IS CBD SAFE FOR CHILDREN?
With more and more studies being published that list the benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD) and its relatively low side effects, it is becoming the go-to naturopathic remedy for a multitude of ailments. Using the herb in its entirety in the past meant also inhaling or ingesting tetrahydrocannabinol, (THC) the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, plus some 100+ other cannabinoids. But we now have the ability to isolate the molecules and test what they do and how they do it. The non-psychoactive molecule of marijuana, CBD does not make a person “high” but relieves inflammation and has strong reactive properties that prevent seizures and controls pain.
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
Cannabis has been used as a medicinal plant for thousands of years and has been found in ancient Chinese writings dating back to 2737 B.C. In the Pen Ts’ao Ching, a book of pharmacopoeia dated 1 A.D., Cannabis was prescribed for over 100 ailments. In recent literature, studies have shown efficacy of CBD to treat seizures, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, and much more. But how does it do this?
Scientists have discovered another communication system in our bodies – that regulates mood, balance, and physiology – now named the Endocannabinoid System. Two types of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) have thus far been identified, along with endogenous cannabinoids that interact with these receptors, produced within our own bodies. CBD in mouse and dog studies has been shown to interact with these receptors as well as serotonin receptors.
Until the 1990s we’ve been limited to anecdotal evidence that Cannabis could treat multiple disorders, but with the advent of medical marijuana laws, hundreds of scientific studies in disparate fields now conclude that CBD compounds have unlimited potential. According to Project CBD,
Extensive preclinical research—much of it sponsored by the U.S. government—indicates that CBD has potent anti-tumoral, antioxidant, anti-spasmodic, anti-psychotic, anti-convulsive, and neuroprotective properties.
CBD also directly activates serotonin receptors, thus providing anxiety relief.
To date most studies have focused on CBD efficacy for treating epilepsy; side effects have been limited to dry mouth and drowsiness at the beginning of treatment, but these go away over time. The third clinical trial released by a pharmaceutical company in Great Britain indicated that only 10 mg of its CBD drug - Epidiolex - is required to suppress seizures in two rare forms of epilepsy, by up to 42% daily. In June, the FDA approved the use of Epidiolex “to treat rare and severe forms of epilepsy”.
Anxiety, ADD, and ADHD
Theorizing that attention-deficit disorders are caused by inadequate dopamine in the brain, doctors usually prescribe stimulants such as Ritalin or Adderall; though effective these drugs have multiple possible side effects such as headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, hair loss, sleeplessness, diarrhea or constipation, to name a few. CBD also targets the serotonin receptors in the brain, and alleviates anxiety while reducing the symptoms of ADD and ADHD. CBD oil is easy to administer either under the tongue (sublingually) or in food, and dosages are now regulated.
Safety of CBD
The biggest concern that parents have with giving their child CBD is whether it will make them high, or dependent, or be a “gateway drug” as marijuana opponents are fond of declaring. Safety is a legitimate concern so let’s be perfectly clear. Cannabidiol is a completely non-reactive molecule. If CBD oil has trace amounts of THC in it, this happens during the process of isolating the oil from the hemp plant and will contain amounts less than 0.3 percent by law. This minuscule amount is non-psychoactive. Your child will not feel different other than more balanced and calm. Any initial drowsiness from taking the herb will pass once they get used to it. Taking CBD is not like taking a pharmaceutical medication that has to build up in the system and your child will never have to be “weaned” off of it. It does not cause dependence and is known to be non-toxic.
Do not prescribe for your child but be assured that seeking CBD as a viable treatment for the conditions your child suffers is a responsible choice. Please feel free to contact us if we can answer any questions you may have.
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