Is CBD Safe for Kids?

Whenever a new medication or supplement becomes popular, safety questions inevitably follow. But while adults happily use CBD, you may find some of those same people feeling reluctant to serve CBD to children.

This stance isn’t unreasonable. Children can’t consume every food, supplement, or medicine that we use. Consequently, concerns are bound to pop up from worried parents and pediatricians.

So should we hesitate when giving CBD to kids? Why would we do so in the first place? Let’s see what we know so far.

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Kids and the CBD Industry

Many of us may have forgotten, but for a while, the face of CBD was a child. Charlotte Figi suffered from Dravet Syndrome – a rare, severe, and virtually uncontrollable form of epilepsy. .

Children with this condition suffer multiple seizures per day, and Charlotte was no exception. But when introduced to CBD oil, her seizures reduced dramatically, allowing her to live a normal life with almost no seizures to stop her.

This in turn led to several studies into CBD and severe childhood epilepsy. The findings conclusively proved that CBD can have anti-convulsant effects. As a result, the first CBD epilepsy drug, Epidiolex, received FDA approval. 

Tragically, Charlotte died of health complications at 13, but her impact is still felt among the CBD community. Today, she’s a symbol of the discovery that sparked a health supplement revolution and put cannabis into a more favorable light. 

Since then, people from other states or even countries moved to locations in the U.S. where CBD was legal (prior to the 2018 Farm Bill), just to see if CBD could help their children with epilepsy. Many found success. 

Does CBD Work Differently for Kids?

So far, there’s no evidence suggesting CBD’s effects on children are any different than adults. The only arguable difference may be dosage needs. The smaller age, size, and weight will require less CBD for the desired effect.

The bigger question is what benefits – if any – does CBD have for children? 

ADHD

ADHD affects children and adults alike. A small 2020 study found that cannabinoid consumption, including CBD, may help reduce the need for prescription medication. However, this research was questionnaire-based, with the authors emphasizing a need for further investigation.  

Some terpenes, like beta caryophyllene are believed to help increase energy and focus. These compounds are likely present in broad or full-spectrum CBD products. 

Epilepsy

We briefly mentioned Charlotte Figi as the face of CBD’s efficacy against seizures. But it’s important to note (which we covered in an earlier blog) that our research revolves around Dravet Sydrome and Lennox Gastaut Syndrome (LGS).

Both occur in small children and involve a debilitating number of seizures, with conventional epilepsy medications being virtually useless. 

But while we have an FDA-approved CBD drug (for $35,000 per year without insurance), CBD’s accepted benefits only those specific forms of epilepsy.

Does this mean CBD can’t help with more common forms of epilepsy in children? That’s difficult to say, because epilepsy – despite being grouped into a single condition – is unique in every case. We need more research to discover if CBD has other anticonvulsant applications. 

Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects people of all ages. Some individuals barely show signs, while in other cases, individuals may require constant care.

Children with low-functioning autism may show aggressive behaviors and tantrums that make caregivers’ lives difficult. It’s therefore no surprise that parents want to find a natural way to help their children. 

Unfortunately, we have no research on CBD and autism in children. However, anecdotal evidence continues to mount, along with CBD’s popularity for ASD. 

But does it work? According to Autism Parenting Magazine, the answer is a resounding “yes”:

“Some parents report that their children who used to be unreachable during fits of rage are able to implement calming techniques; other parents report decreased instances of physical violence,” the magazine says. 

They also point out that 30% of children with ASD also have epilepsy. We already know how effective CBD can be against certain types of seizures. Some experts theorize that this unique mechanism may apply to autism, reducing things like fits, self-injury, and violence against others. 

CBD Side Effects

The side effects of CBD in adults appear to be the same for younger individuals. CBD is demonstrably well-tolerated, with most side effects being mild and temporary. Some side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache

One concern, however, is prescription medication. CBD relies on the liver to metabolize, along with many other drugs. This can counteract or increase the effectiveness of they CBD, the medicine, or both. 

Bottom Line: Is it Safe to Give CBD to Children?

None of the evidence presented indicates that CBD is any more dangerous to kids than it can be for adults. If anything, it’s been instrumental in documented and undocumented cases 

The only concern is lack of regulation surrounding hemp-derived CBD products. While reputable vendors do their best to stay vigilant with third-party tests and other safety measures, there are still many seemingly reliable brands who cut corners. 

This corner-cutting can lead to serious consequences, such as labeling mistakes that lead to accidental THC ingestion, as one Oregon vendor learned the hard way.

 But what if a child were to consume a mislabeled product and suddenly be hit with an adult-sized serving of THC? While there’s no risk of permanent damage, the symptoms can be frightening and intense. And the example above isn’t the first instance of accidental or deliberate mislabeling.

Contaminants, like heavy metals, microbes, fungi, and chemical solvents could also be present. Any of these toxins could caused long-term damage to your child. 

As for pure CBD, there’s no evidence that the cannabinoid itself is inherently harmful. With proper FDA standards and stronger oversight, CBD products could have enormous potential.

Hopefully, future legislation will federally regulate CBD. 

Key Takeaways

  • CBD may benefit children in the same way as adults.
  • CBD likely no more dangerous to kids.
  • Research into CBD on children is virtually non-existent, with a lot anecdotal evidence.
  • CBD could offer a solution for children with ADHD, epilepsy, or ASD

Can CBD Help You Quit Smoking?

Cannabis was – and still is – a controversial product. Even today, CBD’s association with “marijuana” is an unnecessary blemish on its record. Ironically, this attitude is just as likely to exist among cigarette smokers. 

But thanks to rigorous public education, cigarette consumption is at an all-time low in the U.S., with the most recent CDC statistics showing a rate of just 14%. But despite this, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the united states, claiming almost 500,000 American lives every year.

The good news is that most smokers want to quit. But thanks to the efforts of tobacco companies, nicotine is designed to be as addictive as possible. At this point, forcing people to buy tobacco products is the only way to ignore the stigma, ostracization, and shame smokers face for their health choices.

That being said, should we look down on tobacco smokers? Absolutely not. What we need to do is make quitting as easy as possible. And while cessation aids like gums, lozenges, inhalers, patchers, and prescription drugs exist, they don’t always work.

So, could CBD be another option for smokers to try? Although the evidence is far from solid, cannabidiol could be what the doctor (hasn’t) ordered. 

CBD and Addiction

Early studies suggest CBD isn’t just helpful for smoking cessation, but it may also be a powerful tool against addiction to “hard” drugs, like heroin and other opioids.

A 2013 study by the University College London determined that people who used cannabis during cigarette cravings were less likely to smoke. 

The study gave inhalers to participants in two groups. The control group received CBD, while the placebo inhalers contained no cannabidiol.

After the experiment, researchers noticed a 40% decrease in cigarette smoking among CBD users, compared to no change in the placebo subjects.

However, this was a preliminary study, and it’ll take much longer for us to see if CBD is a viable smoking cessation aid. 

But there seems to be mounting proof that CBD can generally help with addiction by reducing drug cravings.

For example, a 2019 study in the American Journal of Psychiatry examined CBD’s ability to reduce opioid intake among addicts. The double-blind research observed CBD’s effects on opioid cravings. Subjects receive a “drug cue” to trigger their desire to consume the substance.

The groups were split into three. One received 400 mg of CBD, another took 800 mg, while the third received a placebo. Unsurprisingly, the CBD subjects showed a dramatically lower consumption rate following the cues, with 400 mg being the ideal dose. 

How Does CBD Help With Addiction?

The exact mechanism (if it even exists) isn’t well-known. But a 2016 study published in Psychopharmacology may explain. 

Dr. Celia Morgan, one of the study’s authors, later explained in an interview:

”We found that CBD seems to reduce the salience of cues. It also can reduce anxiety and may affect a memory process called ‘reconsolidation,’ which is where when a memory of the reward of smoking is re-activated by seeing someone smoking, it is rendered vulnerable to destruction.” 

In other words, CBD provides relief by helping users forget the positive reinforcement caused by smoking at certain times, creating a barrier to this destructive reward system. At the same time, it helps prevent the nervousness that makes smokers feel they need cigarettes to handle.

Why Try CBD to Quit Smoking?

CBD is versatile in more ways than one. But what makes it so handy as a quit smoking aid is its flexibility. Unlike “marijuana” (cannabis containing over 0.3% THC by dry weight), hemp-derived CBD won’t cause intoxication. 

Since CBD won’t make you high, you can use it in regular doses or as-needed at the onset of cravings. 

No Tricks

If you ask a smoker why they smoke, one reason they give may be “relaxation.” In the minds of many smokers, tobacco calms them down, especially during stressful situations.

Although this feels true to someone who smokes, it’s a matter of false perception. Tobacco withdrawal causes several symptoms, anxiety being one of them. The “calming effect” comes from satisfying your nicotine craving when you smoke. 

In other words, calmness from nicotine is an illusion. Consciously, you feel satisfied. But below the surface, your body experiences things like high blood pressure and increased heart rate. 

CBD, however, isn’t a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Counterproductive or dangerous bodily effects don’t underscore its benefits. 

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Which CBD Products Can Help Me Quit Smoking?

Several CBD products are available, all of which may help you quit smoking. The only caveat is that CBD has to enter your bloodstream, so topicals aren’t an option in this case. 

CBD Oil

CBD oil is the OG CBD product. Taken sublingually (under the tongue) and then ingested. The sublingual step lets a portion of the CBD get straight to your bloodstream through the mouth and gums. The liver does the rest. 

However, oil takes an average of 45 minutes for full effect. This means it’s not the best choice for unexpected cravings.

Still, taking it regularly can maintain a steady stream of CBD in your body, potentially providing a consistent “shield” to help reduce your compulsion to smoke. 

CBD Capsules

CBD capsules are softgels with a specific pre-measured dose of CBD oil. They’re mess-free and more discreet than their liquid counterpart but rely exclusively on the liver to metabolize CBD. 

As a result, capsules offer the lowest bioavailability and potentially longer delayed effects than CBD oils. 

CBD Edibles

Like capsules, CBD edibles fully metabolize in the liver, making them equally slow to take effect. The good news is that edibles come in various options, from candy to baked goods. 

Edible CBD products stand out because of how enjoyable they can consume. But as far as efficacy, they’re up there with capsules and oils. 

Smoking CBD

Initially, CBD smoking was limited to vape oils and e-liquids. Recently, some vendors have offered niche products, like hemp buds or joints. 

Inhaling CBD through a vape or dried flower provides virtually instant effects, as the cannabidiol goes straight to the bloodstream from your lungs. 

Smoked hemp CBD also provides a more authentic smoking experience, which helped make regular e-cigarettes popular. However, there are health concerns regarding the safety of e-cigarette devices. We also don’t fully understand the long-term consequences of smoking dried cannabis. 

How Do I Use CBD to Quit Smoking?

There’s no guarantee CBD will magically cure your addiction to nicotine. Some experts say it could be more addictive than heroin

Don’t worry, though; millions have still successfully kicked the habit. Success depends on choosing the right strategy.

So what’s the best way to avoid relapsing into tobacco mode? Ultimately, there are three ways you could try.

Ingestible CBD

Oils, capsules, and edibles take a while to kick in, but the effects can last up to eight hours once they do. Once you have the correct dose, regular CBD consumption may (theoretically) keep cravings at bay.  

A loose comparison might be the Nicotine patch since both are meant for controlled, sustained effects. 

Smoking

We already mentioned some of the benefits and health concerns of vaping or smoking CBD joints. But despite the pros and cons, smoking CBD is a perfect way to deliver a quick dose to crush cravings as they happen.

However, be prepared to “light up” frequently if cravings become the bane of your existence – and they will be in the first few days.

Mixed Approach

If you’re okay with both ingestible and smoked CBD, then using both is an ideal combination. Oils, edibles, and capsules provide a slow and sustained effect to reduce cravings, while smoked CBD helps get sudden, unexpected urges under control quickly. 

Will CBD Help Me Quit Smoking?

Although it seems plausible on paper, the instructions above are based on what little research we have. They operate under the assumption that CBD effectively controls addictive behavior – something promising, but not proven.

In other words, feel free to take our suggested approach, but this isn’t medical advice. Currently, the best way to become tobacco-free is to speak to a doctor about your options, including CBD. 

But if you want to get the best out of your smoke-free journey with CBD, Tessera Naturals offers a unique formula including nano-CBD. This form rapidly improves bioavailability, allowing you to do more with less. 

Key Takeaways

  • Tobacco is one of the most addictive (if not the most addictive) drugs
  • Cigarettes claim about 500,000 lives per year in the U.S.
  • Some evidence suggest CBD can curb smoking
  • CBD’s potential anti-addictive properties may help with other drug problems
  • Don’t use CBD for any reason until you speak with a doctor