CBD for Minors
What is CBD?
CBD stands for Cannabidiol and it is just one of over 113 different cannabinoids that make up the cannabis plant. Cannabis refers to both Hemp and Marijuana. Marijuana is known for its psychoactive effects (the high feeling). This can be attributed to the most abundant cannabinoid found in marijuana, Delta-9 THC.
Hemp, on the other hand, legally contains less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC and therefore does not produce any feeling of being “high”. The most abundant cannabinoids found in Hemp is not Delta-9 THC, but rather, CBD (cannabidiol). CBD is most widely used to achieve similar benefits of that from marijuana, just without any of the “high”. This includes sleep management, anxiety relief, pain management, digestive health, help with epilepsy, behavioral issues, and more. Now many parents have been wondering, "is CBD safe for kids?".
In this article we will look into the specifics of CBD’s safety for use among children and teenagers, how to find safe, high-quality CBD products for minors, and what benefits they may experience. So how exactly is CBD safe for kids? Let's discuss...
The most frequently asked question about CBD is, “Is CBD safe”? In particular, “Is CBD safe for kids”? Hemp-derived CBD was just legalized via the Farm Bill (2018). Prior to that it was considered a Schedule I substance and there was no research being performed. So, anyone that gives you a guaranteed answer, does not have the full picture.
There is still a long way to go in terms of researching the long-term effects of CBD use among both adults and minors. One study followed up on children with epilepsy who were treated with pure CBD and found CBD to be highly tolerable and safe. The study also considered products made with a combination of CBD and THC. It found that the larger the ratio of CBD to THC, the less possibility of negative long-term effects. These negative effects include decreased motivation, cognitive decline, and addiction.
Fortunately, there is some quality scientific research out there which outlines CBD’s potential benefits and general safety. The World Health Organization (WHO) describes CBD as “generally well-tolerated”. Additionally, CBD does not have any addictive characteristics, physical or mental, and your body will not build a tolerance over time.
The WHO notes that adverse effects such as drowsiness, light-headedness, and nausea are most commonly the result of drug-to-drug interactions. SImilar to the grapefruit warning you may see on many medications, CBD affects the production of certain enzymes (CYPs) that metabolize medications. Too much of this enzyme and the medication may not have enough time in your body to do its job before it is metabolized. Too little of the enzyme and the medication may not be metabolized quickly enough, leaving medication in your body for longer than expected. It is always suggested that you speak with your doctor when adding CBD to any existing medications. Never stop taking any medications before talking with your doctor.
The biggest issue in the CBD field is a lack of regulation. There is no one out there calling out the bad CBD companies for providing subpar products to the customer. It is not uncommon that a CBD product may contain less CBD than advertised, more Delta-9 THC than legally allowed, or contaminants like pesticides and heavy metals.
To find high-quality CBD products that are safe for you and your children, it is important to look for up-to-date lab-test results. These should be easy to find on the company’s website. In the lab report, it is important to check that the levels of CBD are what is advertised and that the levels of Delta-9 THC are below the legal limit of 0.3%. If you have any questions, a company representative should be able to provide you with an educated answer.
When you have found a company you trust, it is then time to choose which product is right for you. How you apply CBD changes how CBD enters your body and provides benefits. For example, topicals such as CBD Muscle Gels are great for on-the-spot relief of aches and pains, but the CBD will not penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream. If you are looking for help with anxiety, nausea, sleep, or deeper pains, another type of product may be best for you. For minors, CBD Drops and CBD Gummies are the most approachable products (smokable products are for those 21 years and older).
Finally, it is important to consider the type of CBD you are using. Some products contain pure CBD (CBD isolate), while others contain Full-spectrum CBD extract. Full-spectrum refers to the extract containing the full range of cannabinoids in the hemp plant. This includes Delta-9 THC, but below the legal limit of 0.3%. Some may choose to use full-spectrum products to activate the entourage effect. This states that using multiple cannabinoids together can have more benefits than using singular cannabinoids.
The benefits CBD may provide are attributed to it’s interaction with the body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is responsible for many of the physiological functions and processes in your body. How you respond to pain, inflammation, anxiety, digestive issues, sleep, and more are all, in part, the ECS doing its job. This job is to keep you in a balanced state of operation called homeostasis. Now we are going to look at some specific ways in which CBD may be able to help minors maintain homeostasis and live a happy, healthy life.
You may have seen heartwarming success stories of children with epilepsy and frequent seizures, using CBD to greatly reduce seizure frequency. Several surveys found the majority of cases had reduced seizure frequency of 80% or more! The majority of users preferred products that contained both CBD and THC (full-spectrum products). Another study found CBD use increased how long children remained seizure-free (an increase of about 7.5 days over 28 days).
CBD has been shown through a multitude of studies and surveys to decrease subjective anxiety and be generally well-tolerated when compared to the side effects from pharmaceuticals.source By interacting with your body’s ECS, CBD can affect the production of serotonin.source A study specifically about CBD use for adolescents (18-19 year olds) with anxiety found “that CBD could be a useful option to treat social anxiety”.source
A lack of sleep can most commonly be attributed to anxiety, stress (possibly post-traumatic stress), and physical pain. CBD use before bed may help decrease anxiety and improve sleep.source CBD may also help those with chronic pain get some sleep.source One specific study of a young girl (10 years) who had trouble sleeping as a result of anxiety and post-traumatic stress saw a “steady improvement in the quality and quantity of the patient’s sleep”.
Children with autism may display symptoms of hyperactivity, anxiety, and aggression, and have issues sleeping. Several studies concentrating on using CBD to help alleviate these symptoms found promising results. Improvements were seen in hyperactivity, irritability, anxiety, and sleep in the majority of those treated with CBD.source
Dosing with CBD is unique to everyone and not an exact science. Someone with severe pain may need a higher dose than someone with acute pain.Weight also plays a role. Heavier individuals may require higher doses than lighter individuals.
There is no overdosing with CBD. Some may take 10mg while others take 100mg. To find the perfect dose for you (or your child), we suggest starting with a low dose, about 5-10mg. After about 6 hours, if you feel like a higher dose may bring added benefits, go ahead and up that to about 10-20mg. The name of the game is start low and build up slowly.
It may be helpful to keep note of how a particular dose affects you in terms of sleep, anxiety, pain, digestion, mood, etc. This way you can begin to develop an understanding of how your body responds to a dose of CBD. Send us a message if you would like 1-on-1 dosing help.
If you would like information on other ailments not discussed in this article,