Children's Hospital Colorado

Medical Marijuana Research

At Children's Hospital Colorado, we're committed to participating in high-quality research, and we are working with the state of Colorado and the federal government to conduct trials related to marijuana and its derivatives.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has awarded us funds to study marijuana use in the treatment and management of a variety of pediatric conditions, including: epilepsy, neuro-oncology conditions, inflammatory bowel disease, as well as the impact of marijuana usage by pregnant mothers on their children.

Two bottles of milk in baby bottles.
Research Article

For breastfeeding mothers who smoke marijuana, research is revealing concerning findings. Among them, the amount of THC excreted in breast milk and how long it lasts.

Clinical Trial

Children’s Hospital Colorado physicians would like to learn more about medical marijuana in children with brain and spine tumors. Get information on volunteer requirements, compensation and how to participate.

Any brain or spinal tumor. Must NOT be using marijuana at time of enrollment
"Our cannabis research is a team effort. We work together to solve common regulatory challenges, pool information and resources, and make sure that the data we collect will inform patient care across a range of disciplines."
Colm Collins, PhD

What our research means for kids

Marijuana in breast milk

  • A multidisciplinary team of researchers at Children's Colorado, in partnership with the University of Colorado School of Medicine and University of Colorado Hospital, is investigating the effect of marijuana in breast milk.
  • Specifically, we're researching how delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) presents in breast milk, in what concentrations and for how long. This would help determine toxicity levels for pregnant and nursing mothers and their infants.
  • Commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control, this study is an early foray into an area of intense public inquiry with few definitive answers.

Medical marijuana for inflammatory bowel disease

  • In the Digestive Health Institute, we're completing CDPHE-funded studies to assess the possible benefits of medical marijuana use in adolescents and young adults with inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Our Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center team has collected data on usage patterns, motivations and perceptions of benefit and harm.
  • In addition, they have obtained blood samples for measuring immune function, cannabinoid levels and endocannabinoids.

Medical marijuana for brain and spine tumors

  • Our neuro-oncology research and clinical trials seek to determine the impact of medical marijuana use on the quality of life in pediatric patients.
  • These research efforts include the treatment of brain and spine tumors and the management of side effects of common treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy.

Medical marijuana and CBD for epilepsy and tuberous sclerosis complex

The Neuroscience Institute is conducting trials to study the use of medical marijuana and cannabidiol (CBD) in the treatment and management of epilepsy and tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). Researchers are currently engaged in an FDA-approved, multicenter study to learn more about cannabidiol and whether it can help reduce the frequency of uncontrolled seizures and is safe to use as an add-on therapy for pediatric patients with TSC.

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