The recent AAP policy on use of marijuana addressed medical cannabinoid usage by calling for more research to better understand its benefits in children before the AAP could recommend its usage as standard of care for various medical conditions. To help look at the research done to date on medical cannabinoids, Wong et al. (10.1542/peds.2017-1818) have published this week a new systematic review in our journal looking at the evidence-base in support of medical marijuana. The authors, using systematic review methodology, identified 22 studies that met inclusion criteria involving close to 800 children ranging from 5 randomized controlled trials to 2 parent surveys with other types of studies in between.
Their article notes that the strongest evidence supportive of medical marijuana rests in studies focused on chemotherapy-induced vomiting and less strong but moderate evidence for its usage in epilepsy. When it comes to using cannabinoid derivatives for spasticity, neuropathic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and Tourette syndrome, the evidence was weak, if there at all, due to studies identified found to lack control groups or have small sample sizes. With more and more states legalizing medical marijuana, this study is well worth reading and can even be helpful in reviewing risks when it comes to considering states legalizing recreational marijuana as well. You’ll find this a most helpful weed, --oops we mean read.