Children and vulnerable people

Cannabis medicines and children 

Specific rules apply to children involving medicines which have not been fully assessed for quality, safety and efficacy. Use of these medicines can carry significant dangers, including the risk of harmful drug-drug interactions between the cannabis medicine and concurrent standard treatments. Furthermore, research has indicated that exposure to a cannabis medicine containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) carries potential risks for the developing brain.

Special approvals under the Children and Young Person's Care and Protection Act 1998 may be required, depending on the medicine. NSW Health manages these applications on the prescriber’s behalf if approval to prescribe is granted. Please discuss relevant approvals and rules with your doctor.

The NSW Government has funded a clinical trial led by the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network to evaluate the experimental non-psychoactive cannabidiol medicine Epidiolex® in treating children with severe treatment-resistant epilepsy. More information on this trial can be found on the paediatric epilepsy clinical trial page of this website. NSW Health has also put a Compassionate Access Scheme in place for children whose epilepsy is so severe it prevents them taking part in this trial.

Cannabis medicines and vulnerable people  

Special rules apply regarding the use of some higher risk medicines and investigational products in people over the age of 16 years who are incapable of giving informed consent to treatment. In particular, special approvals under the Guardianship Act 1987 may be required, depending on the substance. Please discuss relevant approvals and rules with your doctor.