The Canadian Paediatric Society is urging the federal government to ban the sale of cannabis products to youth if the use of marijuana becomes legal in Canada.

In a position statement released on Thursday, the CPS said the use of cannabis during adolescence can cause functional and structural changes in the brain, which can lead to damage.

The CPS wants the government to prohibit sales of all cannabis products to children and youth under the legal age for buying tobacco products, either 18 or 19 depending on the province.

The CPS is also recommending the government regulate the potency of legal pot sold to people under 25.

That would involve limiting the concentration of THC in marijuana, the CPS said.

McMaster University adolescent medicine specialist Dr. Christina Grant co-authored the CPS's position statement. Grant said the goal is to protect and discourage cannabis use by children and youth.

"Brains of our youth and our young people are developing well into their twenties. To completely protect them against the neurodevelopmental effects of cannabis one could restrict the age of it being legal in Canada to 25 or 21," Grant said. "On the other hand, we know that many youth and young adults are experimenting and if the government's going ahead with legalizing we would advocate that regulated cannabis with a known potency is available to those experimenting and who are above 18 or 19."

The federal government plans to introduce new legislation for the legalization of marijuana in the spring of 2017.