Luxemburg Luxemburg is on course to becoming the first European country to legalize cannabis. The EU member-countries are known for...Read more
Regulation guiding cannabis use in children differs widely in scope and is based on state and regional laws. For instance, in Colorado, at least two physicians must provide the necessary certification for a minor before cannabis use can be allowed. This certification is necessary to enroll the minor in the state’s registry to subsequently allow the procurement of cannabis for medical purposes.
In 2015, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated its policy statement on the legalization of marijuana and its potential impact on youths as published in 2004. With this update, the AAP reaffirmed its initial stance opposing the use of cannabis outside the guidelines provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Interestingly, the AAP provided an exemption for the use of medical cannabis. This update recognized the potential health benefits provided by medical marijuana. In addition, it agreed with the use of medical marijuana as a viable therapy option in children with chronic, life-threatening diseases with no standard or alternative therapy methods.
CBD and the management of Dravet syndrome
Dravet syndrome (DS) is a severe form of epileptic encephalopathy triggered by ataxia, hypotonia, hyperthermia, developmental delay, sleep disturbances, and speech impairment. DS is a rare, chronic disease diagnosed in children who also presents with cognitive dysfunctions and persistent seizures, exertion, and exaggerated sensitivity to warm baths. There exists no standard conventional therapy modality for the management of this disease. Following anecdotal evidence and reports from approved clinical trials, the FDA approved a CBD-derived product, Epidiolex, for the treatment of this condition.
Since its approval in 2018, Epidiolex has shown impressive results in the management of Dravet syndrome in adults and children who are at least two years old. Epidiolex improves the prognosis of this rare disease by reducing total seizure frequency, improving psychotic symptoms, and increasing the survival rate of patients. For such an incurable disease, CBD provides a viable interventional therapy for symptom management.
CBD and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is commonly diagnosed in children of school age and, in most cases, presents with varying levels of impulsiveness, inattentiveness, and hyperactivity. Children affected by this neurobehavioral disorder becomes restless and often find it hard to sustain attention for an extended period. Prescribing CBD-derived products for the management of ADHD symptoms in children is rare and only available to those under strict medical guidance and as part of a strict legal framework. Please consult your physician.
CBD and the management of autism in children
Unlike many other health uses of CBD in children, CBD’s benefits in the improvement of Autism symptoms are supported by many research studies. In 2019, Scientific Report published the report of a study investigating the safety and efficacy of CBD in the treatment of autism in children. The participant pool is made of 188 children between the ages range of 5 to 18 years with autism. These children were given oil with 30% CBD and 15% THC. The six-month follow-up reports indicated that about 66.8% of these children reported improved quality of life since CBD effectively improved their autism symptoms. Prescribing CBD-derived products for the management of autism in children is rare and only available to those under strict medical guidance and as part of a strict legal framework. Please consult your physician.