Does Medicare Cover CBD Oil?

Christian Worstell
In this article...
  • CBD is a hemp-based dietary supplement purported to help ease pain, anxiety and insomnia. Learn about this supplement and find out if Medicare will cover it.

Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is a substance derived from the cannabis sativa plant. It doesn’t cause the highs or psychoactive effects THC, another compound found in cannabis, does. CBD has shown to help with pain relief, anxiety and other issues. It is usually taken as a dietary supplement or used topically. As CBD becomes a more popular treatment, you’re probably wondering, does medicare cover CBD oil?

Does Medicare Cover CBD Oil?

No, Medicare does not currently pay for CBD oil supplements. Though CBD is legalized at the state level in all 50 states, it has not yet been legalized federally by the FDA. This means Medicare won't cover CBD products even when it’s recommended by a doctor. The only exception to this is Epidiolex, which is an FDA approved medicine that contains CBD. Epidiolex is approved for treating seizures caused by two very rare forms of epilepsy, Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut. If the FDA does clear CBD for medical use, it will likely start being covered by Medicare Part D.

Can Your Doctor Prescribe CBD Oil?

Doctors can’t prescribe CBD oil because of the current legal issues surrounding it and because it hasn’t been thoroughly tested. CBD is considered unproven by the medical community and lacks the standardization that would make it prescribable. However, your doctor can recommend CBD use. If your doctor believes CBD could be beneficial, they will discuss the benefits and risks with you. You and your doctor will decide whether CBD is the best treatment together.

Do Doctors Recommend CBD Oil for Pain Relief?

Studies suggest CBD may ease chronic pain. CBD’s pain relief effectiveness was found to be moderate in most situations, and the results varied for different conditions. It appears to help with neuropathic pain, arthritis pain and some other chronic pains. However, there isn’t enough scientific data to say for certain that CBD is safe or effective for pain relief. As more research is done, doctors will likely become more concrete in their stance on this hemp-based supplement.

Christian Worstell
About the Author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

While at HelpAdvisor, Christian has written hundreds of articles that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.

Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. You can find Christian’s most recent articles in our blog.

If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at

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