Following media reports of children with epilepsy allegedly benefiting from medical marijuana (or cannabis-based medicinal products) obtained abroad, the UK government granted clinicians the authority to prescribe these products. A review published in Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology investigates the science behind cannabis-based medicinal products in pediatric epilepsies and identifies areas that require further investigation.
The authors also looked into the prescribing environment for these products. They discovered that the main barrier to prescribing is a lack of high-quality evidence for efficacy and safety.
They emphasize that unlicensed cannabis-based medicinal products should not be prescribed unless they meet standard regulatory requirements. They are also concerned that children with epilepsy may be used as a “Trojan horse” for the cannabis industry, with widespread acceptance of medicinal cannabis hastening the legalization of marijuana and opening up a lucrative commercial market.
Is medical marijuana an effective treatment for childhood epilepsy?