Cannabidiol or CBD is a plant-based substance that is popular for its medicinal and recreational benefits. It can be obtained from either marijuana plant or hemp and available in different varieties and products. Despite its popularity, the effects of CBD for children remain unanswered.
Unlike a popular concept, CBD cannot make anyone ‘high’ because it is a medicinal product. The typical high feeling of cannabis or marijuana is associated with THC, another compound, and not CBD. Most CBD products contain no or minimum levels of THC, which is why they are unable to cause hallucinations in its user.
Many CBD-based medicines such as Epidiolex are prescribed by the doctors for treating epilepsy. However, it is not available at pharmacies without a prescription. It is helpful against two sub-types of epilepsy; first is Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and the second is Dravet syndrome. Both of these hit children which suggests CBD medicines can be helpful for children with ADHD and epilepsy.
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Some parents give their children some CBD based supplements which help them calm and relax. The anxiety, agitation, and hyperactivity, if left untreated may end up at ADHD which is why, use of supplements, preferably plant-based supplements like CBD are in trend for helping children. Rarely, CBD supplements and CBD based medicines are used to reduce the severity of the autism too.
On the other side, there is no safety evaluation for these medicines or supplements using CBD for treating all these conditions in children. There is some promising research on the medicinal potential of CBD especially for treating seizures but much of its potential is still unknown. That’s why some parents are fine with using CBD based products while others don’t find them safe for their kids.
CBD is extracted from cannabis (marijuana) as well as hemp sources and the only difference between these two is that they differ in their chemical composition. Hemp produces low amounts or resins whereas cannabis produces a high amount of resins. These resins contain all plant compounds, including THC and CBD. Before giving a CBD-based product to kids, it is necessary to know the source of this CBD.
In addition to the medicines, CBD is available as CBD oil, CBD gummies, and CBD transdermal patches.
Despite having proof of CBD’s medicinal potential, it is still a new thing to give to underage people. It is neither tested for safety or effectiveness extensively for helping children. There is only a limited number of proof and that is against autism and ADHD only. While the use of CBD supplements is widely common, it shows a dire need for conducting longitudinal studies for safety evaluation of these products in children.
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It is also possible that CBD products may interact or change the effects of medicines that are given by the doctor. Unless a CBD- product is not prescribed by a doctor, it is hard to evaluate its safety level especially if the child on any type of regular medicines.
CBD supplements, mainly CBD oil are unregulated which makes it almost impossible to guess if it is okay to give it to your kids or not. It is also not possible to trace back the CBD sources, manufacturing, and safety tests in case of CBD-supplements. One study has identified the labeling inaccuracies in terms of CBD products which shows that these supplements have to be regulated and used under a clinician’s approval only.