Many parents have become privy to the growing abundance of products featuring CBD and are wondering if they should be getting in on the plant-based movement.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in the cannabis plant that has shown to yield great therapeutic promise, all without being accompanied by any psychoactive effects. While CBD has been touted for a wide variety of common issues, such as chronic pain or anxiety, the strongest scientific evidence has been collected in regards to treating severe epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). In 2018, the FDA approved Epidolex, a prescription medication comprised of CBD, to treat these two conditions.
This landmark decision also marked the first plant-based drug derived from the cannabis plant in the United States to be approved by the FDA and receive a rescheduling by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Epidiolex is approved in patients two years and older. Anecdotal evidence showcases how taking the drug showed positive effects in children suffering from epilepsy, with some noting an effective reduction of seizures. Studies have shown that CBD played a role in combating the side effects of epilepsy in infants, children and teenagers who have shown resistance to other common treatment methods.
This landmark decision also marked the first plant-based drug derived from the cannabis plant in the United States to be approved by the FDA and receive a rescheduling by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Epilepsy impacts roughly 470,000 children under the age of 14 in the United States and over three million adults, with these statistics further stressing the importance of continuing research into how CBD can provide relief for those living with epilepsy. While research continues to be conducted—especially as lawmakers work to challenge the current legal restrictions impacting CBD use—parents have also begun exploring the utilization of plant-based products featuring the cannabinoid to provide other benefits for overall health and wellness.
There is currently little documented in-depth research regarding utilizing CBD to treat autism, ADHD, depression, anxiety, acne, sensory processing and other common ailments and disorders affecting kids. However, there is ample anecdotal and surface research available supporting the therapeutic and medicinal promise of CBD for the aforementioned ailments, and also from parents seeking options to help their children focus, calm down and/or sleep.
While it is understandable to be wary of its safety given the lack of definitive information, CBD does not appear to be dangerous. For example, the World Health Organization determined CBD to be non-addictive, writing, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.” The organization also noted that CBD is "generally well tolerated with a good safety profile."
As we collectively learn more about CBD and its benefits, a customary course of action for concerned and curious parents to take is to conduct research into the CBD supplier to ensure quality and recommended dosage, monitor their children while they take CBD and overall discuss their child's experiences with their pediatrician.