CBD was found to be a “well-tolerated, safe, and effective choice to treat symptoms associated with ASD in a more recent study of CBD use for autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

It helps alleviate irritation and anxiety. After six months of treatment, 30 percent of pediatric patients exhibited considerable improvement, while 50 percent showed moderate improvement. However, 25 percent of them experienced side effects, the most prevalent of which was restlessness.

It helps with stiffness, dystonia, and sleep problems, and it may also aid with Tourette syndrome symptoms.

While there is some proof of medicinal marijuana’s benefit in children with epilepsy and autism, it has been used for various other medical disorders. The evidence, on the other hand, is broad and not specific to children.

Crohn’s disease:

It’s a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that keeps the digestive system inflamed for a long time. 

Due to marijuana’s anti-inflammatory qualities, a study indicated that THC-rich cannabis dose could be an alternative to steroid-based treatments for those with Crohn’s disease.

Multiple sclerosis:

Multiple sclerosis, an inflammatory illness in which the immune system destroys nerve cells, may benefit from a controlled dose of medicinal marijuana to alleviate muscle stiffness.


The FDA has approved only two medical marijuana medications: Dronabinol and Nabilone. Both contain THC and help AIDS patients who are experiencing weight loss.


Cannabis may aid in the improvement of appetite and the reduction of anxiety in cancer patients. Furthermore, Cannabis is used to treat nausea and vomiting associated with post-cancer treatment.

Examining the use of medical cannabis 

Since ancient times, many cultures around the world have used cannabis as medicine. In modern times, people want additional proof of the advantages and disadvantages of cannabis, its potential health benefits, and most importantly, the best way to administer it.

Today, cannabis is scientifically demonstrated to have various therapeutic effects such as anti-spasm for multiple sclerosis, anticonvulsants for epilepsy, anti-nausea for chemotherapy, and appetite stimulants for underweight persons.

 Additionally, cannabis has been shown to be helpful in treating pain in recent studies.


Cannabis Health is a journalist-led news site. Any views expressed by interviewees or commentators do not reflect our own. All content on this site is intended for educational purposes, please seek professional medical advice if you are concerned about any of the issues raised.

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