The “Yellow List” of “Green” Medicine: Cannabis in Pediatrics

Cannabis in pediatrics is a subject that makes some people uncomfortable, particularly in states like Germany where cannabis acceptance is well behind other developed nations. However, there are many conditions where cannabis is the best treatment for patients, and its side effects are arguably milder than those of other heavy pharmaceuticals. What is needed is more studies and understanding.

Cannabis and children. The combination makes a lot of people cringe and, of course, no one wants young people consuming cannabinoids as a stimulant. In terms of therapeutic applications, however, there are quite a few advantages and, currently, the German Gelbe Liste portal has a report to give tips for the use of cannabis medicine in pediatrics.

How exactly can pediatrics benefit from cannabis and what to look out for? After the usual remarks about THC in recreational settings and the all-too-familiar finger-wagging, the report then goes on to talk very matter-of-factly about the possibilities of medical cannabis products for children. It is admitted that because of the political coercion in Germany that real research is difficult, thus the data comes from Switzerland, Austria, and modern states that provide effective health care for all citizens.

The number of countries and states where cannabis for both medical and recreational use is now seemingly growing every day. To keep up to date with the progress being made by lawmakers, along with other relevant updates, download our companion cannabis news app.

What Are the Indications for Cannabis in Paediatrics?

Reference is made to studies at the Children’s Hospital in Zurich and some evidence can also be transferred relatively easily from studies on adults to children. Cannabis medicines are already approved, such as Sativex, which is effective against multiple sclerosis, and Epidiolex, which is effective against epileptic seizures.

The Gelbe Liste as a database and information portal for physicians therefore considers the Use of cannabinoids to be legitimate in certain settings, and names the following complaints or diseases as indications in paediatric patients:

  • Pain and chronic inflammation
  • Spasticity
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Epilepsy
  • High restlessness and other irritable states.

The latter mainly concerns psychological disorders and as known indications, Crohn’s disease with the nasty inflammations in the intestinal area, ADHD, and also Tourette’s or the so-called tics are mentioned in total.

Cannabis also functions excellently in the substitution of addictive substances in young people – as is well known, even minors in Germany are caught in a vicious circle because of the failed drug policy of prohibition, becoming dependent on opiates, alcohol and really dangerous substances against which hemp can demonstrably offer relief.

Cannabis Interactions with the Orthodox Medicine

The molecular structure of cannabis is referred to, which acts as an inhibitor of cytrochrome P450 via its cannabinoids such as THC. This is responsible for the conversion of the drugs taken and cannabis can increase or decrease certain levels in the organism with the appropriate medicine.

Ibuprofen, beta blockers, benzodiazepines, and venlafaxine are mentioned so that any use of cannabis as a remedy should be checked in advance for possible Interactions and side effects. If legal guardians express the wish to have their kids treated specifically with cannabis medicine, then the Yellow List points out important points that need to be clarified.

Patient Welfare Should Come First

There should already be studies about the respective clinical picture and the use of cannabis, with information about the helpful ratio of the cannabinoids. Also, physicians should consider that patients to whom they refuse to cannabis may end up getting it on the black market, and may be endangered in life and limb by chemical toxins or their children.

After all, the doctors take the Hippocratic Oath and should be accordingly conscientious in dealing with people in the practice. The drug policy surrounding cannabis prohibitions leads daily to large damage and, at least in medicine, patient welfare should apply ahead of party donations from the Pharmaindustrie and the local brewers.


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Andrew Ross is a features writer whose stories are centered on emerging economies and fast-growing companies. His articles often look at trade policies and practices, geopolitics, mining and commodities, as well as the exciting world of technology. He also covers industries that have piqued the interest of the stock market, such as cryptocurrency and cannabis. He is a certified gadget enthusiast.

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