Skip to Main Content

Welcome to

Together is a new resource for anyone affected by pediatric cancer - patients and their parents, family members, and friends.

Learn More
Blog Community

Marijuana at St. Jude

Marijuana is a drug made from the cannabis plant. Marijuana also includes other products that come from the cannabis plant and contain the chemical THC.

The sale, use, and possession of marijuana is against the law in many U.S. states, including Tennessee.

You may not bring marijuana to St. Jude, even if it is legal where you live.

You may not bring marijuana to St. Jude, even if it is legal where you live.

Marijuana and the law

St. Jude follows state and national laws about having and using marijuana. 

  • St. Jude doctors and staff cannot help a St. Jude patient get or use any type of marijuana. 

  • You may not use any form of marijuana on our campus or in St. Jude housing. 

  • You may not give marijuana to your child on our campus or in St. Jude housing. 

“Marijuana” at St. Jude means any form, including oils and other products that contain THC.

What if marijuana is legal where we live?

Even if marijuana is legal in your state, you cannot bring it to St. Jude. This is because it is not legal in Tennessee, where St. Jude is located, or under national law. It is also illegal to give marijuana to someone under 18 in Tennessee.

Cannabidiol, or CBD

CBD is a compound taken from the cannabis (hemp) plant that does not have psychoactive effects. CBD is legal in Tennessee and easy to find. While hemp-derived CBD is not covered by St. Jude guidelines, over-the-counter CBD products are not tested or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). CBD has few medical benefits and many of the same risks as marijuana.

Marinol 

Marinol is the brand name for a drug called dronabinol. It is not marijuana, but a prescription medicine that the FDA has tested and approved. Marinol is sometimes used to treat nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy. If your child’s doctor prescribes Marinol, it is given like your child’s other medicines.

Epidiolex

Epidiolex is the brand name for a drug called cannabidiol. It is also not marijuana, but a prescription medicine tested and approved by the FDA. Epidiolex is sometimes used to treat seizures. If your child’s doctor prescribes Epidiolex, it is given like your child’s other medicines.

Risks of marijuana

Doctors do not know all the medical risks of marijuana. For example, they do not know how it will affect someone who is getting chemotherapy or radiation. If your child has used any form of marijuana, please tell your St. Jude doctor for your child’s safety. 

Marijuana has several known risks:

  • Marijuana may affect how your child’s chemotherapy or other medicines work.

  • The FDA studies medicines to learn how safe they are and how well they work. The FDA has not studied marijuana in this way.

  • Marijuana could cause a fungal infection. This is because products with marijuana are not always made in a germ-free place or made the same way every time. Marijuana could contain fungus or other substances that could make your child sick.

  • There is no way to tell exactly what you are getting when you buy marijuana. This is because the FDA does not have rules for marijuana like it does for medicine. Two containers of marijuana that have the same label might not contain the same product. They might contain a different strength of drug or even a different drug.

Side effects of marijuana

Marijuana can cause side effects such as:

  • Hunger

  • More interest in what you see, taste, or hear

  • Mood changes or paranoia 

  • Dizziness, slow movement, or clumsiness

  • Confusion, difficulty thinking or remembering, or trouble learning 

  • Red eyes, dry mouth, or increased heart rate or blood pressure

  • Trouble noticing what is happening around you 

Benefits of marijuana

Doctors do not know the medical benefits of marijuana. Some people say that marijuana helps them feel better. But so far, not many studies show that marijuana is safe or effective for patients.

For more information

If you have questions about marijuana, please talk to your child’s doctor or nurse.

Reminders

  • St. Jude doctors and staff cannot help a St. Jude patient obtain or use any type of marijuana.
  • You may not use any form of marijuana or give it to your child on our campus or in St. Jude housing.
  • Doctors do not know how marijuana will affect someone who is getting chemotherapy or radiation. If your child has used any form of marijuana, please tell the doctor.


Reviewed: August 2022