CBD has the potential to help people across the age spectrum. More and more parents are turning to CBD to help their kids focus, sleep, calm down, and more. But still, there is an inherent risk associated with using a substance that has not yet been vetted by the FDA – especially for children.
Even with the potential risk, some parents still feel like CBD is worth the risk – especially with progress towards legitimate recognition of its potential. There is now an official FDA-approved drug derived from CBD meant to treat rare, severe forms of epilepsy. What else might it be useful for?
History of CBD
There was a time when hemp products were well on their way to becoming a true, blue option for medical care in the United States. Marijuana was classified as a viable medical compound by the United States Pharmacopeia in 1851. It was cited as a treatment option for conditions such as epilepsy, migraine, and pain.
This glimmer of positive press for marijuana and hemp wasn’t long-lived. Soon, growing concern about the plant and its association with Mexican immigrants resulted in the outlawing of cannabis in several states in the early 1900s. It wasn’t long until it was banned at a federal level in 1937.
It only got worse for cannabis as the 1900s wore on. Marijuana and cannabis-related products were classified as Schedule 1 drugs. This made it nearly impossible to study for its potential medical properties.
While the fully formed structure of CBD was discovered in 1940 by British chemist Robert S. Cahn, it wasn’t until New Mexico passed the 1978 Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act that its medical potential was truly recognized.
As research continued to reveal the promise of cannabis products, states sought to legalize medical marijuana. California lead the pack in 1996 with Proposition 215 while other states followed suit in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
This opened up space for researchers to really roll their sleeves up to discover how cannabis could be used medically.
The full picture of how CBD and other cannabis-derived products could be used medically started to come into view. Once it was undeniable that this powerful plant had potential, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived CBD federally.
While it’s not legal in some states, many people across the country are finally getting the chance to see how CBD can change their lives.
One little girl played a huge part in validating the medical potential of CBD: Charlotte Figi. Her story was a catalyst for CBD awareness and acceptance. She had a rare and debilitating form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome. She suffered from hundreds of daily seizures. By the time she was 5, she could barely walk or talk and she required a feeding tube.
Her parents were discouraged. Pharmaceutical treatments were not helping their daughter escape the onslaught of seizures. Desperate, they decided it was time to try their luck outside of traditional medicine.
Paige Figi, Charlotte’s mom, heard of a family in California that had success treating their child with cannabis-derived oil. After researching this option further, she found the information for a man named Joel Stanley.
Joel was a Colorado Spring-based medical marijuana dispensary owner. He and his brother already developed a low THC, high CBD strain they dubbed “hippie’s disappointment”. They would later go on to rename it Charlotte’s Web.
The results were astounding. Charlotte’s seizures reduced so drastically she eventually stopped taking anti-epileptic pharmaceutical drugs altogether. Soon she could walk, play, and feed herself like any other child her age. It was miraculous.
Once word got out about the Figis’ story, flocks of families came to Colorado to treat their children under the state’s medical marijuana laws.
Unfortunately, Charlotte passed away in April of 2020 at age 13 from what the family suspects was COVID-19. Her legacy will certainly live on as more families walk the path she paved towards the medical potential of CBD.
Is CBD Safe for Children?
Generally speaking, CBD is well-tolerated. There is also no indication of potential abuse or dependence. But the truth is, there is still a lot of research that must be done before there is a definitive understanding of the safety of CBD – especially when it comes to children.
What is clear is that people are seeing positive results. Charlotte’s story is just one of thousands. CBD has changed countless families’ lives. But even still, this is only anecdotal evidence. There is no research to show what the long-term effects of taking CBD as a child are.
If you are considering introducing CBD into your child’s daily regimen, keep the potential risks in mind.
It could interact with other medications that are metabolized in the liver
Measuring out a consistent amount of CBD can be difficult. Bioavailability and rate of delivery can be different across products.
There are a lot of low-quality products on the market. Without a Certificate of Analysis (CoA), it can be nearly impossible to determine the contents of a product. If you’re buying CBD for a child, always check for an accredited CoA.
As we mentioned before, CBD is subject to the legal status of each state. It might be illegal still where you live so be sure to check.
Aside from epilepsy, there are no other health conditions proven to improve with CBD use.
Some CBD products contain THC in trace amounts. This is the component in marijuana that makes it intoxicating. Some parents might be wary of CBD that includes THC.
Why A Parent Might Choose CBD for Their Child
The risks of CBD might be worth it for some parents. Success stories like Charlotte’s give parents hope. If they have a severely ill child, CBD could potentially be the best path forward to explore. After all, Charlotte’s parents took the jump, and that choice not only helped their daughter but also opened our collective eyes to the potential of this powerful plant.
While there is no definitive evidence of CBD’s effectiveness outside of epilepsy, there are some promising preliminary studies that suggest it could be useful:
- Autism: In a 60 patient sample size, 61% of patients saw significant improvement in behavioral outbreaks after introducing CBD. Anxiety and communication problems also improved in 39% – 47% of participants at different degrees.
- Anxiety: This study found that CBD demonstrates efficacy in reducing anxiety behaviors as it relates to multiple disorders.
- ADHD: It was observed that adults with ADHD experienced a reduction of symptoms while using CBD. It’s still unclear how it may affect children with ADHD. Some parents report that CBD helped to reduce their children’s ADHD symptoms. Others report no change.
Try Broad-Spectrum CBD for Your Child
Trying CBD for your child can be a difficult decision. You’re sure to want a reputable, high-quality product to assure your child gets the best out of their experience. You might also want to avoid the trace amounts of THC that are featured in many CBD products.
If this sounds like you, you might want to consider broad-spectrum CBD.
Broad-spectrum CBD features all the benefits of a full-spectrum product without any THC. If you’re ready to give CBD a try, consider Peace River. We offer third-party-lab-tested broad-spectrum products for a reasonable price. We understand the value quality CBD can offer in someone’s life. We would be honored if you trusted us to support the well-being of you and your family.