With all the hype, it seems like every demographic out there is benefitting from CBD tinctures and creams. Some parents even report that it’s helping their children with anxiety, seizures, or the negative symptoms of autism. But is CBD safe for children to take?
Would you want to give CBD to children?
In this post, we’re going to do our best to answer these questions.
What is CBD, Exactly?
CBD is derived from the cannabis, but cannabis is a bit of a confusing term. The cannabis plant contains over 100 different chemicals referred to as cannabinoids, the two most famous being CBD and THC. THC is the component of cannabis that is psychoactive – the cannabinoid that people use to get high. CBD is a different chemical and not psychoactive. So no, you’re not giving your kids “pot” by giving them CBD.
Make sure, however, that you are purchasing CBD products from a reliable vendor – do your research! – and that you buy CBD isolate. Full-spectrum CBD is more likely to contain higher quantities of THC, which is a cannabinoid that you don’t want to give to your children.
So, is CBD Safe for Children?
One large study that was published in the 2017 Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics confirmed that CBD isolate is safe for children to take. It specifically looked at the effects of CBD in children with ADHD and epilepsy and had encouraging results.
If you’re considering going down this route, consult a pediatrician or, better yet, a doctor who specializes in the use of CBD. They’ll be able to help you determine the proper dosage for your child, factoring in things like age and body weight.
Another thing you’ll want to be aware of is that CBD can possibly interact with medications your child is already taking, so be sure to check with their doctor before introducing a CBD regimen.
Now that we’ve gotten some of these concerns out of the way, let’s look at some reasons you might want your kids to give CBD a try.
CBD for Anxiety
Reduction of anxiety is one of the main things adults are using CBD for. CBD is being looked into as a possible supplemental treatment for conditions like social anxiety disorder or generalized anxiety disorder, so it may be worth a shot if your child is dealing with pathological anxiety.
Additionally, if your child suffers from ADHD or autism, high levels of anxiety may be a symptom, so CBD has the potential to help out here, too.
CBD for Seizures
Epidiolex is the only FDA-approved drug – at least for now – that contains CBD, and it’s indicated specifically for children suffering from the rare forms of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
As such, it makes sense to think that CBD could help a child with generalized seizures. Keep in mind, though, that not all types of epilepsy are the same.
That being said, the 2017 study on the effects of CBD in children mentioned above looked at 9 children with epilepsy, and half of those who received CBD became free of seizures and another saw gradual improvement in the frequency and severity of seizures.
CBD for Autism
Since CBD may promote calmer mood in a child, it’s possible that it may lessen the symptoms and frequency of so-called “rage attacks.”
One large study looked at 188 children with autism, and most experienced improvement in symptoms such as seizures, anxiety, and rage attacks. CBD may also help those with autism to be more “present” and therefore better at social interactions.
CBD for ADHD
CBD may make a good holistic treatment for ADHD. Why holistic? Well, CBD is often used by people to make sure they get a good night’s sleep – any parent will know the interplay between poor sleep and worsened ADHD symptoms.
Since CBD promotes mental calm, it also may help children with ADHD to experience better levels of concentration.
Overall, it is generally safe for children to take CBD. There aren’t any adverse side effects you need to look out for besides, possibly, drowsiness which will most likely clear up after a few weeks’ use. Note, however, that while current evidence and anecdotal reports seem promising, research into the effects of CBD – especially in children – is still ongoing.