Alternative medicines may be phasing out our conventional pharmaceuticals – gradually. Regular prescriptions, too often, are either ineffective or cause even more health concerns for patients.
For instance, many parents say their children react adversely to certain medications.
Little wonder the increasing search for more-natural options for health conditions in their kids.
One of such alternatives with increasing global attention is a cannabis extract named Cannabidiol (CBD for short).
Indeed, CBD has been all the rage lately. The compound has grown so popular and has found a home in medicine, foods, cosmetics, drinks, and even in pet products. In fact, the extract has earned names like 'miracle' compound, a 'cure-all' – to mention a few.
But what does research say about CBD's potency for children's behavior? Is the compound safe for these little ones? If you wish to find out, read on.
This article seeks to answer these and even more questions about CBD for children's behaviors.
But before we delve in, perhaps you never heard about this trending compound…
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (often abbreviated to CBD) is one of over a hundred chemical extracts (cannabinoids) available in the famous cannabis plant. Among the lot, CBD and Tetrahydrocannabinol (commonly, THC) are the most abundant and, hence, the most researched compounds in the plant.
Early research evidence and anecdotal records perceive high-potency in both compounds. However, THC – being the dreaded psychoactive component in marijuana – has faced, and still battles strong legal, social, and economic barriers.
CBD, on the other hand, is perceived a lesser scare since it causes no high. CBD is widely considered safe and well-tolerated.
This explains why many parents and pediatricians are looking CBD's way with high hopes.
How Can CBD Oil Help Your Children?
For instance, Valerie Hoback, mother of 11-year-old Wyatt, an autism patient, recounting her ordeal says although CBD did not cure his kid's autism, the doses have so far "assisted him to move forward with school, therapy, and life at home."
Despite the increasing testimonies and resultant demand for CBD for children's health, available data are rather non-substantial to make any conclusive claim.
Lately, many parents, like Hoback, have swapped out their children's prescription drugs for CBD. But does research support these flying claims about CBD for behavioral conditions in children?
CBD for Autism in Children
Reports from ongoing researches seem promising on medical cannabis's potential in handling autism-related symptoms in children.
Remarkable improvements were recorded in 188 autistic children who dosed CBD for a month. There was a significant reduction in symptoms like restlessness, seizures, and ranged attacks in the subjects. The formula which contained 30 percent CBD and 1.5 percent THC was administered sublingually to children within the 5-to-18-years age range.
The authors, however, reported minor aftereffects, including reflux, appetite loss, and drowsiness. The children took CBD along with conventional prescription drugs, including sedatives and antipsychotics.
These data are yet insufficient to conclude on CBD's effectiveness. More studies are required to substantiate these early evidence.
CBD for Anxiety In Children
Indications from human and animal studies show CBD may help fight anxiety.
According to preclinical reports, CBD may contain useful properties potent for handling anxiety concerns, including Post-traumatic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder(OCD), and social anxiety disorder.
There's, however, no sufficient data on children-based research.
That said, little research conducted on a ten-year-old PTSD patient suggests CBD may help reduce insomnia and relieve anxiety.
CBD for ADHD in Children
For Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), research is little. However, parents have common testimonies on the positive results after administering CBD to their kids with ADHD. Yet, many say they noticed no difference before and after dosage.
CBD for Epilepsy in Children
Here's, presently, the only valid CBD claim. CBD for epilepsy is arguably one of the biggest news ever to hit the CDB community.
Epidiolex – is a CBD-infused drug – Is an approved treatment for two severe forms of epilepsy – Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. This FDA-certified CBD-infused pharmaceutical is an oral formula made from CBD isolate extracted from cannabis Sativa.
Epidiolex is carefully produced and with thoughtful administration directives. Hence, experts are concerned that over-the-counter CBD oil may not deliver the same effects on epileptic symptoms and may deliver higher risks than Epidiolex. This is because the CBD market is unregulated, and hence some over-the-counter CBD products may not offer equal potency as that used in producing the drug.
Although FDA-regulated, CBD-infused Epidiolex may also pose minor risks. Discuss your concerns with your child's doctor for a more tailored recommendation.
Is It Safe to Use CBD Oil for Behaviors in Children?
Even though cannabis has been known for centuries, its components started getting individual attention only a few years back.
Research on CBD as a standalone compound is still in its infancy. Hence independent CBD-for-children research is notably few. There is yet no longitudinal research on its effects on children.
However, indications show the compound may alter sleeping patterns and restlessness.
CBD may also interfere with your child's conventional drugs if taken together. As does grapefruit, CBD interacts with certain enzymes that help the breakdown of drugs consumed. Watch out for medications with the grapefruit warnings – and avoid placing your child on CBD while on such medications.
Being a widely unregulated market, it is somewhat difficult for parents to pick an original product from the truckload of fakes on the market.
How To Buy Quality CBD Oil For Your Children?
For clarity, a 2018 survey shows 26 percent of CBD-labeled products contain far below what the label says, while 43 percent contain more.
Don't be. Here are quick but efficient ways to know you're buying the real deal.
As mentioned, the CBD market is flooded with a truckload of products from a bunch of manufacturers. So, you should expect to see a confusing mix of genuine and fakes when shopping. We understand it's somewhat natural to get confused and freak out at such overwhelming loads of options with their convincing claims.
To play safe, here are some things to do when shopping for your CBD products:
- Read product label: investigate the CBD concentration per dosage
- Product source: for safety, prefer CBD from American-sourced hemp plants
- Seek third-party lab test result: always ask for the product's Certificate of Analysis. Since every manufacturer still puts up any claim on their products, the CAO is a measure used to check the credibility of manufacturers' ingredients and quality claims.
- Prefer Pure CBD: although .3% THC is the legal benchmark for pure CBD products, the lower the THC concentration, the better. If possible, go for zero-THC CBD.
- Read Reviews: Before you choose any product, it's ok to check up what other users are saying about the product.
Is CBD Legal For Children?
CBD laws can be somewhat tricky. CBD products below .3 percent THC is by the2018 Farm Bill, federally legal. While some CBD state laws align with this federal legislation, CBD remains prohibited in other states.
So whereas CBD may be legal in your state and safe for children, some products can dubiously stuff more-than-legal quantities of THC. Besides, legality concerns, this practice may expose your child to toxic risk.
So far, CBD administration for children remains under-researched.
However, with Epidiolex's breakthrough and the general increasing CBD awareness, there are campaigns and expectations for more legal leniency towards the promising compound.
That said, Epidiolex, as an FDA-recommended drug, is legal to use regardless of your local laws.
Discuss with a CBD-inclined Physician
Are you considering introducing CBD for your child's behavioral issues? Before you proceed, discuss with [preferably] a CBD-knowledgeable pediatrician. Since CBD-based pediatricians are scarce, you may consult a medical cannabis specialist.
While CBD's acclaimed benefits are but mere claims, early signals and matching anecdotal testimonies cannot be all wrong.