Should CBD be Given to Children?

There is a lot of controversy surrounding CBD and children. Many parents wonder if it’s safe. Several studies have shown great promise for CBD being helpful in reducing or stopping seizures, and the FDA recently approved the first-ever CBD medication, Epidiolex. In this guide developed by we’ll answer the question, should CBD be given to children.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid that is present in both hemp and cannabis. It is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid, meaning that it does not produce a high. It’s often said that CBD is non-psychoactive, but it does interact with receptors in the brain, mostly indirectly, but does not cause any type of intoxication.

When the cannabinoid is in its raw state (not heated) it is CBDA. CBDA has the same properties of CBD. This means that hemp plants can be juiced for the CBDA and if any THC is present, it won’t activate. Hemp plants can contain up to 0.3-percent THC, which is not enough to produce a high but will make the cannabinoid active in the body.

Some cannabis strains are bred specifically to be high-CBD and low-THC, but there is more THC. Some effects may be felt. It is important to know the difference between hemp and cannabis-derived CBD. The cannabinoid is the same; it’s just the amount of THC that accompanies the cannabinoid, and any other cannabinoids present, that changes.

Childhood Anxiety

Anxiety can be present in children. It may be due to stresses at home, daycare or school. It may also be that your child just has an anxiety disorder.

One of the benefits of CBD is that it is calming. It helps reduce anxiety as it relaxes the mind which allows other systems in the body to work as they should without additional stress.

An anxiety attack, especially for a child, can be terrifying. The immediate sense of panic is often hard to shake without medicine. Some prescribed medications may have adverse side effects or may have a negative impact on a child.

CBD is an all-natural option. When CBD is combined with natural, plant-based terpenes, the efficacy may increase. Terpenes exist in thousands of plants, herbs and vegetation. They have accepted therapeutic benefits.

Childhood or pediatric anxiety may cause sleep problems as well.

Sleep Disruptions

There are dozens of reasons why a child may have trouble sleeping. There could be an issue at school, their brain may just not relax enough to promote sleep or there could be another issue. Melatonin is often chosen as a natural sleep aid for children. Some children become resistant to melatonin after a while, and an increased dose may not work.

CBD can help the brain relax enough to allow your child to sleep. The calming and relaxing effects can help a child feel peaceful – similar to how a lavender bath may help. When combined with terpenes that have mild sedative effects, a child may have a great night’s sleep and wake up refreshed in the morning. Don’t be alarmed by the word sedative used here – terpenes won’t turn a child into a zombie nor do they have any type of mood/mind-altering effect, the property simply helps promote relaxation.

CBD can help with more than just anxiety and sleep in children. It may also help those with chronic inflammatory disorders, digestive disorders, cancer, autism, ADHD and many other health conditions.

Pay Attention to State Law

Although CBD doesn’t get anyone high, it’s not legal in every state. It is important to know if it is legally allowed to possess CBD. In some states, it is medically legal for some conditions. In those states, parents administering CBD to their children that are not on a registry or do not have a qualifying medical condition have had trouble with children’s services (in many states it is called CPS).

CBD is controversial. It doesn’t cause any harm but remains stuck in regulatory limbo. If unsure of the local laws, contact an attorney or reach out to the state’s chapter of NORML.

It is important for you to know that CBD alone does not show up in a drug screening. CBD is not THC, so it cannot return a positive THC test. To avoid this complication with a child, view the next section to know what to look for.

What to Look for when Buying CBD for Children

It is important to know what is in the CBD product that is being purchased. First and foremost, make sure the product is pure. If returning a positive drug screening is a concern, request test results from the manufacturer to ensure that it is THC-free.

Read the ingredients thoroughly. All of the ingredients should be natural and nothing artificial. If a preservative is used, it should be a natural option.

While reading the ingredients, look for a cutting agent. The most common are coconut oil, MCT oil and olive oil. All of these are natural.

Search the label for purity information. The label should read a total amount of CBD. If you notice that the bottle says 1000mg CBD @20% or anything similar, this is not pure CBD. This CBD contains fillers and/or other plant matter. It essentially dilutes the product to add more volume.

If terpenes are added, make sure they are derived from plants and not chemicals. Natural terpenes are helpful in increasing the efficacy of a specific formula. This includes formulas specifically designed for inflammation, sleep and anxiety.

Be careful about being overcharged. Some companies have big price tags on plain CBD oil with nothing else added to it. Compare prices, reviews and labels.

Closing Thoughts

To answer the question, should CBD be given to children – it’s absolutely an individual choice, but yes. It is safe to administer to children. It is even safe for pets. CBD has a multitude of benefits with more being uncovered as more research into the cannabinoid is able to take place. Always speak to the child’s pediatrician or doctor first – keep in mind that not all physicians are educated about CBD, so do some reading yourself as well.

Melissa Thompson
Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.