Journal Article

Cannabis for the treatment of paediatric epilepsy? An update for Canadian paediatricians

Richard James Huntsman, Richard Tang-Wai, Bryan Acton, Jane Alcorn, Andrew William Lyon, Darrell David Mousseau, Blair Seifert, Robert Laprairie, Erin Prosser-Loose and Lumir Ondrej Hanuš

in Paediatrics & Child Health

Published on behalf of Canadian Paediatric Society

Volume 23, issue 6 Published in print August 2018 | ISSN: 1205-7088
Published online April 2018 | e-ISSN: 1918-1485 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pch/pxy036
Cannabis for the treatment of paediatric epilepsy? An update for Canadian paediatricians

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  • Neonatology
  • Primary Care
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology

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Abstract

The plant Cannabis sativa produces over 140 known cannabinoids. These chemicals generate considerable interest in the medical research community for their possible application to several intractable disease conditions. Recent reports have prompted parents to strongly consider Cannabis products to treat their children with drug resistant epilepsy. Physicians, though, are reluctant to prescribe Cannabis products due to confusion about their regulatory status and limited clinical data supporting their use. We provide the general paediatrician with a brief review of cannabinoid biology, the literature regarding their use in children with drug resistant epilepsy, the current Health Canada and Canadian Paediatric Society recommendations and also the regulations from the physician regulatory bodies for each province and territory. Given the complexities of conducting research on Cannabis products for children with epilepsy, we also discuss outstanding research objectives that must be addressed to support Cannabis products as an accepted treatment option for children with refractory epilepsy.

Keywords: Cannabis; Cannabidiol; Paediatric Epilepsy

Journal Article.  2769 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neonatology ; Primary Care ; Child and Adolescent Psychiatry ; Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology ; Developmental Psychology

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