A particular question that we are often asked at the clinic is whether or not CBD is safe and effective for children. The simple answer is this, it is simply too early to take a confident stand on this subject due to the lack of peer reviewed evidence.
The therapeutic use of cannabinoids, namely CBD have certainly become popular within the health and wellness field. Upon accessing many social media platforms you will find rave reviews and sometimes miraculous testimonials for CBD products. Many of these testimonials and advice involve dosing children with CBD oil for various conditions including epilepsy, PTSD, ADHD, autism, anxiety, and the list goes on. While it is certainly amazing that these health benefits have been achieved by using CBD, there is a lack of scientific literature to support this evidence. This is where the health claims become tricky. Anecdotal evidence from parents, caregivers, etc. does not equate to scientific validation. Yet, it is hard to throw these health claims to the side as irrelevant as many interventions are not supported by the “gold standard” peer reviewed trials.
The Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics concludes this about dosing CBD in the pediatric population:
“Cannabis and its ingredients have had a fascinating history over the past 4000 years, but lack of published data precludes fully recommending its use for medicinal purposes in pediatrics. Further study is underway and will add to our knowledge of the efficacy and safety of CBD in pediatrics. Long-term studies to assess neurocognitive development with CBD will need to be assessed as well. As pharmacists, it is our duty to provide our patients and their parents with the most accurate, safe, and legally appropriate advice.”
An important distinction must be made in order to move forward with a decision in regards to giving children CBD products. As discussed in our previous blog post, CBD is a hemp extract. There is no THC in the majority of CBD products. THC is the compound responsible for giving a mind-altering, psychoactive high. Of course it is not advisable to give children a product with THC in it. In fact, CBD products with detectable levels of THC are illegal in most states.
In conclusion, we would love to cite numerous research articles touting the health benefits of CBD oil in the pediatric population. Unfortunately, the research is not there yet. This is not to say that there is not value in CBD products, it’s just too early to flash research article after research article describing the amazing things it does. Our advice for parents interested in using CBD products is to weigh the pros and cons. Work with the healthcare provider to help guide you on whether or not CBD is worth utilizing with your child. Be sure to source a clean, therapeutic CBD oil that is free from THC.