Experts are debating the safety of medical marijuana for children, NBC News reports. A number of states allow doctors to recommend a type of cannabis that doesn’t produce a high for children with conditions including cancer, seizures and autism.
The American Academy of Pediatrics opposes medical marijuana use in children, arguing it has not been clinically tested in this age group, and the long-term effects are not known, according to the article.
One type of medical marijuana used in children is bred to have high levels of cannabidiol (CBD), which reduces pain, nausea and seizures, but is not psychoactive. It can be given in a syrup.
“I worry that we just don’t know enough about it,” Dr. Sharon Levy of the Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, told NBC News. “I think they’re putting their child at risk of long-term consequences of marijuana use that we don’t fully understand.”
Dr. Margaret Gedde of the Clinicians’ Institute for Cannabis Medicine says marijuana “is a substance that’s been used for thousands of years and it has a known safety profile. And there’s a long history of women using it in pregnancy. If there was some terrible defect that came up in children exposed in utero, we’d know about it by now.”