CBD for children

3 Things Parents Need to Know About CBD For Children

Oct 5, 2022


CBD is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant and is one of its most abundant compounds. Unlike THC, it is not psychoactive, meaning it does not produce a "high" that is often related to the use of cannabis. 

CBD is also not addictive and has been shown to have many medical benefits. Anchored by research from the past several years, it has been used to treat anxiety, depression, and insomnia and even address chronic pain, inflammation, and cancer.

While CBD products are primarily marketed for adults, some companies sell them for children. There's been a boom in the CBD market too, which means those looking for a solution must tread carefully.

As a parent, it is essential to understand a few things before considering CBD as an option for children.

Is CBD safe for children?

The World Health Organization has recognized that many people use CBD without authorization, which further stresses the importance of understanding if it is safe. "CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile," said in a report reviewing CBD's efficacy and safety evidence.

Adverse effects of the cannabinoid were said to have emerged from its interaction with other medications. With no potential indication of abuse or dependence, the report noted that there had been no evidence of recreational use of CBD. Neither did people using pure CBD report health complications. 

The compound's effectiveness was suggested in several clinical trials, with studies showing its efficacy in treating epilepsy and other medical conditions.

Anxiety, autism, and CBD

A review by researchers at New York University in 2015 found that there is potential for CBD to be used in treating anxiety. The review of 49 studies showed promising results for the same.

Esther Blessing, Ph.D., who led the study, noted that there was conclusive evidence in preclinical trials showing CBD helped with generalized anxiety disorders, PTSD, panic and social anxiety disorder, and OCD. CBD was known to have "minimal sedative effects and an excellent safety profile."

"Overall, current evidence indicates CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders." Dr. Blessing concluded the study, adding that there was a "need for further study of chronic and therapeutic effects in relevant clinical populations."

Regarding autism, Israeli researchers conducted a study of 60 children, which showed significant improvement in behavioral outbreaks, communication issues, and anxiety after using CBD. 

What about CBD and its side effects?

CBD products are available in many forms, including oils, topical ointments, vaping, edibles, and gummies, which opens doors to consumption in various forms.

The FDA has approved one purified form of CBD for children who suffer from rare seizures — children who do not respond to medication.

According to reports, side effects of CBD usage include the feeling of sleepiness, diarrhea, and fatigue. Concerns around its potential to interact with other medications have also been raised. 

"Parents who see promotional content claiming CBD benefits kids with certain conditions should be aware that products seen online or in stores are not regulated by the FDA and may be mislabeled," said Mott Poll co-director Sarah Clark, M.P.H., in the report. "This makes it difficult for parents to know exactly what they're buying and what their child may be exposed to.

"Anecdotal stories of children benefiting from CBD may sound alluring but just because it's a plant product doesn't necessarily make it safe or effective in children. We need more evidence to understand CBD's short- and long-term side effects in kids."