CBD (cannabidiol), the non-psychoactive constituent of cannabis, has been gaining widespread popularity due to its ability to provide several therapeutic benefits without causing intoxication. Numerous studies have arisen reporting on how CBD can be effective in treating various psychiatric conditions, and many of these studies involve conditions that predominantly afflict kids. The results of these studies, combined with anecdotal evidence from parents, suggests that kids may be equally able to enjoy CBD’s many benefits.
However, despite the promise that CBD has shown as a treatment method for children, a few lingering concerns remain about its safety, legality, and proper administration regarding kids. Keep reading to find out all you need to know about CBD’s use with children.
What is CBD?
CBD has been shown to exhibit a range of therapeutic properties that could be useful to kids, including anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, sedative, and analgesic effects. In addition, CBD is not psychoactive like its counterpart THC, which makes it much more viable as a form of treatment for kids.
CBD is available in the forms of oils and infused gummies, both of which will be the most appealing to kids. According to anecdotal evidence, CBD gummies have been used to calm hyperactive kids, and CBD oil has been purported to soothe teething infants. The typical dosage given to children ranges from 1-10 mg a day.
What Does CBD Treat in Kids?
As mentioned before, CBD has many properties that make it a promising treatment method for various diseases, and it has proven especially helpful for certain conditions common among kids. For example, numerous studies have shown that CBD is extremely effective for children with treatment-resistant forms of epilepsy, such as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. In fact, the only FDA-approved CBD medication, Epidiolex, is a form of synthetic CBD that is prescribed for these very conditions.
Moreover, CBD has shown some promise in treating some of the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder. Children with autism spectrum disorder commonly display anxiety, hyperactivity, sleep problems, and self-injury. Researchers and pediatricians have turned to CBD because it could potentially target multiple of these symptoms at once.
In one study conducted with patients with autism spectrum disorder, CBD was effective in treating hyperactivity, sleep problems, and self-injury, but less effective in treating anxiety. Overall, improvement was recorded in 74.5% of cases. Other studies suggest that CBD-rich cannabis can mollify behavioral outbursts in children with autism spectrum disorder, which further implies that CBD has promise for treating this condition.
Lastly, since CBD has anti-anxiety and sedative properties, it could potentially be used to treat kids with anxiety disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), though there isn’t much scientific evidence to support this yet.
Is it Legal to Give CBD to Kids?
The legality of CBD has been a bit unclear due to its connection with marijuana; CBD is legal in most states, but THC and marijuana are specifically listed as Schedule I substances by the FDA. Marijuana and THC are legal in some states, but that is only for adults of the required age. If the trace levels of THC in a CBD product exceed the legal limits, it could be considered illegal to administer to a child.
Therefore, it’s not always a clear matter in determining whether giving CBD to kids is legal or not. The only case in which it is clearly legal to give kids CBD is if it comes in the form of the FDA-approved Epidiolex. However, Epidiolex requires a prescription from a doctor, and is currently only approved for treating specific forms of epilepsy.
Is it Safe to Give Kids CBD?
Throughout the many studies on CBD conducted with children and adolescents, it was reported to be extremely safe and well-tolerated from a toxicity standpoint. However, there are still some concerns that need to be taken into consideration, especially when CBD is given to infants and younger children.
One of the main safety concerns regarding CBD for kids is how it may interact with other medications. While CBD itself is not toxic, it could possibly disrupt the metabolization of other drugs and cause them to reach toxic levels. For this reason, it is always recommended to consult with a pediatrician before giving a child CBD if they are currently taking other medications. CBD should not be substituted for prescribed medications without first getting approval from a doctor.
In addition, it has been shown that CBD can have a number of adverse side effects. Some of the more common side effects include drowsiness, nausea, and loss of appetite. These adverse effects are more frequent with larger doses of CBD, and CBD gummies (which are more likely to be given to children) typically contain a high enough dosage to produce them. The quality of the CBD product also comes into play; if CBD is given to a child, it’s even more important that the product is all-natural, accurately labeled for CBD and THC concentrations, and free of any harmful additives.
Lastly, there are potentially serious concerns about giving CBD to kids under the age of two. Research on how CBD effects kids is relatively scarce, and it is even more so for younger children. Some CBD vendors suggest giving CBD oil to teething infants, but there is currently insufficient evidence to show that CBD is safe or even effective for children that young. Not even Epidiolex is recommended for children under the age of two, despite being approved by the FDA. Until more research emerges about the effects of CBD on infants, parents should be cautious about giving it to their young children.
- CBD has shown promise in treating a number of conditions that effect kids, but there are concerns about its safety, legality, and proper administration.
- Various studies have shown that CBD is effective for children with specific forms of epilepsy, and the FDA has approved the only CBD-based medication, Epidiolex, for this purpose.
- CBD has shown some potential in treating symptoms of autism spectrum disorder, anxiety disorders and ADHD, although more research is needed.
- The legality sand safety regarding CBD for kids is murky and caution is advised. Parents should seek approval from a doctor before giving CBD to their kids.