Cbd for kids: is it safe for children?

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The application of CBD to children’s health is controversial. Some argue that the compound’s cannabis (hemp)-related origins make it unsuitable for children. However, a growing number of parents have found that CBD is effective against debilitating conditions such as epilepsy and provides relief where pharmaceutical preparations have failed.

As a result, the available data on CBD is not yet conclusive enough to prove it safe for use in children. Long before the legalization of cannabis, people around the world have used CBD as an alternative to the drug. Cannabidiol is gaining a reputation as an effective and efficient way to take control of your health. There are many companies on the Internet that offer premium CBD products that manage your well-being and maintain the balance between you and your body.

The growing popularity of CBD for comfort has led to the question of the safety and effectiveness of CBD for children. Its antispasmodic and neuroprotective effects are well documented in children, but many doctors (and parents) are reluctant to administer CBD to children. As CBD becomes more prevalent in mainstream health and wellness, many people are expressing skepticism about cannabidiol for children.

While there are some legitimate concerns, the benefits of CBD likely outweigh the risks for many children suffering from chronic diseases. Here, we look at whether cannabidiol can be beneficial for children. Before assessing the situations in which CBD may and may not be beneficial, we will discuss the scientific evidence for CBD in pediatric medicine. If your child is suffering from a chronic illness or mental health issue, it may be worth considering CBD.

Key takeaways

  • There is no conclusive evidence to show that CBD is safe for children – but the opposite is also true
  • Studies show that CBD can make a significant (and potentially dramatic) difference in the lives of children, those suffering from chronic diseases
  • Take the same precautions when using CBD for children as with other medicines

Does CBD affect my child?

Many parents worry that CBD will get their children high like THC. While the confusion is understandable, CBD has very different effects than THC. CBD has been proven to be non-psychoactive and does not affect perceptions in the same way as marijuana.

CBD will not make your child feel inferior, even in high doses. CBD can improve mood, regulate sensory processing, prevent seizures, improve sleep and much more. These uses extend to children, but many parents are hesitant to experiment on their children’s health, and we support that.

Although CBD can be used to help treat illnesses in children, each parent must make their own decision about their child’s health. We will limit our discussion here to the use of CBD in children with chronic diseases such as epilepsy, congenital heart disease, cancer, spina bifida, anxiety, genetic disorders and other conditions. While some parents may choose to administer CBD prophylactically to children, our discussion here is about symptom management and care plans for children.

Is CBD safe for children?

It is difficult to answer this question definitively as there are no long-term data to prove safety or potential risks. However, much of our understanding of the health effects of CBD comes from early studies on children with drug-resistant epilepsy. The compound was found to relieve seizures, reduce pain and symptoms such as vomiting, and significantly improve quality of life for hundreds of children.

Pediatricians still disagree when it comes to CBD for children, but the evidence for its safety and effectiveness seems strong enough for the pharmaceutical industry. A synthetic version of CBD called Epidiolex is currently undergoing clinical trials as a treatment for epilepsy. Personally, we prefer plant-based, but the existence of Epidiolex (and the support it has received from the FDA) is promising.

Health and well-being decisions are very personal. When choosing the best wellness products for ourselves and our children, we want to choose safe products that offer a healthier life.

Since CBD carries no risk of overdose or addiction and causes no harm, we think it is reasonable (and even beneficial) for an adult caregiver to decide to give it to a child to help treat medical symptoms. Compared to some prescription medications available for children, high-quality CBD is probably just as safe – maybe even safer.

How CBD Can Help My Child

CBD is a non-psychoactive compound derived from hemp, a cousin of marijuana. CBD affects the endocannabinoid system, a network of receptors and chemical messengers common to all mammals (and many other vertebrates).

When CBD is consumed, it interacts with receptors in the endocannabinoid system. These molecular switches, called CB1 and CB2 receptors, act as control mechanisms for many processes in your body. From sleep and wakefulness to hunger, pain perception and body temperature, there is hardly a single bodily function that is not affected in some way by the endocannabinoid system.

Because the endocannabinoid system has the power to regulate so many different bodily processes, CBD use for children can be very beneficial for many different conditions. The compound helps to reduce inflammation in the brain and body, relieve pain, stop spasms and regulate sensory processing. All of these properties are possible in both adults and children.

Because CBD has few or no side effects (the most commonly reported problem is drowsiness), it carries little risk of adverse reactions, even in sensitive children.

CBD for Kids: Mental Health Applications

CBD has powerful effects on the endocannabinoid system and thus the brain. Research has shown that CBD for children can help increase focus, reduce anxiety and alleviate depression. When these symptoms are not addressed, they can hinder the healthy development of children, and many parents consider CBD an important part of their children’s healthy living routines.

In addition to stress and anxiety

CBD can help reduce anxiety in children by reducing the activity of the body’s stress response. It can also help with other symptoms commonly associated with anxiety, such as gastrointestinal upset, compulsive behavior and negative symptoms. This effect of CBD for children may be particularly helpful in promoting healthy neurological, motor and social development.

Regulation of activity in the brain

Neural hyper-excitability is often implicated in diseases such as epilepsy. Current research suggests that local bursts of intense activity in certain regions of the brain may underlie other conditions. These may include ADD, ADHD, OCD, autism and other neurodiverse conditions. While CBD will not cure any of these conditions (and we should clarify that this is not the goal – neurodiversity does not imply a defect or deficiency), new research suggests that CBD may help reduce the severity of symptoms and help children with neurodiversity better regulate sensory input, emotional expression and communication.

Improving Focus

Many parents have found that CBD helps improve their child’s focus and attention. This is true even in cases where stimulant medications and alternative treatments have not worked. While the mechanisms of this effect are not yet fully understood, CBD for children can help regulate sensory input and processing. This in turn can help children focus more attentively. CBD may be particularly attractive for this purpose as it does not carry the potential digestive, renal and neurological problems that stimulants often cause.

CBD for children with epilepsy

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that is usually diagnosed in childhood, but can also develop later in life. Although symptoms can range from altered sensations to grand mal seizures, the underlying cause of epilepsy can be attributed to irregular activity in the brain.

In the brain of a child with epilepsy, neurons fire unpredictably, rapidly and uncontrollably, causing seizures and wreaking havoc on the mind and body. For parents, seeing their child suffer from recurrent seizures can be devastating. Worse, many of the medications prescribed cause sedation and loss of consciousness – or don’t work at all.

CBD has been found to be very effective in even the most drug-resistant cases of epilepsy. In fact, much of the early research on the effects of CBD came from studies on children with epilepsy. It is true that THC can also be beneficial for some children with epilepsy, but many families have found that CBD alone significantly reduces or even eliminates seizures. These effects appear to be more pronounced when CBD is taken as a daily prophylactic rather than out of necessity. This suggests that CBD helps prevent seizures through neuroprotective activity.

A Brief Note on CBD for Children and Young Adults

There is a lot of potentially exciting research on the applicability of CBD to children’s health and well-being. The data is supported by promising anecdotal reports from both parents and children. However, many people are still reluctant to give their children CBD, and we understand that. Our goal is to help you make the decision you think is best for your child with the most up-to-date information to help you find your way.

It is true that there is no conclusive evidence proving that CBD is safe for children – but the opposite is also true. Studies show that CBD can make a significant (and potentially dramatic) difference in the lives of children suffering from chronic diseases. If your child is struggling with severe symptoms, the potential benefits of trying CBD for children probably outweigh the risks.

If you decide to use CBD as part of your child’s health regimen, we recommend doing a few things. First, choose products that are made with quality ingredients and have been batch tested by a third-party laboratory. Second, we recommend taking the same precautions with CBD for kids as you would with any other medication.

When not in use, keep bottles, bags and other containers out of reach. Administer each dose personally (especially for tempting snacks such as gum) to avoid possible accidents caused by taking too much (or too little). Finally, and perhaps most importantly, monitor your child’s condition until you are familiar with its effects and adjust the dose as needed.”

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