What Parents Need to Learn About: CBD Oil for Kids
Should I give CBD oil for kids to my children — that’s what many parents are wondering these days.
It’s hard to say “no” when you’ve heard about the many benefits of CBD. Still, research including adult humans is scarce, let alone the number of studies on CBD oil for children. For this reason, having qualms about CBD oil’s effects on kids is somewhat common.
Some scientific research and anecdotal data are available, and we’re going to present to you everything there is to know about CBD oil and its impact on the little ones.
What Is CBD?
CBD or cannabidiol is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. Cannabinoids are natural chemical compounds that have the ability to bind to our own endocannabinoid system (ECS).
What is CBD oil good for? The answer is lengthy, but some of the treated conditions include insomnia, depression, anxiety, diabetes, obesity, cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, acne, arthritis, (chronic) pain, migraines, and so on.
Can children take CBD oil? In short, yes. CBD is not psychoactive in the same manner as THC (which makes you high) — hence why it is so highly recommended. That said, even the WHO vouches for its safety.
CBD can be isolated from the cannabis buds in several ways (even at home). The oil form allows for a variety of products: pills, creams, patches, suppositories, tinctures, oils, and many others. CBD gummies for kids are not labelled as such despite the fact they are very appealing and an easy way of taking CBD.
At What Age Can You Take CBD?
If we are to take a look at the examples of children having taken CBD oil, perhaps cannabidiol can even be given to babies.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the usage of Epidiolex for patients who are one year old or older. Essentially, Epidiolex is CBD oil made from hemp, so that would suggest CBD can be given to children that young.
There is also a documentary about a six months old baby boy whose post-chemotherapy vomiting was successfully stopped by using “a single drop of CBD oil”. Anecdotal evidence abounds, usually provided by distressed parents of children with serious diseases, such as cancer, who have tried every other medicine doctors recommended.
Yet, no official scientific research has been done to support the claim CBD can be given at this early age.
Is CBD Oil Safe for Kids?
Let’s get rid of the elephant in the room straight away. Yes, CBD oil can be safe for children. We’re saying “can” as opposed to taking this information for granted, so you don’t just run off to the nearest dispensary and buy the newest “vitamin” for your kid.
A survey done by Yale Cancer Center shows the majority of pediatric cancer providers even give endorsement for using medical cannabis.
However, let’s focus solely on cannabidiol usage. Here are a few things to bear in mind before buying CBD oil for your child.
Only Buy High-Quality CBD Oil
You wish only the best for your child, but opting for the finest CBD oil for kids among a multitude of other CBD oils on offer can be a daunting task.
You’ve noticed it yourself — CBD is advertised everywhere, especially if you live in a state which enjoys great marijuana tax revenues.
There are several ways of discerning whether the oil is of the highest quality:
- It was tested by a third-party laboratory
- The label has clear instructions
- It is organic
- Its other ingredients are safe to consume
In short, be extremely careful as mislabelling is a common practice within the industry.
Choosing the Right CBD Oil for Kids
When you wish to choose the right type of CBD for children, this is of the utmost importance. CBD oil can be:
- Full-spectrum — this one contains CBD, THC, and all the other cannabinoids, as well as terpenes and waxes. If you go for this one, you will be exposing your child to a plethora of influences.
- Broad-spectrum — the oil has a bit of everything. This is somewhere in-between as it was stripped down of THC.
- Isolate — as the name suggests, this should be pure CBD, with no other cannabinoids present. Terpenes and other compounds are absent as well.
If you want to make CBD oil safe for kids, the safest bet would be to go for the isolate, i.e., pure CBD oil. You’ll be exposing your child to just one cannabis compound instead of many others. Side effects are also easier to notice, and you can stop the treatment if necessary.
Full-spectrum oils contain THC. If it’s coming from hemp, then 0.3% may not cause any worries since hemp is legal on the federal level. But, if it’s extracted from the cannabis indica plant, then the THC content could be potentially dangerous. Broad spectrum CBD oils, on the other hand, provide the synergetic effect of all cannabinoids and terpenes except for THC.
Once again, looking for a reliable supplier and third-party lab tests is mandatory.
How to Use CBD Oil for Kids
CBD can enter the body through different organs. Consequently, its impact can be felt in a matter of minutes or even hours.
For example, if you let your child take CBD sublingually, it will enter the bloodstream directly. On the other hand, eating a CBD gummy or a cookie will allow the cannabinoid to be metabolized in the liver.
Exactly how much CBD is absorbed by the organism is not always easy to determine since the number of studies on this matter is relatively limited. What’s more, CBD oil effects linger for longer if they’re taken as edible.
The nutty and earth-like taste of the oil could be masked that way, too.
How Can CBD Help Children?
Let’s look at some of the conditions for which we have concrete evidence (scientific or anecdotal) that CBD is beneficial to kids.
CBD Oil for Kids with Cancer
Numerous studies on animals and adult humans show that cannabinoids exhibit antitumor properties in different types of cancer, such as leukemia, lymphoma, and brain tumors. So, can CBD help children diagnosed with cancer?
Turns out it can, especially when combined with THC.
Most studies on pediatric cancers have been conducted in leukemia models, such as T-ALL (T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia). The results of the mentioned studies suggest cannabinoids can induce in vitro and in vivo leukemia cell death. In other words, most preclinical studies show that cannabinoids could (potentially) effectively treat different types of pediatric cancers.
On top of that, anecdotal evidence on CBD and kids with cancer shows medical marijuana helped many children fight this deadly disease.
For example, Jim and Jaclyn von Harz used medical marijuana to treat their 3-year-old daughter who was diagnosed with cancer. They gave her 400 mg of THC and CBD oil every day. In three months, the tumors disappeared.
Another story involves a six-month-old baby boy, Waldo, who suffered from a rare form of eye cancer. Since Waldo experienced adverse side effects of chemotherapy (insomnia, vomiting, and trouble eating), his parents decided to try CBD oil that almost immediately stopped his vomiting.
The combination of chemo, CBD and THC also helped a 3-year-old Landon Riddle, who was diagnosed with ALL (acute lymphocytic leukemia).
Although CBD shows wonderful potential, since most of the studies are based on preliminary data and anecdotal evidence, further research is required to clarify how exactly cannabinoids can help in the management of pediatric cancers.
CBD Oil for Kids with Anxiety
Anxiety — mental or physical restlessness — can be an issue on its own, but it is also complementary to many conditions or diseases, such as ADHD, autism, PTSD, and the like. Fortunately, CBD oil shows positive results in treating anxiety.
Here are a few examples regarding children (and not adult or animal) studies.
A 2016 study by the University of Colorado (on the subject of CBD for anxiety in children) dealt with a case concerning a young girl who was suffering from anxiety and insomnia caused by posttraumatic stress disorder. The 10-year-old went through sexual abuse when she was just three and was living with addict parents until she was seven years old. By then, the problematic behavior, including irregular sleep patterns, the inability to sleep on her own, and difficulty coping with the school curriculum, was already established.
The clinical study on CBD for kids with anxiety lasted for five months. The girl was receiving prescribed medications until her guardian finally decided on giving their consent for the girl to participate.
She was given 25 mg of CBD at bedtime and 6 to 12 mg of CBD sublingual spray during the day. Five months later, the girl was able to adequately deal with her school obligations and sleep on her own, without any signs of potential CBD side effects.
This case is usually presented as proof of tackling anxiety with CBD, but there are still more to follow.
CBD Oil for Kids with ADHD
Besides helping adults who struggle with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (yes, ADHD statistics show it’s not age-limited), CBD oil for ADHD can be used by kids, too.
However, as John Mitchell, Ph.D., states, there are no clinical studies involving children. On the other hand, studies with adult participants show promising results as their attention spans increased with cannabis usage.
Regarding kids and cannabidiol, the Internet abounds with anecdotal evidence. Parents giving CBD oil to their children noticed a significant improvement in their overall behavior and sleeping patterns.
Some of them even managed to reduce the number of ADHD medications thanks to CBD oil. This is not the same case for everybody, though.
CBD Oil for Kids with Autism
When it comes to the autism spectrum, we can rely on official scientific research.
- First, we have an Israeli study of 53 children who received oral cannabidiol for about three months on average. The self-injuring incidents were reduced in 67.7% of participants and worsened in 8.8% of the participants. Hyperactivity lessened, whereas sleep was of better quality. Anxiety levels were reduced as well.
- Interestingly, CBD oil for kids with autism shows potential even when containing THC. In fact, research conducted on 60 children diagnosed with autism spectrum showed that 61% of patients had their quality of life improved during treatment. They were given CBD-enriched cannabis. As a result, communication issues were better in 47% of cases, and anxiety drops were reported in 39% of cases.
- Researchers from the University of California are currently working on a clinical trial that will show how CBD oil can help 7–14-year-old autistic children with their behavioral problems.
Overall, there are many CBD oil benefits for kids since the oil is efficient in reducing compulsive actions, violent outbursts and promoting better speech and rest too.
For example, children on the autism spectrum are no strangers to seizures, and it has been proven that CBD oil can help with certain types of seizures.
CBD Oil for Kids Can Be Used for Seizures
The FDA-approved, pure CBD oil medicine, Epidiolex, is prescribed for children over 1 year of age and brings high hopes for further CBD research in young patients. In essence, Epidiolex is nothing else than a pure, hemp-derived CBD oil made in highly controlled conditions.
The drug is officially approved for children battling an extremely rare (and dangerous) case of epilepsy — the Lennox-Gastaut or Dravet syndrome.
Another renowned medicine is Charlotte’s Web. Its CBD dosage for kids is documented to reduce violent seizures. The CBD–THC ratio is 30:1. As a matter of fact, the strain got its name after a girl whose seizures plummeted from 300 per week to zero (within the first week).
In addition, recent research conducted by Richard Huntsman, MD and pediatric neurologist, confirms a combination of CBD and a low dose of THC could be beneficial.
Can Kids Take CBD Oil for Pain?
At the moment, there are no studies or researches that can vouch for children. There is only anecdotal evidence that CBD oil can relieve migraine pain in teenagers.
However, as CBD has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, which are documented in pain statistics, it is quite probable that it has a similar effect on younger patients.
What Is the Recommended CBD Oil Dosage for Kids?
The general rule of thumb applies to how much CBD to take as well. If you wish to begin treating your kids with CBD, start from the smallest dose possible, and scale up until you start noticing improvements.
The dosage will also depend on the following:
- The child’s weight
- The child’s metabolism
- The child’s unique body chemistry
- Desired effects
The initial recommended CBD dosage for children, according to most research, is 0.5 mg per pound, and it should be divided into three doses. It can be increased by that amount every seven days until you see the benefits.
- If your child weighs 30 lbs, the recommended dosage will amount to 2.6 mg (low strength) and 7.8 mg (medium strength)
- For 40 lbs — 3.6 mg (low strength) and 10.8 mg (medium strength)
- For 50 lbs—4.6 mg (low strength) and 13.8 mg (medium strength)
- For 75 lbs—6.4 mg (low strength) and 19.0 mg (medium strength)
- For 100 lbs—7.5 mg (low strength) and 22.5 mg (medium strength)
Potential Side Effects of CBD
Is CBD safe for kids and adults? Yes, but it is not absolutely harmless. The most common adverse effects refer to CBD overdosing. Dry mouth is one of them, and it can be followed by extreme nausea or sleepiness.
Nevertheless, the number one priority is taking care of whether CBD interacts with any medication(s) your child is using at the moment. Hence the following advice.
Consult the Doctor
Before you give CBD a try, it’s mandatory to consult with a physician. They should be able to inform you whether CBD is the right pick or not.
In addition, doctors are supposed to be informed about all the possible interactions with other medications.
Is CBD oil safe for children? Since CBD oil’s impact on children is not frequently discussed among medical professionals, your family doctor could lack sufficient knowledge about the topic.
To sum up, there are just too many variables to consider when you want your child to begin taking CBD. Is the endeavor still worth it, though? Most certainly, as we shall see in the following section on CDB research and the benefits of CBD treatment.
All things considered, CBD oil is indeed beneficial for kids and adults. It has impressive medical potential, which should be explored thoroughly.
That said, more scientific research and studies would pave the way for absolute legalization and mass production. As a result, millions of kids would be given a chance to live healthier and happier lives.
Is CBD addictive?
The short answer would be no. CBD is not physically addictive. Hence giving CBD oil to children will not turn them into addicts of any sort.
Is using CBD for kids with ADHD safe?
We still don’t know for sure. So far, there are no clinical studies on CBD and children with ADHD. This means that we can only rely on the research conducted on adult participants that show encouraging results.
However, some parents give their children CBD oil, and anecdotal evidence shows us that, in some cases, CBD managed to improve children’s overall behavior and sleeping patterns.
Is CBD oil for kids safe?
Judging by the fact that CBD oil in the form of Epidiolex can be given to children since they are one year old, then the answer should be positive. However, just like it is always pointed out that adults may have different reactions to cannabidiol, the same goes for children as well.