A pediatrician from London, Ontario, Dr. Michael Rieder has consulted a large amount of children whose families came to see him in order to find out more about cannabis prescriptions. He would also like to emphasize the fact that cannabis doesn’t cure everything and it definitely does not come without any side effects. The doctor is known for writing the Canadian Paediatric Society’s position statement on cannabis use.
The doctor mentioned that people generally come to him with the idea that medical cannabis is a universal cure, but they forget that it is still a drug. Families sometimes reach him because other doctors referred them to him. Apparently, there are quite a few authorized providers from Health Canada, but there is no list that could outline the possible side effects or risks for using this drug, hence other doctors are not sure whether they should prescribe cannabis to children or not.
Half of the Canadian pediatricians don’t know they can prescribe the drug to children
It seems that the government is in the course of updating old information, which hasn’t been done for five years. Also, based on a survey that was recently published by the Canadian Paediatric Surveillance Program, quite surprisingly, 49% of pediatricians were not aware of the fact that they can actually prescribe cannabis to kids. Furthermore, 38% did not know that they can authorize prescriptions to youth. A total of three quarters of all doctors that were surveyed mentioned that they do not know much about why cannabis might be used, let alone how much the right dosage would be.
Health professionals need to understand better how to use medical cannabis
However, the other half of the pediatricians that took part in the survey stated that they have treated patients using medical marijuana in the previous year. It seems that there were still many doctors who used medical cannabis to treat various diseases in children who did not have many other treatment options, according to Dr. Richard Bélanger, who helped conduct the survey. Nevertheless, there is room for significant improvement.
He also stated that there are many health professionals that don’t have sufficient knowledge when it comes to how and when they should prescribe cannabis, but he hopes that things will change in the future. Moreover, he would like to concentrate on rural areas as well, to see how this drug is used for treating minors, since most of the participants in the survey were from major towns.