CBD for Children: Is It Safe?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a substance extracted from either hemp or marijuana. It’s available commercially in many forms, from liquid to chewable gummies. It’s become very popular as a treatment for multiple conditions, including some that occur in children.
CBD doesn’t get you high. Although CBD is usually obtained without a prescription, EpidiolexTrusted Source, a medication made from CBD, is available with a prescription from your doctor.
Epidiolex is prescribed for two severe, rare forms of epilepsy in children: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
Parents sometimes use commercially manufactured CBD to treat some conditions in children, such as anxiety and hyperactivity. Caregivers may also use it for children on the autism spectrum to try to reduce certain symptoms of autism.
CBD hasn’t been tested extensively for safety or for effectiveness. While there’s promising research about CBD, especially for seizure control, much is still not known about it. Some parents are comfortable giving it to their children, while others are not.
CBD is a chemical component inherent in both marijuana (Cannabis sativa) plants and hemp plants. CBD’s molecular makeup is the same, once it has been extracted from either plant. Even so, there are differences between the two.
One of the main differences between hemp and Cannabis sativa is the amount of resin they contain. Hemp is a low-resin plant, and marijuana is a high-resin plant. Most CBD is found within plant resin.
Resin also contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical compound that gives marijuana its intoxicating properties. There is much more THC in marijuana than there is in hemp.
The CBD derived from marijuana plants may or may not have THC in it. This is also true of hemp-derived CBD, but to a lesser extent.
In order to avoid giving THC to your children, always opt for isolate CBD rather than full-spectrum CBD, whether it’s hemp derived or marijuana derived.
However, other than Epidiolex, which is a prescription medication, there’s no way to be certain a CBD product is THC-free.
CBD oil is available in a wide range of forms. One popular form is commercially prepared baked goods and beverages. This can make it difficult to know how much CBD is in any product.
Other than using prescription products like Epidiolex, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to control the amount of CBD administered to any child using these products.
Other forms of CBD include:
- CBD Oil. CBD oil may be labeled in multiple potencies. It’s typically administered under the tongue, and can also be purchased in capsule form. CBD oil has a distinctive, earthy taste and an aftertaste that many children may dislike. It’s also available as a flavored oil. Before giving CBD oil to your child, discuss all the possible risks with their pediatrician.
- Gummies. CBD-infused gummies can help you override taste objections to the oil. Since they taste like candy, make sure that you store the gummies somewhere your children can’t find them.
- Transdermal patches. Patches allow CBD to penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream. They may provide a consistent levelTrusted Source of CBD over a period of time.