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Children's Hospital Doctors Monitoring Epileptic Baby Being Treated With Hemp Oil

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) - The youngest child in a case study about the effects of hemp oil is being monitored by doctors at Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora.

The Nunez family lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Their daughter Amylea was born in December and almost immediately started having seizures. She was transported to Children's Hospital Colorado and diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy.

"Her heart stopped twice on us, and that was probably the hardest part on us," Amylea's mother Nicole Nunez said.

Amylea Nunez
Amylea Nunez (credit: CBS)

Amylea was having at least 15 seizures a day. Her parents say the medicine she's currently on can harm her liver, so the family asked the hospital monitor Amylea while they gave her Charlotte's Web CBD oil developed by the Stanley brothers in Colorado. It doesn't have enough THC to make people high, and it's touted as a successful and natural treatment for seizures.

Charlotte's Web
(credit: CBS)

"We're trying to use something different that's not so bad on her body," Amylea's father Ernie Nunez said. "After researching and month after month reading on it we're hoping it works because it's a natural way and it'll help her out."

Ernie and Nicole Nunez (credit: CBS)

The Nunezes hope eventually they can ween Amylea off the regular medicine and use only the hemp oil.

"She is a lot more alert today, she is looking around today and following our faces when we talk to her and whereas before when we talked to her she did not react at all," Nicole Nunez said.

Amylea is the youngest patient in a case study looking at how children react to the oil and any possible long-term effects.

Statement From Children's Hospital Colorado

Children's Hospital Colorado does NOT prescribe or recommend medical marijuana.

We don't yet have the science to fully understand medical marijuana and how it impacts children, which is why Children's Colorado supports research to determine the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana. Children's Colorado has a CDPHE-funded medical marijuana study that is strictly observational to assess response rates, changes in behavior and side effects of artisanal marijuana products on children with severe epilepsy. Enrollment starts at one-month of age. This study is for families who choose to provide artisanal marijuana to their children for epilepsy, and Children's Colorado providers do NOT administer the marijuana.

Medical providers do not know the long-term effects that marijuana will have on learning, memory and behavior, especially in infants and young children. We have more questions than answers. This is a tough issue, especially in Colorado where families have easier access to medical marijuana.

If a family makes the tough decision 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 very complex medical needs, and Children's Colorado wants to continue to see them, help to monitor them and be on the lookout for potential adverse side effects.

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