People are increasingly using cannabidiol oil derived from cannabis or hemp for treating medical conditions such as arthritis, discomfort, seizures, and sleep issues. But can you use it for treating childhood illnesses where conventional medicine has failed to produce results? Many parents see positive benefits and results using hemp for:
● ADHD ● Anxiety ● Autism ● Pain ● Seizures
CDB is different from THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the active ingredient in cannabis with which everyone is familiar. CDB doesn’t get people high, has a low risk of side effects, and is non-addictive.
One of the best-documented examples of the efficacy of Cannabidiol involved a young girl named Maya receiving treatment for Dravet syndrome, one of two rare forms of epilepsy. The US Food and Drug Administration approved the first and only prescription CBG medication based on studies of successful treatment of Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome using CBD.
Another young girl, Charlotte, also a victim of Dravet syndrome, was experiencing hundreds of seizures per week and was unable to move, talk, or eat without assistance. The oil used to treat her condition reduced her seizures to one episode per week. The company now markets its product as Charlotte’s Web.
Let’s examine some of the ways this oil can help treat kids with mental health conditions that conventional medicine can’t seem to alleviate.
CBD Oil and ADHD
CBD oil is being used to treat children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with positive results. Parents and teachers report improvements in children’s ability to pay attention and complete their assignments.
However, not all results are positive, and some parents report that CBD products were ineffectual for their children with mental health issues. Some said that the cost of CBD was too high and began using prescription drugs instead. Yet, traditional ADHD medications— stimulants and non-stimulants—have numerous undesirable side effects.
The research on treating ADHD with cannabidiol is limited but suggests that patients with anxiety responded well to CBD treatments and that kids with an anxious variety of ADHD might also respond well to treatment.
CBD Oil and Anxiety
Hemp oil was found to be a potential treatment for anxiety disorders in adult studies and is a non-pharmaceutical option used for treating generalized social anxiety disorder (SAD).
CBD binds to specific receptors in the brain and central nervous system that are part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). ECS receptors exist in the brain and throughout the nervous system. The ECS helps control or regulate mood, memory, stress, sleep, behavior, aches, immune response, and other vital bodily functions. Our body produces substances that bind naturally to ECS receptors to regulate these functions. It binds to serotonin receptors as well as ECS receptors in the brain when easing a person’s anxiety. Serotonin deficiency is associated with depression and other kinds of mental illness. CBD is known to have positive benefits on mood and anxiety, and the serotonin interaction plays a likely role in that relief.
A good deal of the available information regarding treating anxiety in kids using CBD oil is anecdotal, so ask your therapist, psychiatrist, or physician for an opinion first. Parents administering CBD oil to kids should start slowly with low doses while monitoring the child for side effects.
CBD Oil and Autism
Parents report that using CBD oil to treat their children with mild autism helps calm their minds and allows them to better focus on schoolwork, therapy, and home life. Dr. Orrin Devinsky, director of NYU Langone’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center in New York and a leading investigator in the CBD-epilepsy treatment trials, believes that it may help in treating autism due to the parallels between autism and epilepsy. Devinsky said that autism and epilepsy share some of the same genes and physiological changes in nerve cells, so it’s not surprising that medical marijuana and CBD have some efficacy in treating autism as well. Research on using Cannabidiol for treating autism is ongoing.
One study is testing whether a synthetic form of CBD is successful in treating more severe types of autism and associated behaviors such as aggression, self-injury, persistent repetitive behaviors, or hyperactivity.
CBD Oil for Pain
While there have been no human clinical trials conducted using CBD oils for treating migraines, CBD has shown efficacy in mitigating pain (including migraines) by interacting with the ECS and its regulation of pain. Additional research has shown that CBD is effective in treating inflammation, which can also relieve discomfort.
As the legality of CBD has grown, some parents have found that CBD has positive benefits in treating their teenager’s migraines, some of whom had suffered with them from the age of three and would respond to prescription medication only if administered in time. Cannibadoil treatments send resolved one young woman’s discomfort in about 20 minutes.
The science on using it for pain relief is relatively sparse due to the lack of federally sanctioned marijuana available for study. Studies and their results exist, but they often examine using CBD with its companion substance THC. Some research suggests the two work better together, but that’s not an optional a mom for treating your child’s migraines.
Consult with your physician before attempting to find a healthy pain therapy for your child using cannibadoil to ensure they don’t have any concerns for your child’s specific health needs or possible interactions with other food or medications.
CBD Oil for Seizures
The most clinical study by far regarding using CBD oil for kids is for treating seizures. Dr. Devinsky, who conducted the clinical trials for Epidiolex, says that using CBD can reduce “the most important and debilitating seizures” in patients with Dravet or Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. However, he also acknowledges that it doesn’t work for all persons experiencing epilepsy, including the forms noted. Parents can obtain CBD oils from retail outlets (where state laws allow). Still, they’re not the same purified form as he FDA-approved prescription variety manufactured in a sterile facility.
Ask your doctor for recommendations and use them with caution. Davinsky advises starting slowly and administering CBD with foods containing fat to help the body absorb it since CBD is fat-soluble.
Can I legally buy CBD oil where I live?
Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, so CBD oil containing THC is illegal in states where cannabis has not been decriminalized. Producers can also derive CDB from hemp, which became legal in the US under the 2018 Farm Bill. Hemp contains CBD, but without the psychoactive—and still federally illegal—THC component, or at levels below the federal legal limit.
CDB products are in a bit of a legal gray area from a federal perspective. There is only one FDA-approved brand of CBD, and yet the market is flooded with pills, oils, edibles, and vape juice from various sources. The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has declared CBD products derived from cannabis are only legal in states where marijuana is legal. However, CBD products derived from hemp are legal to purchase. This legal ambiguity may change in the coming years, which means parents may need to do some research on the legality of cannibadoil products they’re considering buying for their kids before making a selection. In the meantime, the FDA is still considering whether non-approved CBD softgels are legal to sell. State law is widely variable on the legality of cannabis, CBD, and THC. Various advocacy and legal organizations track the legislation in different states, so you can check whether cannibadoil is legal to purchase where you live.
How do I know my CBD is from a legal, reputable source?
Figuring out whether the CBD oil for your kids is legal and from a reputable source is challenging. Read product labels and manufacturer’s websites carefully to understand the product you’re buying better. The information to examine: ● Product origin – seek products made from US-grown hemp. Hemp grown overseas may not have stringent cannabis plant product quality regulations. ● Certificate of analysis – a COA, as it’s called, reports independent laboratory test results for the product, including its potency and any contaminants detected. CBD oil is COA tested by batch number and should match the number on the product you purchased. ● Testing methods – the COA should indicate lab tests that meet ISO 17025 standards and be validated by an approved national regulatory agency, such as the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists, American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, or US Pharmacopeia. Avoid products from manufacturers who don’t possess or provide this information. Also, due to the lack of current regulation, CBD gummies can be mislabeled, so don’t use anything if you’re not confident in the source. Lacking the above information could potentially make possessing the CBD product illegal, too, so exercise caution. Send back anything you don’t trust.
What are my product options for CBD oil for kids?
CBD oil for kids comes in a variety of forms, some in predefined dosage amounts, so it’s best to know the dosage recommendation for your child from your physician to better inform your product selection. Also, be sure to read all package labeling or product information online to ensure that the CBD oil you’re buying for your child has no THC, which is unsuitable for children. There are several CBD products for kids from which you can choose. ● CBD oil – CBD oil is extracted from hemp seeds or flowers and consumed under the tongue (sublingually). Kids will probably not like the taste of CBD oil in its natural form, so mix it into something you know they enjoy, such as a smoothie or yogurt. ● CBD tinctures are CBD oil blended with other substances, such as other wholesome oils, sweeteners, or flavors that make the mixture taste better. Tinctures are administered either sublingually or mixed into other foods. Note that CBD can become rancid if cooked at higher temperatures. ● CBD capsules – CBD in capsule form is best suited for adults or older children. The capsules typically contain a blend of CBD powder, vitamins, and minerals. Start Slow and Consider the Risks Parents who are considering having their children start CBD oil treatment for any of the conditions discussed should consult with their pediatrician about possible interactions with prescription medications so that they can monitor your child for possible side effects. The difficulty may lie in finding a pediatrician who is familiar with CBD treatments.
CBD does have a few side effects, of whichparents will want to be mindful. Trial participants reported some liverfunction abnormalities, lethargy, reduced appetite, and diarrhea when taking higher doses. Information is lacking about the long-term effects of using CBD, so caution with children is warranted. CBD can have the same inhibiting effect as some over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Also some food items such as grapefruit, which inhibits certain enzymes that metabolize medications. Be sure to consult with your physician before using it in combination with other medicines.
Parents are encouraged to research and select a reputable, quality product. Some online and retail varieties may not contain the amount of milligrams advertised on the packaging, as a 2017 Journal of the American Medical Association study showed. Doctors suggest looking for a product with documented third-party testing and analysis. Results should demonstrate how much extract the product contains and the level of purity.
Dosages should be low at first, and parents should monitor their child for side effects. It may require some degree of trial and error to figure out the right dosage and product that provides the most benefits for your child. It could require between six and 12 months to determine the correct dosage for the desired outcome. Parents are encouraged to store their products safely and out of reach of children like any other medication. Taking too much CBD isn’t lethal, but it can cause an upset stomach and other side effects.
Ensure that any food product you purchase for your child does not also contain chemicals, which would be intoxicating to a child. CBD oil for kids is becoming an increasingly mon choice for parents trying to manage their children’s symptoms for chronic medical conditions. Conditions like epilepsy, ADHD, anxiety, insomnia, and many other health issues that can prevent their children from leading normal, healthy lives are being successfully treated by parents using CBD oil.
Parents are urged to exercise caution, study the available information and health benefits, and consult with a physician before administering CBD oil to kids.