You have probably been hearing a lot of hype about CBD (cannabidiol) the non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis. Maybe you have even added it to your daily supplement regime. However, as a proactive parent you might be wondering about CBD for children. Is it safe? We are going to explore this question and more in this article.
The History of CBD for Children
The question of CBD for children is not new. In fact, it can be traced back to 2007 and a child named Charlotte Figi. The child suffered her first grand mal seizure at only three months old. The seizures were relentless; she started to average 300 per week. Physicians believed she suffered from Dravet Syndrome, a very rare form of childhood epilepsy. By age two, Charlotte started to experience cognitive decline which sent her parents scrambling to find a cure. They went to specialists, but nothing seemed to help. Finally, they watched a video of a boy suffering from Dravet’s being treated with cannabis. They felt renewed hope that the plant’s cannabinoids might help Charlotte. After receiving a medical marijuana card, the Figi family tried cannabis with a high CBD concentration and a low THC level. CBD stopped Charlotte’s seizures.
Epidiolex for the Treatment of Childhood Epilepsy
After the publicity surrounding Charlotte, researchers around the world started scrambling to study CBD as a viable treatment for childhood epilepsy. In 2018, the FDA approved the first cannabidiol prescription medication Epidiolex to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome in children 2 years of age and older. This was the first true recognition of CBD as a viable medication.
Understanding CBD for Your Child
It’s helpful to break away from the mistaken belief that CBD and marijuana are taboo. CBD that is sold nationwide is obtained from hemp, which is a form of cannabis. However, in order to be sold legally, all CBD products must contain less than 0.3% THC. This means CBD products will not get your child ‘high.’ It is non-addictive and all natural. As a parent, you can make the decision to give your child CBD just as you would vitamin C. There is no prescription required.
Understanding the Different Types of CBD
If you are still hesitating about giving your child CBD because you are unsure if you want to expose them to even a small amount of THC (the cannabinoid found in marijuana that makes people ‘high’) then you have options.
You’ll encounter three types of CBD available for purchase:
- Full Spectrum: Full spectrum CBD contains all the cannabinoids that naturally occur in the cannabis plant including CBD. It must legally contain less than 0.3% THC in the United States and 0.2% in Europe. The combination of cannabinoids produces a stronger influence than any individual one in what is called a ‘entourage effect. If you are looking for a full spectrum CBD tincture for children then be sure to check out ALSO Organic’s 300mg Kids Tincture.
- Broad Spectrum: Broad spectrum CBD contains all the cannabinoids but no THC. This is a great option if you want your child to reap the many health benefits of the non-psychoactive cannabinoids and terpenes of the plant but abstain completely from THC. No ‘entourage effect.’
- Isolate: An Isolate is only CBD. It contains no other cannabinoids. Many parents turn to a CBD isolate for their children to completely avoid any THC or other cannabinoids of the plant. No ‘entourage effect.’
How Does CBD Work?
All mammals have what is referred to as an endocannabinoid system that is made up of two types of receptors 1 and 2. The receptors govern many functions within the human body such as those of the organs, pain perception, serotonin output, immune response, and more. The cannabinoids successfully bind with the receptors and are believed to have a positive effect.
Why Give Your Child CBD?
The big question faced by many parents is, ‘Why give your child CBD?’ The answer is not entirely black and white. Many parents struggle to cope with the symptoms experienced by children who suffer from epilepsy, ADHD (deficit hyperactivity disorder), anxiety, and autism. Researchers are studying CBD as a viable benefit to such children. If your child has epilepsy, then your pediatrician might prescribe Epidiolex. However, for other disorders and problems, parents are turning to over-the-counter CBD supplements.
- ADHD: Children with ADHD easily become overstimulated and cannot maintain focus. Many believe that CBD reduces the hyperactivity and manages their symptoms. A study in Current Neuropharmacology appears to show that CBD makes users more alert which promotes a better sleep cycle at night.
- Anxiety: CBD appears to have a direct effect on serotonin. When serotonin is more readily available, the person feels more relaxed and less anxious. Moods become stabilized. CBD also appears to spur anandamide production. When anandamide is low, anxiety attacks can occur.
- Autism: Studies are underway that show CBD may help with autism. Rage attacks and restlessness appear to be less dramatic in the study.
Currently, no solid health claims can be made concerning CBD. However, as a parent, you can research the various respected research studies that are being performed around the world to arrive at your own conclusions about whether to use CBD for your child.
Choosing a CBD Product for Your Child
If you run a Google search on CBD, then you are probably overwhelmed by the results. It seems like there are hundreds of CBD brands. You’ll want to consider the following factors when picking a CBD product:
- Hemp: Does the brand only use organic hemp that is free of all pesticides and heavy metals? Does the company provide independent 3rd party lab results?
- Extraction Process: CBD is extracted from the hemp plant’s fibers. You do not want to pick a CBD brand that uses solvents during extraction because a solvent residue might be left behind in the CBD. Ideally, the brand should rely on CO2 extraction or food-grade ethanol to ensure purity.
- Types: You’ll need to choose between full spectrum, broad spectrum, or isolate CBD.
- Form: CBD is available in many forms but for children you’ll probably want to use a CBD tincture that is placed under the child’s tongue for fast absorption or a CBD gummy which is a tasty treat infused with CBD. Children who can swallow capsules might prefer a daily CBD pill.
- Dosage: Ideally, you should pick a CBD brand that offers child CBD products, so you don't have to worry about dosage.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a report on cannabidiol and its many potential health benefits. CBD for children remains a controversy that is not easily resolved. You wonder is CBD safe for children? Ultimately, as a parent you’ll have to weigh all the evidence and decide if cannabidiol is the right choice for your child. You might want to consult with your pediatrician for additional information.
At ALSO Organics, we sell a Full Spectrum CBD tincture just for kids. We specifically formulated this CBD kids tincture so that we can feel comfortable giving CBD to our own children.