Megan Yap, Laura Easterbrook, Jan Connors, Laura Koopmans

Published in Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health

May 2015



The use of medical cannabis in chronic illness is increasingly investigated, yet little is known about its use in paediatric populations. As child protection clinicians are often asked to provide advice around whether parents’ actions to give medical cannabis to their chronically ill child constitutes harm or risk of harm, a review of the evidence base is required. This systematic review explores the use of cannabis‐derived products in children with seizure disorders. While a reduction in seizure activity was observed in some children, included studies were poorly designed and too small to extrapolate reliable conclusions about clinical use. Due to the lack of high‐quality evidence, the use of cannabis‐derived products is currently not recommended in children with seizure disorders. However, in assessing risk and harm to subject children by child protection physicians in Australia with existing State and Territory legislation, evaluation must occur on a case‐to‐case basis with each instance considered on its individual merits. Clinical trials addressing drug efficacy and long‐term safety of cannabis‐derived products are required.





Yap M, Easterbrook L, Connors J, Koopmans L. Use of cannabis in severe childhood epilepsy and child protection considerations. J Paediatr Child Health. 2015;51(5):491-496. doi:10.1111/jpc.12876