Under medical prescription, CBD can treat ADHD, seizures, depression, and anxiety among children. This blog explains how CBD can treat disorders among juvenile users, the risk of cannabis for children, and how to buy CBD for kids.
Legalizing hemp and cannabis-based compounds has offered a novel treatment alternative for child-related illnesses. Although anecdotal, studies show that a moderate amount of Cannabidiol can be of significant medical utility for children with ADHD, anxiety, and depression. Hemp-derived drugs like Epidiolex have already been approved for the rate of epilepsy among children. With more studies underway, the cannabis derivative may soon become an over-the-counter drug for many cannabis users. However, experts discourage CBD among children below two years; the cannabis derivative is associated with negative cognitive development among young children, making it a prescription-only drug for younger users.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a derivative of cannabis obtained from hemp or marijuana. The non-addictive component of cannabis is popular for its health and therapeutic utility, without psychoactive effects. THC is an active component of cannabis which, while domiciled in marijuana, may be found in trace amounts in Cannabidiol. THC is psychoactive and alters the user’s mental stability. Its medical utility is similar to Cannabidiol, although it could lead to psychotropic effects when used in excess. In the UK, THC products must contain below 0.2%, while the US regulates the cannabis derivative at 0.3%. A significant utility of THC is its capacity to amplify the effects of Cannabidiol. According to Mahler et al. (2019), trace amounts of THC combine with CBD to provide a wide range of effects from a small unit of Cannabidiol, in a phenomenon dubbed “the entourage effect.”
Effects of CBD on Children
Literature on the effects of Cannabidiol on children exemplifies the skepticism around the cannabis derivative in young children. Poleg et al. (2019) suggested that CBD can treat several disorders among children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), epilepsy, autism, and other children-related disorders.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
The cannabis derivative dispenses calming effects and improves focus among its users, making it ideal for ADHD.
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder is synonymous with impulsive behavior, short-lived concentration, and hyperactivity. Patients experience anxiety, stress, and disrupted sleep. Cannabis contains anxiolytic effects, which suppress anxiety, stimulate sleep hormones, and dispenses calming effects to mitigate the symptoms of ADHD. Mansell et al. (2022) showed that cannabis derivatives are a proven utility for symptoms related to ADHD.
Autism is a rare disorder in children characterized by anxiety, stress, self-injurious behavior, and poor social interaction skills. Babayeva et al. (2022) showed that Children with autism reduced the rate of aggressive behaviors and incidences of physical violence thanks to CBD’s calming effects. According to Baruchel et al. (2019), autism-related behaviors are treatable using cannabis-infused medication. Research on the effects of CBD on children with autism remains scanty and inconclusive. The nexus between autism and epilepsy validate the possibility of the effects of CBD on children. Autism and epilepsy are neurological conditions, although the latter involves endemic seizures.
Hence, if CBD is safe for epilepsy without negative effects, it could be safe and effective for autism.
The closest to science-backed evidence on the efficacy and safety of CBD among children is the milestone made in epilepsy. According to Billakota et al. (2019), successful clinical trials of CBD on children led to the approval of Epidiolex as the first Cannabidiol–infused drug for treating seizures among children with rare forms of epilepsy. The cannabis derivative contains anticonvulsant properties which suppress seizures emanating from abnormal behavior of neurons in the brain. The anticonvulsant properties of CBD block neurotransmitters that send signals to the brain by attaching to the neurons; this effectively blocks pain transmission.
How to Dose CBD for Children
There is no standard dosage for CBD oil among children with neurological disorders. However, children are first-time users; they should start low and slow to gauge their reaction to cannabis. Cannabidiol may have elevated levels of the psychoactive THC; this cannabis derivative has mind-altering effects, which may worsen psychotic behaviors among children with neurological disorders.
Children may have little tolerance for CBD. They may develop side effects like diarrhea, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, and sleepiness after consuming cannabis oil. Adults should guide them on the right dosage.
Profound neurological cases like epilepsy, ADHD, and autism require prescription drugs. Therefore, guardians, caregivers, or parents do not have to hassle with the treatment dosage. For instance, Epidiolex is a prescription drug with specific dosage instructions. Children can only consume the drug based on the prescription from the doctor.
Best CBD oil for Children
Children may become uncomfortable with the earthy taste of CBD oil. CBD used for autism comes in tinctures or sprays; the tinctures are sublingual products; their users must endure the grassy taste of cannabis oil. Epidiolex, a common prescription drug, is administered through oral methods. Unlike tinctures, the anti-seizure is strawberry-flavored to appeal to the taste buds of young users. Cannabidiol oil administered to children should have a flavor to encourage consumption among children.
Cannabidiol is a utility cannabis with numerous health benefits for children. While research on its importance to children remains scarce, it provides anxiolytic effects for anxiety, anti-seizure benefits for epilepsy, and calming effects for sleeplessness among children with neurological disorders. Epidiolex is approved for children with rare forms of epilepsy. Its safety and efficacy exemplify its safety for children with similar neurological diseases. CBD is unsafe for children still developing cognitive skills, pregnant users, or those breastfeeding; such users should take CBD oil under strict medical instructions. Most Cannabidiol-infused products require a medical prescription before for proper a proper treatment outcome. With a relatively unregulated cannabis industry, users should buy CBD products from reputable brands to obtain products safe for children.
Barchel, D., Stolar, O., De-Haan, T., Ziv-Baran, T., Saban, N., Fuchs, D. O., ...&Berkovitch, M. (2019). Oral cannabidiol use in children with an autism spectrum disorder to treat related symptoms and co-morbidities. Frontiers in pharmacology, 9, 1521.
Billakota, S., Devinsky, O., & Marsh, E. (2019). Cannabinoid therapy in epilepsy. Current opinion in neurology, 32(2), 220-226.
Mansell, H., Quinn, D., Kelly, L. E., & Alcorn, J. (2022). Cannabis for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a report of 3 cases. Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids, 5(1), 1-6.
Nahler, G., Jones, T. M., & Russo, E. B. (2019). Cannabidiol and contributions of major hemp phytocompounds to the “entourage effect”; possible mechanisms. J. Altern. Complementary Integr. Med, 5.
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