As the school year begins, parents and grandparents may be considering using CBD oil to help their children with anxiety, sleep, pain or to treat something more serious such as ADHD and epilepsy.
As with any treatment, especially for children, safety is a priority. No one wants to give children a product that will make them high. Aside from that, questions about the efficacy of CBD may arise.
Based on anecdotal evidence, many parents are purchasing CBD products for their children, claiming that it keeps them calm, concentrated on tasks, and also helps with sleep and pain management.
There is also an FDA approved CBD drug, Epilodex, for the treatment of some types of seizures in children. Because of this, parents, out of desperation, are also trying out CBD products on the market to treat similar issues.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it differs from the THC cannabidiol in the sense that it is the non-psychoactive element of the marijuana plant. Our bodies have cannabinoid receptor cells known as the endocannabinoid system.
When a person consumes a product that is high in THC, it is picked up by the CB1 cells in the endocannabinoid system, which mostly exist in the brain, hence a feeling of elation, or being ‘high’. CBD however, is detected by CB2 receptor cells, which handle issues concerning our immunity, inflammation, nerves and stress response.
Most CBD oil and products on the market are derived from hemp, and not marijuana plants. This is because of the 2018 Farm Bill, which states that CBD is legal if it comes from the hemp plant, and if it contains 0.3% THC or less. Therefore CBD from a marijuana plant, even if it contains 0.3% or less of THC, is not covered by this bill. Hemp and marijuana are in the same family of plants but are not the same.
Most CBD comes in the form of CBD oil. CBD is delivered this way because its fatty acid content is more bioavailable to the body in oil extraction than with other delivery mechanisms such as powders or pills.
CBD is often infused into coconut, olive and hemp oils. With edibles, mint, candy and other flavors are often added to mask its strong taste.
CBD and hemp oils are not the same. While hemp oil has its benefits, it is made when hemp seeds are extracted or pressed into an oil format. CBD oil may be infused with hemp oil, and some manufacturers believe that doing so creates a full-spectrum CBD oil.
CBD for Epilepsy in Children
CBD oil has been thoroughly researched as far back as the 1980s as a treatment option for epilepsy. Patients suffering from seizures were given 300mg of CBD in a clinical study, and the results were impressive.
After only 4 months of CBD use, more than 50 percent of the participants stopped having seizures. And the frequency of seizures reduced for all test subjects.
According to Healthcare Weekly, this was a major leap for epilepsy treatment, but the negative stigma around CBD and cannabis at the time made it hard for the team to publicize their discovery.
The FDA recently approved Epidiolex, a prescribed oral solution to treat epilepsy that is based on CBD oil. Epidiolex is especially effective at treating Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Epilepsy, a serious neurological condition, affects over 50 million people around the globe and around 3.4 million people, or 1.2% of the American population.
When Maya, now 11 years old, began having seizures as a baby and was later diagnosed with Dravet syndrome, father Adam Adache, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. says that Epidiolex made a huge difference, and was life-changing for his daughter.
Maya suffered through multiple seizures, sometimes up to 20 each day, and her prescription medications were not working. “Some were scarier than others, but they were all scary,” Adache told Consumer Report.
Many parents are looking at this research and hoping to use CBD oil to treat related issues. Most pediatricians are aware of Epidiolex and CDB use for such conditions, and they should be consulted before administering CBD oil to your child for this purpose.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a condition that happens when the brain and central nervous system are impaired in growth and development, is the most common childhood disorder. A child with ADHD has a hard time paying attention, completing tasks and may exhibit behavioral problems; all of which can interfere with school work. If left untreated, these symptoms can be carried on into adult life.
Many parents are reporting that CBD oil has made a huge difference in treating their child’s ADHD and that it has helped ease anxiety and changed their child’s behavior. These parents administered CBD to both their children as a treatment for ADHD when they decided that they wanted to go on more of a homeopathic route to treat their two sons’ symptoms. They noticed that their sons had a better quality of sleep and less anxiety in a short amount of time, even at a very low dose.
While there is still more research to be conducted on CBD’s effect on ADHD, CBD oil has shown, through anecdotal evidence, to help with its symptoms, especially with anxiety and behavioral issues.
According to an article in CBD Kryo, CBD reacts with the body’s neuroreceptors and because of this, there is potential for the treatment to help with behavioral, anxiety and stress management.
Do your research
Based on anecdotal evidence, many parents are choosing CBD oil to treat a variety of issues in their children including sleeplessness, pain, anxiety, ADHD, epilepsy or even celiac disease. While studies have been conducted extensively on epilepsy, more work needs to be done in other areas.
“Though not a miracle cure-all, the vast areas of the body that are positively impacted by the use of cannabidiol oil mean that it can help provide a significant amount of aid to the human body for a variety of different conditions and issues,” says an article in Cool Things Chicago.
CBD oil is still an unregulated supplement, and parents should research each product before giving it to their children. Each child has a different body composition, and dosages will vary from person to person.
Many specialists and pediatricians have experience with suggesting CBD oil use for children nationwide, and it is best to consult with a professional to find a CBD solution for your child. As CBD oil is also in other products, from water to gummy bears, pay attention to all ingredients in each product to ensure it will not give your child an allergic reaction.