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Canadian Pediatric Society’s Recommendations for Medical Cannabis Therapy

The Canadian Paediatric Society recently issued a position statement regarding the use of medical cannabis for pediatric patients under 18. The statement provides insights into the effectiveness of medical cannabis in managing various medical conditions such as epilepsy, autism, neurological disorders, and cancer and palliative care.

The use of smoking as a method of administering medication is not advisable for pediatric patients due to various reasons. This includes the unpredictable dosing and the respiratory hazards associated with smoking. Moreover, it’s important to note that most patients under the age of 18 are typically prescribed cannabinoid-containing oils rather than resorting to smoking.

The statement acknowledges the increasing body of research, albeit of varying quality, suggesting the potential benefits of medical cannabis for certain conditions in children. However, it stresses that the authorization of medical cannabis for pediatric patients should only occur when the benefits significantly outweigh the risks.

Moreover, the statement underscores the importance of open discussions between clinicians and families regarding the potential benefits and risks of medical cannabis. It also recommends considering the age and diagnosis of the patient, implementing a gradual titration approach in administering medical cannabis products, and staying informed about potential safety risks, including drug interactions.

The Canadian Paediatric Society advocates for enhanced education for clinicians to deepen their understanding of cannabinoid mechanisms and usage.

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