CBD is one of the more well-known components of cannabis, along with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Both chemicals affect the brain, but while THC makes users feel high, CBD doesn’t, though it does make some users feel more relaxed. CBD products have become hugely popular around the world, from oils that can be eaten or rubbed on skin, to soaps, gummy candies and even pet treats.
“There can be pesticides, heavy metals and microbes in the plants,” said Hazekamp. It isn’t clear if those are making it into CBD oils, he said.
Hints of help
The only drug containing CBD that has been approved for adults or children is Epidiolex, which is currently the only known treatment for two rare and devastating forms of childhood epilepsy: Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Epidiolex, approved in 2018, was developed after the high-profile case of Charlotte Figi, whose desperate mother used CBD to dramatically control her debilitating seizures.
Last year, the Food and Drug Administration wrote that CBD has the potential to cause liver injury (in users of any age), and suggested it might affect the developing brains of children. No one knows the long-term effects of giving CBD to kids, said Arno Hazekamp, Ph.D., a pharmaceutical researcher and cannabis consultant in the Netherlands. “Those kids are still kids,” he said. Researchers will have to wait until they are older to assess long-term effects. Also, since most CBD products aren’t regulated, he added, they can be tainted with dangerous additives.
“I had a patient start taking CBD and I only found out a month in,” said Mitchell. “Parents may assume that a doctor will respond in a negative way.” It’s a doctor’s responsibility, he said, to be open to discussing options. “If you shut a patient down, it doesn’t mean you won the argument, it means they’re not going to talk about it.”
As research continues to investigate CBD’s massive potential to help treat a wide variety of physical and mental ailments, many parents wonder whether CBD oil could be a safer medicine for their ailing children than conventional pharmaceuticals. Is CBD oil safe for kids? We’ll look at what CBD oil is, how it interacts with the body, and the factors parents should consider when considering CBD oil as a treatment option for their child.
When dosed properly, relatively safe consumption methods of CBD include tinctures, drops, and capsules. Children should generally be given CBD oil orally, as opposed to adult-use methods such as vaporizing and combusting high-CBD cannabis flower. Epidiolex is a cannabis-derived oral medicine with CBD as the active ingredient, approved by the FDA for use in treating epileptic seizures in patients ages 2 and older.
CBD oil – What is it and how does it interact with the body?
CBD’s interaction with the body through these receptor pathways is complex, which is why the potential benefits of CBD vary widely, both in terms of potency and type of effect. The chemical makeup of the various types of CBD oil, including the actual dosage within the product, will also alter the potency and probability of noticeable effects. CBD oil typically falls into one of three product categories:
Phytocannabinoids, or cannabinoids that derive from the cannabis plant, interact with our bodies through the endocannabinoid system (ECS), where they bind to cannabinoid receptors and are broken down by enzymes. CBD elicits therapeutic effects by modulating the interactions that take place at the cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are responsible for maintaining homeostasis, or the body’s means of maintaining a steady function of its vital systems. CBD is also known to interact with more than 60 other sites in the brain and body.
Furthermore, THC remains a Schedule I drug under the Federal Controlled Substances Act, and only hemp-derived CBD produced under the regulations of the 2018 Farm Bill is legal.