Cannabinoids in Pediatrics

Despite its controversial nature, the use of medical marijuana and cannabis-derived medicinal products grows more popular with each passing year. As of November 2016, over 40 states have passed legislation regarding the use of either medical marijuana or cannabidiol products. This review will deliver the history of marijuana use and legislation in the United States in addition to the currently available medical literature to equip pediatric health care providers with resources to provide patients and their parents the best recommendation for safe and appropriate use of cannabis-containing compounds.

Medical Marijuana: Just the Beginning of a Long, Strange Trip?

Medical marijuana continues to gain acceptance and become legalized in many states. Various species of the marijuana plant have been cultivated, and this plant can contain up to 100 active compounds known as cannabinoids. Two cannabinoids seem the most clinically relevant: Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which tends to produce the psychotropic effects commonly associated with marijuana, and cannabidiol (CBD), which may produce therapeutic effects without appreciable psychoactive properties. Although there is still a need for randomized controlled trials, preliminary studies have suggested that medical marijuana and related cannabinoids may be beneficial in treating people with chronic pain, inflammation, spasticity and other conditions.