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.

Efficacy, Tolerability, and Safety of Cannabinoid Treatments in the Rheumatic Diseases: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials

Extremely small sample sizes, short study duration, heterogeneity of rheumatic conditions and products, and absence of studies of herbal cannabis allow for only limited conclusions for the effects of cannabinoids in rheumatic conditions. Pain relief and effect on sleep may have some potential therapeutic benefit, but with considerable mild to moderate adverse events. There is currently insufficient evidence to recommend cannabinoid treatments for management of rheumatic diseases pending further study.

Harvesting the biosynthetic machineries that cultivate a variety of indispensable plant natural products

Plants are a sustainable resource for valuable natural chemicals best illustrated by large-scale farming centered on specific products. Gaps in our understanding of how economically important compounds such as cannabinoids are produced are being identified using next-generation ‘omics’ to rapidly advance biochemical breakthroughs at an unprecedented rate.