While talk around the benefits of taking CBD oil has been largely focussed on adults, people are starting to ask ´what about CBD for kids?´ Children and young people can, too, reap the rewards of this natural substance when understood and used responsibly.
What do we know about CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD), is a natural compound that derives from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of marijuana. Both have been utilised throughout history for their boost to well-being as they work with our endocannabinoid system (ECS) through cannabinoid receptors.
Unlike THC, another compound found within the marijuana family, it does not have psychoactive effects. To date, CBD has not been found to have any public health-related problems when used in its pure form, and the benefits are booming.
Is it legal to give CBD to children?
As the studies continue, CBD research such as a World Health Organisation report has found there is no evidence that CBD has any public health-related problems associated with use in its pure form.
This is why CBD is legally available in a number of countries on both a recreational and medicinal level. For minors, laws around CBD are applied in the same way, so check the specifics of your country or area.
In the United Kingdom, for example, the National Health Service prescribes CBD oil for children and adults with Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndrome, both rare forms of epilepsy.
If you’re reading from the U.S. check out the National Cannabis Industry Association for a state-by-state breakdown.
What are The Health Benefits of CBD in Children?
As the positive results of CBD have started rolling in with adults, now many ask when or if I should consider giving CBD oil (or related products) to my child?
The health benefits of CBD for kids, like adults, can be used alongside some medications, or simply as a solo natural solution.
We’ll now outline some of the top 7 conditions where CBD can be used for kids, and why there are these health benefits.
1. CBD for kids with Epilepsy, including Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome
Aid with epilepsy is one of the greatest uses for CBD, and as an add-on therapy has been found to be greatly effective in reducing seizure burden in a range of epilepsies, including refractory childhood epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and Dravet syndrome.
Studies have shown that CBD was linked with 51% and 48% reductions in median monthly convulsive and total seizures, respectively, after a 12 week period.
2. CBD for kids with Autism & ADHD
Does CBD oil help with behavioral problems, and general child behavior?
Because it isn’t psychoactive, CBD oil is at the heart of many studies where this might pose some risk.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and ADHD are examples of this. One study found that at least 60% of patients showed improvements of 20% or more. Within the related disorders ADHD, in particular, showed some of the greatest potential.
It’s also worth noting that the side effects of CBD are uncommon and less damaging than traditional meds used for ASD, ADHD, sleep disorders, or epilepsy.
While using CBD for kids with ASD and ADHD shows promising results, more research is needed to build the foundations of harder clinical evidence, and you shouldn’t use CBD without medical advice.
3. CBD for kids with Anxiety
Anxiety is a condition that has erupted in recent years. Even more so among younger generations, and this trend, even more when considering the Covid pandemic, is on the rise.
In the Neurotherapeutics Journal, a 2015 review of 49 studies found CBD to be effective in reducing anxiety behaviors linked to multiple disorders.
It’s thought the positive effects on mood are, again, because of CBD attaching to receptors of the ECS, as well as receptors in the brain such as serotonin (5HT)1a.
For more on this visit our ‘Does CBD help anxiety? Here are the facts’ blog.
4. CBD for kids with Autoimmune Diseases
Cannabinoid compounds such as CBD have been proven to modulate the immune system and act as regulators, and, according to the National University of Natural Medicine, offer a beneficial strategy for treating autoimmune disorders.
5. CBD for kids with Nausea
There is currently considerable evidence that manipulation of the ECS can regulate nausea and vomiting. Meaning that, thanks to CBD reacting with these receptors, CBD oil can be used for kids and adults alike in reducing their symptoms.
6. CBD for kids with Asthma
Asthma is an ailment estimated to burden over 300 million people and is largely caused by inflammation of the lungs.
This is where CBD offers a breath of fresh air, as the hottest research continues to prove its anti-inflammatory effects.
For asthma, research has shown that CBD treatment decreased inflammation as well as airway hyperresponsiveness.
Potential risks of CBD for kids
As with any substance, whether it’s natural or not, the most important thing is knowing the potential risks involved. So, what are the potential risks of CBD for kids, and can a child safely use CBD?
With anyone taking CBD a big risk is the possible reactions it may have with other medications and conditions.
Like grapefruit and some other substances, CBD interferes with how the body metabolizes drugs, so it’s critical to check these interactions first and ask medical professionals.
Also, for more info, you can head to our ‘CBD interactions: 9 drugs that may interact with CBD’ blog.
Ultimately, the question ‘is CBD oil safe for my child?’ does not find an easy answer as many studies are in the works, but the early results around safety are encouraging and just kicking off.
How to choose the right CBD product for kids?
As children’s bodies are still in development extra care is needed to make sure they are not consuming harmful products.
Here are some priorities when choosing to use CBD for kids:
1. No smoking/vaping
Although smoking CBD vapes and bud are popular CBD products, the smoking process still causes damage to the body and children should not take any of these products.
2. Use CBD oil
CBD drops are one of the best options for kids as it is simply placed under the tongue, and can also be stuck in the Sunday lunch for the fussy ones who aren’t into the taste.
However, when digested less CBD is absorbed into the body so keep this in mind.
3. Use topicals, suppositories, and edibles
Again, to avoid the need for smoking/vaping there is a great range of topical products such as creams and balms that can give a dose of CBD for kids, as well as suppositories, and edibles from drinks to sweets.
But take care. If your child is a fiend for finding the secret sweet stash they could take more than their advised dose, so make sure this can’t happen.
4. Use non-alcohol-based products
As the range of CBD products keeps on growing, cannabidiol is making its way to consumers in more ways by the week. Some of these might contain alcohol, so make sure you choose alcohol-free products.
5. Ensure quality and content
An issue that springs up a lot with CBD products is poor testing and bogus guarantees around the level of CBD and THC in the product.
This information must be accurate as this could, firstly, cause adverse reactions with the psychoactive element THC and, secondly, bring legal problems depending on your local laws for THC content.
How to dose CBD for kids?
Start slow with the dose and build up. It’s better to go small with the dosage and note any effects, building up gradually if needed.
When dosing CBD the general dose is around 2.5 to 10mg depending on symptoms, age, and size. Even though there hasn’t been a CBD overdose case, here is a child CBD dosage chart to make things easier:
|Weight||Low Strength||Medium Strength|
|30 lbs (13 kg)||2.6 mg||7.8 mg|
|40 lbs (18 kg)||3.6 mg||10.8 mg|
|50 lbs (23 kg)||4.6 mg||13.8 mg|
|75 lbs (34 kg)||6.4 mg||19.0 mg|
|100 lbs (45 kg)||7.5 mg||22.5 mg|
What does the research say?
This 2018 study in Epilepsy & Behavior shows the evidence of CBD aiding epilepsy and its symptoms.
A study in the journal Epilepsia linked CBD with 51% and 48% reductions in median monthly convulsive and total seizures, respectively, after a 12 week period.
In this 2016 Seizure journal, a study found that Dravet syndrome CBD treatment had reduced the rate of seizures by 23%.
Study talking about the benefits of CBD treatment and the benefits to autism, ADHD, and related disorders.
Another study published in 2018 discusses the promising preliminary results of CBD for treating autism, but the need for further study.
A study in the British Journal of Pharmacology that talks about the benefits of CBD on regulating the ECS to ease symptoms of nausea.
At Hempika, we are already supplying prescriptions of CBD oil for kids to aid epilepsy, and we’re partnered with the Autism Association to provide CBD support and build on the understanding of how CBD can help such conditions.
Our lab testing means that we’re transparent in our process, and we are here to guarantee CBD and THC levels so you don’t have to worry. If you still have some questions about CBD oil for kids, please don’t hesitate as we’re here to help!
Frequently asked questions about CBD for kids
What are the benefits of CBD for children?
The benefits of CBD for children relate to epilepsy, autism, ADHD, anxiety, autoimmune diseases, nausea, and asthma.
Is it OK to give CBD to a child?
It is okay to give a child CBD if you have first spoken with a medical professional, checked to see if there will be a reaction with any medications, and are sure that it’s legal in your area.
At what age can you take CBD?
The rules around what age you can take CBD depend on your local laws and location, with some limiting the purchase age to 18, but in a majority of countries there is no limit, and CBD may even be advised for use with minors.
Is CBD safe for my child?
The early research is beginning to answer the question ‘is CBD safe for my child?’ With promising early results, more studies are needed to confirm these. The biggest risk comes from the possible interaction with other medications, so check with a medical expert.
Does CBD affect brain development?
Current evidence does not show that CBD affects brain development because it is non-psychoactive, unlike its THC sister. For this reason, you must take extreme care with the THC content of any product.
Author: T. F.