Children's Hospital Colorado

Medical Marijuana and Neurologic Treatments

None of the pediatric neurologists at Children’s Colorado carry the special licensure required to prescribe CBD or medical marijuana. They also cannot fill out any paperwork in support of the use of medical marijuana for children. Physicians who prescribe this may lose their DEA license which is needed for other medication prescriptions. 

What about the cost and insurance coverage?

Medical marijuana products that are not FDA-approved are not covered by any major health insurance providers and therefore would be an out-of-pocket cost to our patients and families.

The need for more research and literature

There is not sufficient medical literature supporting marijuana use as a treatment for seizures in children. There are several position statements from major neurological societies stating that the use of marijuana in any form can have significant side effects on cognition and mood. In addition, there are concerns about interaction of medications with medical marijuana.
Currently, no literature addresses the effects on the liver or blood toxicity. If you are considering adding CBD or other marijuana derivatives to your child’s treatment, our providers can help monitor for the efficacy and side effects of CBD, and interactions it may have with other medications your child is taking; we suggest strongly that we see your child before he or she starts on CBD so we can recommend baseline testing for your child that will help in this monitoring.

We can also assist in management of your child’s epilepsy that does not include marijuana, including options for medical, dietary and surgical treatment.

What about cannabidiol (CBD) oil and treatment of epilepsy?

The majority of the children with epilepsy seen at Children’s Colorado whose families report that they have or are currently receiving CBD oil have not had any documented improvements in their seizures (according to parent report and EEG testing). In fact, some have experienced worsening of their seizures that have led to hospitalization.

What if my child is a patient in neurology and I still have questions?

Your provider can discuss the use of marijuana at your next clinic visit if you have questions.