Children's Hospital Colorado

Medical Marijuana and Its Use at Children's Hospital Colorado

Pediatric use of medical marijuana has not been systematically studied. We don’t yet have the science to fully understand it, and we don’t know how it impacts children. Providers do not know how likely medical marijuana is to be effective for different medical conditions in children, what the best dose to use is or the long-term effects that marijuana will have on learning, memory and behavior, especially in infants and young children.

In short, we have more questions than answers. This is a tough issue, especially in Colorado where families have easier access to medical marijuana.

Does Children’s Colorado prescribe or recommend medical marijuana? 

When speaking with families who are interested in trying medical marijuana, our health providers are sympathetic to the extraordinary challenges associated with coping with children who have medically complex needs, as in the case of severe epilepsy.

We share what we know and don’t know (such as risk/benefit ratio, dosage, short- and long-term side effects or interactions with other medications) with our patients and families. We want to see more scientific research performed so we can give our families better information to help them make more informed decisions. 

While we don't prescribe or recommend medical marijuana at this time, if a family chooses to explore the use of medical marijuana, Children’s Colorado will continue to provide care to these children. Most of these families have children with complex medical needs, and Children’s Colorado wants to continue to provide care for them, help monitor them for how they respond to medical marijuana, and to help keep them safe by working with families to carefully watch for potential adverse side effects.