More than half of all American states now have provision for the legal prescription of cannabinoids for medical use, including to children. But there is limited evidence on their efficacy in paediatric populations.
To explore, researchers carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis of 22 studies including 795 child and adolescent patients treated with cannabinoids.
The researchers found the strongest evidence of a benefit in chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and in epilepsy. However, there was not enough evidence to support use in any other indications including spasticity, neuropathic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and Tourette’s syndrome.
Noting the often poor methodological quality of the available studies in Pediatrics (November 2017), the team said that further research was needed given the increasing accessibility of medical cannabinoids and likelihood of adverse effects