Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I am not an anti-vax, pro-vax, anti-pharma, pro-pharma person. I am, however, a “choose the best decision for yourself” person. I use nature AND medications to treat myself. Do your research and decide for yourself. Each of my posts in the “Farmacy” section will have this disclaimer.
Is CBD Oil Safe For Kids?
The answer is YES. You might be thinking, “CBD… for kids? Seriously?” Again, the answer is YES.
If you take a quick snapshot into what CBD does, it makes a lot of sense. CBD may exist within the marijuana plant, but what few people know is that cannabinoids, similar to CBD, exist within the human body completely naturally. In fact, we have an entire health system specifically designed to interact with those cannabinoids, known as the endocannabinoid system. It’s already in our body, we are just adding to it.
Research has shown CBD to have a number of incredible benefits for the body including the following:
- Reducing chronic pain and inflammation
- Increasing mental clarity
- Alleviating anxiety
- Reducing the frequency and severity of seizures
- Protecting the brain
- Alleviating nausea
- Helping to maintain proper weight
- Managing appetite
- Treating sleep issues
But in addition to helping adults with their symptoms, CBD products have also been shown to help children cope with their medical issues, too.
And thanks to a few notable landmark cases, as well as more frequent studies in recent years (including the FDA-approval of Epidiolex), we have been able to find out exactly how CBD affects child patients, as well as if there are any negative effects.
What About THC?
First, it’s important to understand that CBD is indeed a natural component of the Cannabis sativa plant, the same plant that produces the iconic “marijuana high.”
CBD is not, however, the same as THC. THC is the notorious compound that allows users of marijuana to unleash the psychoactive high, and while CBD may exist alongside this mind-altering cannabinoid, it does not in any way share its psychoactive effects.
In short, CBD does not get you high. Administering CBD is essentially no different to taking any other medicine; it’s just that this medicine happens to come from the cannabis plant.
Now that that’s out of the way, what is CBD and what does CBD do?
What Is CBD Oil? What Does CBD Do?
As I’ve posted in the past, CBD is the non-psychoactive part of Cannabis sativa that exists alongside THC. In common strains, CBD generally exists at about one tenth the amount of THC.
The extracted oil has a number of useful medical properties, thanks to the way that it interacts with the endocannabinoid system.
This system exists throughout the body and helps regulate a variety of functions, including the incredibly vital task of cellular regrowth and the release of brain chemicals. CBD interacts primarily with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, which in turn encourage the body to produce more natural occurring cannabinoids.
The endocannabinoid system is used by our body to kickstart cellular healing and trigger inflammation or other body responses to infection. By essentially tricking the endocannabinoid system, we can help mitigate painful symptoms and could potentially even modulate and control a variety of diseases.
How, though, can we know that CBD is safe for kids? It’s all well and good that it’s being used to help adults, but how we do we know it won’t harm growth and development?
CBD and Child Safety
While there have been numerous studies about CBD oil usage for adults, there is a lack of them into the benefit of CBD specifically for children.
There was a study conducted by Dr. Scott Shannon, that examined the potential for CBD oil to help children deal with pediatric anxiety and insomnia as a result of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). In the study, Shannon administered CBD to his ten-year-old subject who had suffered sexual abuse and PTSD.
During this trial, Shannon discovered a maintained decrease in anxiety and a continuous improvement in the quantity and quality of the young girl’s sleep. This was accompanied by a complete lack of serious side effects.
This study is significant in that it provides concrete clinical data to support the use of CBD as a safe and stable treatment for PTSD symptoms and anxieties in children.
Thanks to Shannon, we know that CBD can work to combat anxiety in children, but what about with other conditions?
Did CBD Help Charlotte Figi?
It is likely that, at some point in the last several years, you’ve heard mention of the name Charlotte Figi. Charlotte was a normal girl born to a suitably normal family, who was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, one of the most serious and frequently seizure-dense forms of epilepsy. Dravet syndrome is particularly terrible because it can cause upwards of 300 grand mal seizures every month.
Obviously, Charlotte suffered big time from her condition. The mix of different drugs she was taking was beginning to cause a myriad of developmental damage – she was swiftly approaching a point of no longer being able to grow as a person.
However, when she was 5-years-old and facing a daily risk of death due to grand mal seizures, it was decided to go ahead and try CBD. Thankfully, marijuana growers in Colorado developed a strain of high CBD/low THC Cannabis, from which they were able to extract a suitable oil.
They began by applying it to Charlotte’s food and, amazingly, it worked. The young girl’s seizures went from 300 intense, dangerous, and painful grand mal episodes a month, to just 2-3 a month, most of which took place in her sleep.
Charlotte Figi has now faded into relative obscurity as a medical case, because her seizures have been managed. She is now living a relatively normal life and has demonstrated no negative consequences due to her CBD oil usage.
But, what are the risks for CBD? Even if Charlotte doesn’t have long-term side effects, there must be a few issues still present?
Are There Side Effects In Children From CBD?
Indeed, CBD does express a few side effects. Realistically, whenever you take any form of medication, there’s pretty much always going to be a side effect since you are administering a new substance into your body.
In a study conducted for the International Cannabinoid Research Society, scientists explored survey data from the perspective of the side effects of CBD, using thousands of individual cases wherein CBD was used medicinally.
The researchers found that the most widely reported side effects were tiredness, diarrhea, and small fluctuations in appetite and weight. They were especially looking at CBD as compared to other medications used to treat epilepsy, and they found that when compared to the multitude of drugs necessary to treat chronic seizures, CBD was far and away more preferable than any other drug.
The researchers did list one caveat, however: There was an insufficient amount of research conducted into hormonal development. That isn’t to say that children’s hormonal levels are in danger from CBD, just that there currently aren’t any scientific publications demonstrating, with certainty, that there are no long-term hormonal changes.
Soooo, Is CBD Safe for Kids?
CBD has the potential to help a huge number of children. It has been demonstrated to be useful in combating a variety of psychological conditions, including anorexia and depression. It has also shown to be helpful for cellular regrowth, and thus combating skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Sadly, for many people CBD is still stigmatized due to its association with marijuana. It is fair and understandable to not want your children smoking actual marijuana, due to its characteristic high (as well as the potential side effects for psychosis and other undesirable conditions).
However, CBD bears no similarity to THC in regard to its psychoactive properties. It appears to help in healing your body and works to encourage the immune system to get over diseases and heal more quickly, all by simply encouraging your natural defense and repair systems.
As with most medicines, CBD appears to work just as well in children as it does with adults. Though the relative quantities and dosages change, CBD can have the same benefits for a child’s health as it does an adult, as demonstrated by the innumerable cases of CBD successfully helping children with diseases – particularly in the form of epilepsy.
Most importantly of all, CBD does not appear to bring with it any kind of long-term side effects, nor does it force addiction or dependence on the user.
In terms of a child-friendly medication with a wide variety of applications, CBD is easily administered, easily bought (it can even be delivered) and easily understood.
What CBD Oil Is Best For Children?
Well, you should know what I am going to say here…Do your research. There are many different types, companies and strengths of CBD oil out there. Personally, I choose CBDPure since they offer third party testing, they are from 100% organic hemp and they come with a money back guarantee. They offer different strengths and you can order online and have it delivered right to your door. You can check them out by clicking here.
What Is The Recommended Dosage Of CBD Oil For Kids?
Obviously, you are going to want to start with the lowest possible strength and the lowest possible dosage. As an adult, I started that way and gradually built up to where I am now. Please make sure to speak with your doctor before administering any new products to your child. Remember, I am not a doctor. I am just a regular person who uses CBD Oil.
Would I give CBD oil to my child?
Yes. I would. No doubt. But, he is an adult now and chooses to smoke marijuana instead of taking just CBD Oil. However, that is a story for another day.