CBD, or cannabidiol, is a hemp-derived compound that has taken the world by storm in recent years. After the cannabinoid was federally legalized in 2018, CBD gained mainstream attention due to its vast health benefits and versatility of uses.
While mounting evidence suggests CBD is useful in treating ailments like fibromyalgia and chronic migraines in adults, many wonder if it may be beneficial and most importantly, safe, for children to consume, as well.
Join us as we explore the complex conversation surrounding the question: is CBD safe for kids?
What is CBD?
CBD is one of many cannabinoids derived from the legal hemp plant. Hemp contains over 113 known cannabinoids; however, CBD stands out because it is a major cannabinoid that proliferates in very large quantities and carries a wide range of health benefits.
Studies show that CBD may be effective in treating:
- Pain and inflammation
- Nausea and vomiting
- Tremors and epilepsy
- Insomnia and sleep difficulties
- Mood disturbances
- Emotional disruptions
- Addiction and chemical dependencies
- Cognitive difficulties
- Tumor growth
CBD impacts your health via direct interaction with the human endocannabinoid system (ECS). By targeting endocannabinoid receptors, CBD helps bring about homeostasis and overall wellness throughout the body.
Many seek out CBD as a natural alternative treatment option because its side effects are limited and its potential for abuse is considerably low.
Can CBD get you high?
In short: no, CBD cannot get you high. Any hallucinogenic effects felt when consuming cannabis or cannabis products are attributed to THC, another well-known major cannabinoid.
Formally referred to as tetrahydrocannabinol, THC is the main psychoactive compound found in hemp. It produces the “high” characteristic of cannabis or marijuana ingestion. Per federal definition, legal hemp and CBD products may only contain a maximum of 0.3% THC, which should not produce any noticeable hallucinogenic effects.
Full Spectrum CBD products usually contain some THC, whereas Broad Spectrum or CBD Isolate products contain no THC. To learn more about Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and Isolate CBD products, follow this link!
Although THC can induce psychotropic effects, it’s important to reiterate that CBD does not produce a high of any kind.
Is CBD safe for kids?
An ever-growing number of studies conclude CBD to be safe and effective for adults, but research is relatively limited when it comes to children. That being said, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not strictly prohibit the use of CBD for individuals under the age of 18.
Some research indicates that CBD may be safe and effective for treating some specific illnesses in children, such as:
- Epilepsy: Several studies find that natural CBD effectively treats chronic epileptic seizures in children. For example, this 2016 study concluded CBD to be safe and effective in reducing seizure frequency in 89% of pediatric epilepsy patients. The FDA has also approved a synthetic CBD-based pharmaceutical called Epidiolex for the treatment of Lennox-Gestaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome; however, this medication does carry some risks.
- Autism spectrum disorder (ASD): According to some research, CBD may be a worthwhile treatment option for many symptoms that accompany autism. CBD as a therapeutic has been implicated a number of times, notably in this 2019 study. Here, researchers found that over 83% of pediatric autism patients saw moderate to significant improvement in symptoms when consuming CBD-rich hemp oil. Researchers concluded CBD to be safe, effective, and well-tolerated in relieving ASD-related symptoms.
- Anxiety disorders: Although many studies link regular CBD intake with anxiety relief in adults, only one case study confirms benefits in children. The findings, however, are not insignificant: CBD drastically reduced anxiety and insomnia in a 10-year-old child suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Additionally, there are a plethora of anecdotal reports claiming pediatric CBD consumption to benefit these conditions, as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Crohn’s disease and similar inflammatory bowel diseases, and other chronic physical and emotional ailments. Although clinical evidence has yet to be observed, this by no means negates the positive personal experiences of many.
Despite the fact that CBD generally carries minimal adverse reactions, it can produce unwanted side effects in some users. These include:
- Dry mouth
- Nausea or gastrointestinal upset
- Reduced or increased appetite
CBD may also interact with certain medications. If you or your child are taking any pharmaceuticals, it is in your best interest to consult with a trusted medical provider before adding CBD or other compounds to your regimen.
Should your child take CBD?
Ultimately, your child’s medical decisions rest in your hands. You should never feel pressured in any way that doesn’t feel right for you. Keep in mind that medical treatments are always individualized: what works for some may not be best for you, and vice versa.
If CBD seems like a good fit for you and your family, you should feel empowered to make that decision. When choosing a CBD product, be sure to read labels carefully to ensure that you purchase a clean, safe, and reliable product for your child. Be aware that not all products are made alike, and some manufacturers can be too lax regarding safety standards and protocols.
We recommend Bee’s Knees Wellness for all your CBD needs because they have an upstanding track record when it comes to clean ingredients and safe and sustainable hemp-derived CBD sourcing. Plus, they provide updated Certificates of Analysis (COAs) on their website and are always available to discuss any questions or concerns you may have!
The conversation surrounding CBD as a treatment option for children is in many ways nuanced and subjective, but emerging scientific and anecdotal evidence points in a positive direction. We hope that, as you embark on your wellness journey with your child, you and your little one find some much-deserved relief.