Though CBD (cannabidiol) has reached explosive popularity in recent years, many parents remain unaware of what it can do for their young ones. Even some of the ones who take CBD themselves tend to be uncertain about whether or not this natural remedy can be used by children.
That’s perfectly understandable given the small body of research surrounding CBD. No parent would want to put their child’s wellbeing at serious risk, but what if you’re missing out on an opportunity to discover an effective solution for your child’s health problems?
To answer the questions that you might have about CBD and lead you into making an informed decision, this article will cover the key points about CBD and its impacts on the health of children.
Is It Safe?
Before we go over the ways CBD can help your child, let’s discuss the elephant in the room first. Can children take CBD without putting their health and wellness at risk?
This question likely stems from the confusion between CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Marijuana has been long regarded as a taboo because of its psychoactive properties. However, what makes people feel “high” when consuming marijuana cannot be attributed to CBD.
It’s THC that gets people “stoned”, not CBD.
Yes, trace amounts of THC can be found in hemp—the main source of CBD. However, the law states that no product with more than 0.3% of THC can be legally sold in the market.
That low level of THC in some CBD products will likely not expose your child to the health risks associated with the abuse of the cannabis plant. Therefore, as long as you read the labels carefully, purchase from reputable sources, and follow the prescribed dosage, the possibility of causing harm to your child is minimal.
The Three Types of CBD
In case you’ve decided to allow your child to take CBD as a means of improving their health, you should explore all your options in the market before pushing through with the plan.
As you go through each product, you might notice that there are different types of CBD nowadays. To help you understand how each differs from one another, let’s briefly discuss the three primary types of CBD.
When a product is labeled as “full-spectrum”, it means that the item contains all the natural compounds of the cannabis plant, including CBD and THC. Don’t skip them right away though!
Again, it’s legal in the US for CBD products to have, at most, 0.3% of THC in them. This small amount would not cause a psychoactive reaction in your child. Furthermore, some experts have explained that the combination of these cannabinoids can make the product more effective.
Products without any THC in them belong to the broad-spectrum category. They can still deliver the expected benefits from CBD, albeit to a slightly lesser degree than those tagged as “full-spectrum”.
Go for broad-spectrum products if you want to have the peace of mind that your child will be consuming only the non-psychoactive compounds of the cannabis plant, such as CBD and terpenes.
As the name implies, an isolate contains CBD only. This option is preferred by parents who do not want, at all cost, to expose their child to other cannabinoids except for CBD. As such, the benefits that your child may get will be limited to the ones that are associated with CBD alone, and without the so-called enhancing “entourage effect” of THC.
How Will CBD Benefit Your Child?
At the moment, there is not much solid research to back up the health benefits that children may gain from CBD. Nonetheless, some studies over the past few years have been promising.
As a parent, you must make the effort to go through the observations and recommendations of the CBD experts. By doing so, you can be more certain about whether or not CBD can be beneficial for your child.
To give you a head-start, we have listed below some health issues faced by children that can be addressed with the use of CBD.
In 2018, the FDA has approved a CBD-based drug called “Epidiolex”. It is an oral medication for children who suffer from rare forms of epilepsy: Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
Despite its proven effectiveness, administering this drug to your child comes with some health risks in the form of side effects. Some of the commonly experienced adverse reactions toward CBD, in general, include lethargy, low appetite for food, diarrhea, fatigue, and skin rashes.
More serious side-effects that warrant immediate attention can be as bad as having panic attacks or suicidal thoughts. If abused, CBD may also be damaging to the liver.
Some parents also consider other CBD products that are intended for epilepsy, even if they do not have approval from the FDA yet. If you prefer going this way, remember to consult your child’s doctor first. Keep in mind that the bad side effects that your child might experience due to Epidiolex may also be triggered by other similar CBD products.
Children with ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) cannot stand too much stimulation. They also have a hard time focusing on a given task or activity. Some experts suggest that CBD can be of help to these children since it may calm down their thoughts and reduce their hyperactivity.
Take note that the support for this CBD benefit is mostly from the anecdotal reports of parents with children with ADHD. Therefore, it cannot be regarded as a valid treatment or an effective cure for this disorder.
A 2015 review of research studies on CBD by a group of researchers from the New York University has highlighted the potential of this natural compound as a means of treating anxiety. This warrants further validation, however, because the studies conducted so far mostly involve animal participants.
Despite this limitation, the researchers feel positive about applying CBD to treat anxiety. In their review, CBD has shown remarkable efficacy in reducing the symptoms of various anxiety-related disorders, such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), generalized anxiety disorder, and OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder).
On the other hand, the studies involving human subjects cannot be translated directly to real-life situations because the researchers had deliberately placed the participants in simulations of anxiety-inducing situations. This allowed the researchers to measure the effects of CBD on their anxiety levels but the simulation could have significantly influenced the findings of this study.
A study in a pediatric unit of an Israeli medical center explored how CBD can aid children with autism. Based on their observations derived from the parents of the 150 participating children, the usage of CBD has reduced the undesired behaviors, anxiety levels, and communication problems that are brought about by autism.
Furthermore, the parents of the children who received regular doses of CBD reported experiencing less stress while taking care of their little ones. As promising as this may sound, further studies have to be conducted to ensure the validity and replicability of these observations.
Important Factors to Consider
Given the popularity of CBD, you would have plenty of choices to go through. To assist you in making the right call, below are some of the key factors that you must consider while searching for the ideal CBD product for your child.
Safety Standards of the Seller
Go for sellers that have had their products tested by third-party laboratories. Not everyone displays the batch test results, but prioritize the sellers that do so in your list because it reflects how much they value the safety of the customers and how confident they are about the effectiveness of their products.
Children tend to be more sensitive so it’s best to stick with CBD products made of organic hemp. Doing so will minimize the risk of exposing your child to harmful chemicals found in pesticides and some fertilizers.
Aside from the types of CBD we have discussed earlier, you will also have another important decision to make: Which of the many forms of CBD will best match your child’s needs?
Many parents prefer sublingual products, like CBD tinctures, because they are easy to administer and quick to be absorbed by the thin membrane under the child’s tongue. Others believe that CBD gummies would be a better choice because children tend to think of them as nice little treats.
Don’t expect CBD products designed for adults to be just as effective and safe when taken by children. Instead, look for sellers that offer products that have been made with kids in mind.
My Final Thoughts
Experts believe that the CBD market will continue to grow exponentially in the coming years. That means you can expect even more types of CBD products with improved formulations and more accommodating prices.
As you have learned in this article, CBD may help address your child’s health issues. If you’re convinced that it is relatively safe to use, your next step is to search for and evaluate CBD products that are appropriate for the needs of your little one.
We are also on the constant lookout for the best options available in the market. In case you want to know right away when we post new content, be sure to check back on our site regularly.
Finally, thanks for reading. We wish you luck in finding the best CBD product for your child.