While anecdotal evidence of the benefits of CBD is common, there are risks associated with using these products, especially in children. Some of the concerns:
A group of Israeli researchers have been exploring the use of CBD to reduce problem behaviors in children on the autism spectrum. A feasibility study involving 60 children found substantial improvement in behavioral outbreaks, anxiety and communication problems, as well as stress levels reported by parents.
Not only are adults experimenting with CBD for whatever is bothering them, increasingly parents are turning to CBD to help their kids focus, sleep, calm down and more.
Is CBD safe?
Although a few studies have found that CBD oil might work for anxiety, they only looked at healthy people who were put in situations that made them anxious. There are no studies yet on people with chronic anxiety. Researchers are also exploring CBD for kids with autism spectrum disorder. The results are good so far, but more research needs to be done before we can know if it’s safe and effective.
The review notes that the promising preclinical results are also supported by human experimental findings, which also suggest “minimal sedative effects, and an excellent safety profile.” But these findings are based on putting healthy subjects in anxiety-producing situations and measuring the impact of CBD on the anxiety response. Further studies are required to establish treatment with CBD would have similar effects for those who struggle with chronic anxiety, as well as what the impact of extended CBD use may be.
CBD and autism
Though CBD — full name cannabidiol — is extracted from marijuana or hemp, it doesn’t contain THC, the chemical in marijuana that has psychoactive effects, so it doesn’t make you feel high.
CBD is still pretty new, so there’s very little research about its safety or how well it works, especially for children. So far, there’s only one marijuana-derived medication that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. It’s called Epidiolex, and it’s used to treat a rare form of epilepsy in patients who are at least two years old.
It may also interact with other medications your child is taking. Much like grapefruit, CBD interferes with some of the enzymes needed to metabolize drugs in the system. Don’t give CBD to your child if they are taking any medication that has a grapefruit warning.
(U.S. Food & Drug Administration)
Key Facts About Products Containing Cannabis or CBD:
Commissioner, Office of the. “What to Know About Products Containing Cannabis and CBD.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, 3 May 2020, www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/what-you-need-know-and-what-were-working-find-out-about-products-containing-cannabis-or-cannabis.
Anecdotally, many parents have reported that CBD oil is beneficial for their children. However, when it comes to your child, take a buyer-beware approach. Always talk to your child’s pediatrician before starting any new supplements or medications. Speak to a cannabis specialist to get specific advice on cannabinoids, doses, and product types that will benefit your child’s condition.
What are the Risks of Using CBD Oil for Children?
Unfortunately, there are many unanswered questions about the effects of marijuana and CBD in pets. But research into these effects is underway. Studies are underway to look at the potential benefits of CBD for controlling pain from conditions such as osteoarthritis, calming anxious pets, and if it may help with treating epilepsy in dogs.