CBD products are on everyone's lips, but do they belong in everyone's mouth? Many websites and products state that CBD is 18+ only (or 21+ depending on your state). How does this happen, and is CBD therefore not suitable for children? Why shouldn't you give CBD oil to children, and what are the studies on this?
We want to address this sensitive issue. It is clear that there are many untruths and "opinions" on the web about this. We ourselves try to approach the topic "CBD for children" as study-based as possible and to deal with it critically. We ask all parents to think carefully before adding CBD oil and weigh up the chances/risks. A doctor should always be involved here.
CBD FOR KIDS: IS IT SAFE? – STUDIES
Studies in adults indicate that CBD acts in a specific way on the endocannabinoid system and also on the cannabinoid receptors. In addition, it is probably the case that CBD oil regulates specific genes via other modes of action. This knowledge creates, for example, the basis for the use of CBD in epilepsy, among other things.
We have selected a few studies & articles on the subject of CBD in children:
Cannabinoid-Based Therapies and Brain Development: Potential Harmful Effect of Early Modulation of the Endocannabinoid System. Patrícia Schonhofen, Ivi Juliana Bristot, José Alexandre Crippa, Jaime Eduardo Cecílio Hallak, Antônio Waldo Zuardi, Richard B. Parsons, Fábio Klamt, 2018
As far as the administration of CBD in children and adolescents is concerned, the study situation is sparse and can by no means be described as reliable. Children and young people are still in the middle of their physical and mental development.
For example, in the development of the immune system, endocannabinoid system, emotional, cognitive maturity, and much more. In these development phases, the body reacts particularly sensitively to external influences. This also includes the regulatory effect on the genes. There is absolutely no clear evidence of what effects "indiscriminate" CBD doses can have on later health.
DOES CBD OIL GET KIDS HIGH?
There is a very clear and short answer to this question: No. Your child cannot get high from CBD. CBD is not psychoactive, i.e., not intoxicating. However, it is understandable that parents should ask this question before using CBD. But especially in the United States, CBD products are not allowed to have an intoxicating effect, which is ensured by the 0.3% THC limit for products.
THC is considered in research to be the antagonist of CBD. That means THC is the substance in the hemp plant that has a psychoactive effect. Accordingly, THC is by no means suitable for children. Scientists assume that THC consumption can negatively affect brain development.
IS IT LEGAL TO GIVE CBD OIL TO CHILDREN?
Cannabidiol products are available in the United States and most of the Americas to people from 18 (or 21+ depending on your state), so parents have to ask themselves: Is it even legal to use CBD oil in children? The answer is YES. It is legal to give CBD to children.
As already explained, cannabidiol is not intoxicating - in contrast to THC. It is definitely illegal to give cannabis products containing THC to a child. However, by law, hemp products of all kinds in the United States and most of the EU may only have a THC value of less than 0.3%. This small amount cannot be intoxicating. Nevertheless, you should avoid such CBD products for children to avoid taking any risks. Pure cannabidiol (e.g., CBD isolate) does not contain THC and is suitable for children.
None of this relieves you as a parent of your duty of care. When giving CBD to your child, see how your child tolerates it.
HOW CAN CBD HELP CHILDREN?
Cannabidiol has many positive properties that can also help children in certain situations. So there are many good reasons to give your child CBD.
A prerequisite for using CBD for children is that the points we have listed here for CBD dosage, intake, and consultation with the doctor are taken to heart.
CBD in children can help with the following child complaints in particular:
We will detail the following the use of CBD on three topics: ADHD, autism, and epilepsy.
CANNABIDIOL FOR CHILDREN WITH ADHD
With ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), there seems to be great potential for giving CBD to children, but you must always evaluate this critically and carefully.
ADHD is a neurological disease that often affects children. ADHD affects 1 in 15 children.
Current conventional treatments are often pharmaceutical. While these drugs help with the symptoms of ADHD in children, they also have side effects. It's not uncommon for a parent to be looking for alternatives - and CBD oil for children offers an herbal alternative.
CBD can positively affect children with ADHD: The calming and relaxing effect can positively impact symptoms and has a soothing effect on children with the side effects of medication for ADHD; anxiety and insomnia.
CBD OIL FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), often simply called autism, is now diagnosed early in childhood. The disorder is no longer seen as a disease that requires healing. Instead, the term neurodiversity, which expresses an appreciation for neurobiological differences among people, is often used for autism. Nevertheless, people with autism are often confronted with problems and challenges in everyday life and physical constraints. Drug options are limited, unreliable, and not without adverse side effects.
CBD has gained a lot of attention in recent years as possible help for autism in children. Cannabidiol can be used particularly in the treatment of physical symptoms. Side effects such as seizures, mood swings, and anxiety – this is where using CBD for children can reduce symptoms.
CANNABIDIOL IN CHILDHOOD EPILEPSY
The medical benefits of CBD for children have become known in recent years, mainly because of its effect on epilepsy.
With more than 13 literature references and a well-founded study, we recommend the following elaboration on CBD for children with epilepsy: Cannabidiol in the therapy of epileptic encephalopathies in childhood. Here is a brief synopsis of the outlook:
Epileptic encephalopathies are an etiologically heterogeneous group of epilepsies that are usually difficult to treat in combination with significant developmental disorders. A significant role in the extent of the developmental disorder is ascribed to epileptic activity. Treatment approaches, therefore, essentially focus on anticonvulsant therapy. Pure cannabidiol has been increasingly used in epilepsy therapy in the last 5 years. This article summarizes the most important information on the use of cannabidiol, especially in epileptic encephalopathies.
It can therefore be said that high-dose cannabidiol in its pure form (CBD isolate) can help with epilepsy. However, the disadvantages and risks listed must always be weighed up when giving CBD to children. You should not make these decisions alone but discuss them with a doctor. Of course, it is clear here that you may have to go on a more prolonged search for practical help.
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF CBD FOR CHILDREN
The effectiveness of "pure" CBD (cannabidiol) has been scientifically proven to some extent, so far, only for individual forms of epilepsy (e.g., Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome). There was a significant reduction in seizures in the CBD groups compared to the placebo groups. However, there have also been some issues with giving CBD to children. It's helpful to compare the potential side effects of pharmaceuticals vs the potential side effects of CBD. Side effects that are by no means negligible have been observed but not common:
loss of appetite
deterioration of liver values
OUR CONCLUSION: BE CAREFUL
CBD should not be given to children and young people without medical advice or
supervision. Always know who you are purchasing your CBD from & always make sure to ask for a COA. A certificate of analysis (COA) will show you that the brand is doing proper testing on there product line and allows you to see how the products tests out as far as potency & safety.
Scientists agree that CBD should only be administered to children and adolescents after careful consideration and with the advice of a doctor. It may also interact with other medications your child is taking. Much like grapefruit, CBD interferes with some of the enzymes needed to metabolize drugs in the system. Don’t give CBD to your child if they’re taking any medication that has a grapefruit warning. You should note that this is pure CBD, i.e., isolated cannabidiol. Even if legal values are observed, you should always avoid full extracts with THC content. The negative effect of THC on children's brain development has been scientifically proven several times.
CBD in its pure form CAN also help children.
The study situation is unclear.
In any case, talk to your doctor and weigh up the risks.