Medical marijuana for kids: A Mayo doctor explains why

Medical marijuana for kids: A Mayo doctor explains why

In Children, Top Stories by Chris DollardLeave a Comment

Updated: 12:50 p.m. | Posted: 9:10 a.m. More than 200 healthcare workers in Minnesota have registered to certify patients to receive medical marijuana under the new program that launched Wednesday. But even doctors who have registered for the program are advising patients to be realistic about their expectations for the medication. • More: Medical marijuana dispensaries open for Minnesota patients Dr. Katherine Nickels, a pediatric neurologist at Mayo Clinic who specializes in treating children with epilepsy, said almost all of her patients or their families have already asked her about medical marijuana. “I always want to be sure they understand that this is a product with very little research. It’s ongoing right now, but the efficacy is not proven,” Nickels said. “The majority of information we have is honestly hearsay and some case reports.” Nickels said she’s recommending that patients who haven’t yet tried standard treatments give those a shot first. But she said many of her patients are children who haven’t responded to standard treatments epilepsy. She’s already certified eight patients to receive the medication. “It’s important to understand it’s not a panacea, it’s not a cure all by any means, but again it is potentially effective,” Nickels said. “I just want them to go in with an open mind and not automatically assume that their child is going to be cured.” She’s moving cautiously partly because there have been few studies on the effectiveness of the medication or on long term effects, specifically for children who are still physically and mentally developing. Legal approval for medication normally starts with clinical trials and studies that then lead to approval for medical use. In the case of medical marijuana, it’s been the opposite. “This is a product the public has tried, some have found it very effective, and they […]

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