Medical Marijuana For Children With Cancer Broadly Supported By Doctors

Photo Credit: 7raysmarketing (pixabay.com)

Photo Credit: 7raysmarketing (pixabay.com)

According to a survey of pediatric oncologists which was published in the journal Pediatrics, 85% of physicians who were certified to prescribe medical marijuana were willing to help children with cancer access the medication. Additionally, 95% those who were not eligible to provide the medication supported medical marijuana access for pediatric cancer patients. The survey was sent to 654 doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, psychologists, social workers and registered nurses who care primarily for children with cancer at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Seattle Children’s Hospital Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Of the 288 who responded, a third were certified to prescribe medical marijuana. Physicians were less likely to support smoking marijuana (57%) than they were to support oral formulations (89%) for administering the medication, and 93% were interested in more advanced clinical trials investigating these uses. Physicians were more likely to support the use of medical marijuana in patients as their conditions advanced.

Of the respondents, 3 in 10 providers who were asked for medical marijuana at least once in the previous month were asked to prescribe it for nausea and vomiting (79%), and half of those requests additionally wanted to manage loss of appetite (52%). A quarter of patients wanted medical marijuana for pain management (26%), or for the management of depression and anxiety. While only 8% of providers recommended medical marijuana to patients in practice, 92% still said they would be willing to help children with cancer get the medication and approve of its use for treating children’s symptoms. Nearly half of providers cited the biggest obstacle in providing medical marijuana to pediatric cancer patients as not having standard medical marijuana formulations, dosages, or strength. Authors explained, “Given burgeoning interest in medical marijuana, especially in oncology care, it is critical that providers who are routinely approached for access to medical marijuana possess baseline knowledge on regulations, known benefits and harm… Randomized clinical trials using such MM [medical marijuana] formulations for supportive care in children with cancer are needed to better understand the therapeutic potential.”

This information has been provided by Forbes and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Study Suggests CBD and THC Help Treat Neuroblastoma in Kids

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

A new study from Israel suggests cannabinoids like THC and CBD could mitigate the multiplication of neuroblastoma, which is primarily a childhood disease. In the study, which was published in Current Oncology, researchers found CBD and THC were able to impede the growth of tumors by reducing their viability and invasiveness, and induce apoptosis. Of the two cannabinoids' anti-tumor effects, CBD was found to be more active.

Researchers used culture and animal models to test the effects of these cannabinoids on neuroblastoma. In the culture models, cells were treated with either cannabinoid or left untreated. In the animal models, mice were induced with tumors via subcutaneous injection, and were then injected with 20 mg/kg THC or 20 mg/kg CBD or left untreated for 14 days. Both models investigated the tumors by measuring and testing viability, cell cycle distribution, growth rate, cell invasiveness, and apoptotic cell death rate. Researchers conclude, “Our findings about the activity of CBD in [neuroblastoma] support and extend previous findings about the anti-tumor activities of CBD in other tumors and suggest that cannabis extracts enriched in CBD and not in THC could be suitable for the development of novel non-psychotropic therapeutic strategies in [neuroblastoma]."

This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Medical Marijuana Not a Lure for Kids: Study

Photo Credit: Gjbmiller

Photo Credit: Gjbmiller

One of the major topics up for debate when it comes to legalizing medical marijuana revolves around the threats and risks it poses for children who could access it. A new study that reviewed data from annual national surveys between 2004 and 2013 and surveyed more than 53,800 people over the age of 12 may be able to ease these concerns. Authors of the study found kids in the United States who live in states where medical marijuana is legal are not more likely to use marijuana themselves. The laws only seemed to impact use for those 26 and older. 

This information has been provided by WebMD and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.