Use of medical marijuana should not be recommended for teenagers, even where other medicines do not work and the cause of chronic pain can’t be detected. This is the advice of Mayo Clinic researchers, published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings in its July issue.
They also expressed doubts about the efficacy of marijuana to treat pain, when teens are concerned. On the basis of the response from three school boys, they concluded that marijuana rather aggravated the pain.
This contradicts earlier findings that marijuana smoking relieved pain and created euphoria. As reported in Pain the journal published by Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB) of Oxford University, marijuana makes the pain bearable but doesn’t eliminate it.
The reasons behind the advice against prescribing marijuana are the long term side effects of a short stint with it. The most damaging risk for teenagers, whose brain is still developing, is of becoming an addict. It has been found that 10% of adolescents treated with marijuana end up as addicts and spend most of their life getting in and out of rehab centers.
The cognitive impairment i.e., inability to concentrate and physical as well a mental lethargy caused by marijuana adversely effects their development and makes them a misfit in the society. This, according to Mayo Clinic, is a huge price to pay for pain relief.
There is a need for more extensive research on the long term effects of marijuana on physical and mental health of patients who took it on medical recommendation. In the meantime, teens, who are advised to take marijuana for medical reasons, should be briefed about the side effects and advised to quickly shift to alternatives like acupuncture, physiotherapy and biofeedback.
Ray Boroumand is the Office Manager of 4th Street Medical, a leading provider of medical marijuana evaluations in Southern California. As a leading medical marijuana doctor in Orange County and an advocate for medical marijuana, Ray believes in making the process as simple and easy for patients as possible through quick and convenient verification. At 4th Street Medical, he stresses convenience, affordability and transparency 100% of the time.