Children and Youth Who Use Cannabis for Pain Relief: Benefits, Risks, and Perceptions

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abstract

  • We provide up-to-date perspectives on the benefits and risks of medical cannabis for pain management in children and youth. To date, only two studies (a case report and a small observational study) have examined the effects of medical cannabis on pain in children and youth. No controlled trial has commented on long-term safety of medical cannabis. Findings from the recreational cannabis literature reveal significant potential short- and long-term risks of regular cannabis use, including impaired driving, depression, suicidality, psychosis, and tolerance. Despite this, many children and youth are self-medicating with cannabis, and perceive regular cannabis use to be safe. There is a need for better education and counselling of patients regarding the benefits and risks of medical cannabis use.

publication date

  • 2020