The most research done on CBD is for its use with seizure disorders like epilepsy. "The body of evidence that it's effective for other disorders is much less," says Jennifer Lowry, MD, Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Environmental Health and Chief of Medical Toxicology at Children's Mercy Kansas City. For other conditions, the evidence is largely anecdotal. "Cannabis is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug in the U.S., so it can't be researched as well," explains Janice Bissex, a registered dietitian who became a Holistic Cannabis Practitioner after seeing how cannabis relieved her father's pain. She works with many clients who have seen positive results with CBD oil but cautions that it "doesn't work for every person every time."
It's probably safe to say that the DEA has bigger fish to fry than a parent buying a bottle of CBD oil for their child's medical condition. But to err on the safe side, choose a product made from hemp.
Keep in mind that CBD oil can be pricey because of the cost in growing the plants and extracting the oil. The FDA doesn't regulate CBD oil, so it's buyer beware. Bissex recommends choosing products that have been independently tested, so you're sure they contain the amount of CBD they claim. Lowry, who says she personally can't recommend CBD because there is no safety or efficacy data on it yet, suggests finding out how much THC (if any) the product contains before giving it to a child. "Many current laws limit it to 0.9 percent," says Lowry. "I would go as low as possible."
If you're wondering whether it could help your child, find someone knowledgeable to consult. "I typically advise people to check with their child's doctor," says Bissex, noting that in some cases, the oil may interact with certain medications. "But there are many doctors who are not educated in the use of CBD for various conditions in kids so you may need to broaden your search." Lowry noted that pediatric neurologists may be more familiar with it. Finding a "cannabis consultant" such as Bissex is also an option for figuring out the right dosing, which varies for each person.
CBD is thought to work on something in the body called the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in maintaining homeostasis, or balance. There are receptors for this system in many parts of the body, including the brain, which is why it's believed to help a host of different conditions.
8. CBD oil can be used to treat a variety of children’s ailments.
Could CBD (cannabidiol) oil be the new go-to for calming kids down? With states green-lighting the green stuff one after another, there’s a new wave of marijuana-using millennials and open-minded parents in general who are more curious than ever before about giving marijuana- and hemp-derived oils to their kids and babies.
Back to the Hilts: Haley’s seizures did start to pick up again after slowing down tremendously for the first month of treatment, but she’s still making wonderful progress developmentally and seizing less intensely overall. Normally, seizures can prevent Haley from reaching new, important milestones, but Hilt says it seems like there’s almost something protective about the CBD oil (which she said her daughter’s doctors in New York and Boston agree with).
They’re the two main compounds in the marijuana plant, but THC is psychoactive, and CBD is not. In other words, THC can get you high (and maybe even make you feel paranoid), but CBD can not. The oil used to medically treat a child will often be legally sold through a dispensary and contain a CBD-to-THC ratio, such as 19-to-1. Since the oil sold over the internet doesn’t contain THC, you should keep in mind that plenty of medical professionals argue that CBD loses its efficacy when it’s not used in conjunction with THC.
7. You shouldn’t buy the stuff online to treat your kid
Of course not all states have legalized the use of CBD oils. And for parents whose children have a medical diagnosis (like a form of epilepsy or autism) for which CBD oil is one of the only things that seems to help, it’s worth it for them to move their lives to a state where they can access it legally. Hilt told us she would “absolutely” move if she no longer had access to the oil in Albany, New York.
Dr. Lucido cautions against giving children CBD oil without the recommendation from a doctor. But, he says, if it’s legally purchased from a dispensary with a doctor’s recommendation, CBD oil can be highly effective in treating seizures, autism, ADHD, depression, and anxiety in children. The CBD-to-THC ratio may differ based on the child and what’s being treated.