Is Medical Marijuana Safe For Children and Adolescents?

Posted: 29 May 2013 01:33 AM PDT

Success stories of medical marijuana use in children range from the treatment of disorders that affect classroom performance such as autism and ADHD to life-threatening conditions such as epilepsy and cancer. But while a growing number of doctors are beginning to consider medical marijuana as a legitimate form of clinical therapy, the vast majority remain wary of its impact in younger patients.

The underlying factor in the medical community’s resistance to cannabis seems to be the overall lack of clinical research that has been conducted so far, especially in children and adolescents. On the other hand, the absence of research happens to be only a recent phenomena, as a review of the medical literature reveals numerous reports and studies on the safety of marijuana commissioned over the past many decades.

What these studies demonstrate appears to echo what marijuana advocates have been saying for decades: Cannabis is an overwhelmingly harmless substance.

Safety Profile of Marijuana

Perhaps the earliest study to investigate the safety profile of marijuana comes from the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission — a research team ordered by the British government in 1893 to study the effects of ever-prevalent cannabis use in India. The Commission completed their report in 1894 — a lengthy 3,281 page document which demonstrated a clear lack of observable drawbacks associated with marijuana use.

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