CBD is everywhere, but is it safe for children? People are turning to it to treat insomnia, to add energy to a workout, to relieve stress, ease anxiety, and control pain. Pet owners are treating Fido to a daily or as-needed supplement. The popularity of the hemp-derived CBD has captured the attention of many parents who are wondering if it is safe for children.
The History of CBD Use in Children
When your child is sick, you feel helpless and sometimes conventional medicines fail to help your child’s condition. This scenario first brought the benefits of CBD to light. A small child named Charlotte was plagued with unrelenting seizures. Her parents had tried everything. Finally, in an act of desperation, they turned to a Colorado marijuana cultivation expert to devise a strain that contained very little THC (the cannabinoid that makes you high). The growers focused on a CBD-dominate strain that they dubbed ‘Charlotte’s Web.’ CBD from the plant stopped the child’s seizures. Then, in 2018, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first cannabis-derived drug that contains CBD. That drug, Epidiolex, is prescribed to treat various forms of epilepsy.
CBD for Children
CBD products are extracted from industrial hemp, and contain less than .3% THC. This small amount of THC will not result in any psychedelic effects. Parents have started to turn to CBD to treat a wide range of childhood problems such as autism, ADHD, chronic pain, and anxiety without the fear of subjecting their children to THC.
Is CBD Safe?
The World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledged the use and safety of CBD in 2018. The WHO reviewed the safety and effectiveness of the cannabinoid and stated in their report, “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.” In addition, WHO reported that CBD “exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential,” and that there is “no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.” A full copy of the report can be found here: https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/5.2_CBD.pdf
CBD and Autism
In Israel, researchers have focused on using CBD to alleviate behavioral problems in autism sufferers. The study, involving 60 children with autism spectrum disorder (77% low functioning, 83% boys), had incredibly promising results. It found a significant improvement in anxiety and behavioral explosions in children with autism. Also, communication appeared to improve, and stress levels were reduced. The study can be found here: https://n.neurology.org/content/90/15_Supplement/P3.318
CBD and ADHD
Research is still being conducted regarding the potential for CBD to treat ADHD. Many parents are using it to relieve anxiety in their children who also suffer from ADHD.
CBD and Pain
Sadly, children are not immune to pain. Many kids suffer from childhood migraines, especially at the onset of puberty. Other youngsters are forced to cope with chronic health problems daily that take their toll because of ongoing pain. CBD appears to have strong analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that some parents are utilizing to give their children relief.
Check with Your Child’s Pediatrician
If you feel that CBD might help your child, discuss the supplement with your child’s pediatrician. Please be aware that CBD might interact with medications (such as prescription epilepsy meds) so you should always get the green light from the doctor prior to giving your child the supplement.
At Green Owl Wellness, we would be happy to discuss CBD options for you and your child!