As medical marijuana becomes increasingly accepted, there is growing interest in its use for children and adolescents with developmental and behavioral problems such as autism spectrum disorders and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, according to a review in the February Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, the official journal of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.

That’s despite a lack of studies showing any clinical benefit of cannabis for young patients with these disorders — whereas evidence strongly suggests harmful effects of regular marijuana use in the developing brain. Scott Hadland, MD, MPH, John R. Knight, MD, and Sion Kim Harris, PhD of Boston Children’s Hospital write, “Given the current scarcity of data, cannabis cannot be safely recommended for the treatment of developmental or behavioral disorders at this time.”

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