The following article "CBD and Kids" was a contribution and collaboration with one of our newest guest authors, Josh Lees. His bio is available below this article.
CBD (cannabidiol), one of the major compounds found in the Cannabis plant, is extracted from hemp, marijuana, and/or any other Cannabis plant species. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD is commercially available in many forms from oil to chewable gummies.
If we consider the effects of Cannabis, THC is the element that is responsible for all the euphoric effects. However, CBD and its precursor cannabinoids offer more types of medical benefits without getting you or your child high.
Over the last 5 years, CBD has become popular for the treatment of various medical conditions, including some that occur in children.
You don't need to get a prescription to buy CBD products; however, some prescription medications like Epidiolex are made from CBD products.
Two rare forms of epilepsy in children, known as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, are commonly treated with Epidiolex.
Therefore, parents sometimes use CBD products for the treatment of certain conditions in children such as anxiety, attention deficit syndromes, depression, and chronic stress. CBD products are also used to help children dealing with Autism.
However, some parents are also concerned about whether CBD is safe for their kids or not, and they aren't sure whether it is effective. Therefore, the following is a rather detailed account of how CBD can be beneficial for kids. So, read on to learn more about CBD and Kids.
What Is CBD Oil?
Before we move further, let's understand what CBD actually is. Well, it is a chemical compound that can be found in both the Cannabis sativa and the hemp plant species (Cannabis ruderalis).
CBD is extracted from the resin of these plants. Cannabis sativa plant varieties have more natural resins and therefore yield more than traditional hemp varieties, but there is also a higher chance of THC traces being extracted with CBD. Although it is true that hemp plants have less resin content, the various extraction processes are essentially the same for any species.
If you are sharing your CBD with your kids, you may prefer products that are derived from 100% non-GMO hemp grown here in the U.S.A. Furthermore, you should know that there is no need to use prescription CBD like Epidiolex, a prescription medication, to ensure that the CBD product you are using is completely THC-free.
Just check the label for the QR code so you can use your smartphone to quickly reveal the actual 3rd Party lab Test results if that is what you prefer for your child.
Why THC Is Bad For Kids
Though THC can have some medical benefits for adults, it isn't something that should not be introduced or allowed to affect the young mind. The THC cannabinoid is responsible for the euphoric effects of "marijuana" which is clearly intended for adult use only.
THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid and therefore never intended for a child or a yet-to-be fully developed, adult mind.
In the short term, using THC can cause effects like:
● Trouble thinking and problem solving
● Loss of coordination
● Problems with memory and learning
● Distorted perception
In the long term, THC can have much more severe impacts on a child's mental and physical health. Studies have shown that it can lead to permanent changes in the brain and damage the child's cognitive abilities in the future.
Furthermore, THC can cause fertility issues in kids when they grow older. Animal studies have shown that the consumption of THC at a young age can result in lower sperm count in men and delayed ovulation in women.
THC can also cause respiratory problems, irregularities in the performance of your child's immune system, and a higher tendency for emotional issues in kids.
Benefits of CBD for Kids
Now let's talk about some of the benefits of CBD for kids. Since CBD doesn't make you high, it can be used for the treatment of several health issues in kids, and here are some of the common ones that you should know about.
CBD can help in the treatment of seizures in kids:
Studies have shown that severe epilepsy in children with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome can be treated with CBD products. This opens cannabis up as a new treatment option for kids who have failed to respond to traditional medications.
According to several studies, non-psychotropic cannabis-derived compounds, like pharmaceutical-grade CBD and other high-quality, CBD consumer products can be quite helpful in managing seizures and other symptoms of epilepsy, especially for children who aren't responding to other treatments.
However, the issue is that there is very little guidance about the use of CBD with kids. Doctors don't have any guidelines to understand the proper dosage and other factors of CBD for kids, and hence they are reluctant to suggest or use CBD as a treatment method.
CBD can help treat some symptoms of Autism:
Autism is, unfortunately, a common neurological disorder that affects many children all over the world. Autism can impact the social skills and development of children.
According to statistics from the American Academy of Pediatrics published in 2018, Autism affects one in every 40 American children. Most children suffering from Autism have difficulty interacting with others, and they sometimes show unusual behavior patterns and ritualistic motions.
The exact cause of Autism as a disorder is still unclear, but studies suggest that genetic and environmental factors can play a role.
Autism is curable for now; however, some methods like speech and occupational therapy can significantly lessen its symptoms. However, one of the latest and also the most controversial treatments for Autism is CBD oil.
CBD oil has many benefits, and parents all over the US and Canada have used CBD oil as a treatment of Autism for their kids. Many parents claim that CBD oil helps regulate emotions, promote better sleep, and control autism symptoms.
CBD is very helpful in the prevention of stress:
Stress is one of the most common problems in humans today, and everyone, regardless of their age, has to deal with severe levels of stress. Kids face peer pressure from school, they have to worry about their exams, and the social pressure can sometimes be too much for them. Especially for teenagers, and adolescents, who are going through a lot of changes and are more susceptible to it.
Chronic stress has a very negative impact on a person's life; it can deteriorate your child's mental and physical health and affect their performance at school as well.
CBD oil can be very effective in countering stress. It interacts with a person's endocannabinoid system and can promote the release of feel-good hormones in a person's body.
Furthermore, since CBD oil does not have any psychoactive effects, is completely non-toxic, and non-addictive. Therefore it can. and is, used for children.
CBD helps in counter anxiety in kids:
Anxiety is another common problem in a lot of kids these days. There are several anxiety disorders that different kids deal with, however, one of the most popular ones is social anxiety.
Social anxiety makes kids reluctant to engage in social situations, the fear of society can be so severe for them that they might even have a panic attack if they have to talk in front of the class.
According to a recent small-scale study, in which one 10-year old patient with PTSD participated, it was found that CBD oil significantly improved her feelings of anxiety and helped her sleep better as well, even though she had insomnia.
Though the best and most effective way to deal with a social anxiety disorder is conversational and exposure therapy, studies show that CBD can be helpful in dealing with some of its symptoms. Therefore, if your child has to deal with some form of anxiety, you could consider using CBD products; however, it is better to consult a doctor before doing so.
CBD can aid in post-injury recovery and improve athletic performance in kids.
It is very important for growing children to have healthy levels of physical activity in their lives, you should encourage your children to play some sport on a competitive level as it can increase their confidence, and help with their growth.
However, with increased physical activity, there is a larger risk of injuries. Dealing with sports injuries can be very challenging for children, and recovery can take a lot of time.