Using CBD Oil in Children
CBD oil has become very popular as a treatment for many conditions in children. Its potential side effects are rare and mild and it doesn’t cause a high, which makes it a safe remedy for children. Below we discuss how CBD is being used for children.
What Conditions can CBD can be used for?
Children who suffer from difficult-to-control seizures like Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome are finding relief from CBD oil. It also treats disorders that are related to epilepsy such as psychiatric disorders, neural injury, and neurodegeneration. This is what caused the FDA to approve a medication called Epidiolex, an oral solution made from purified CBD for these syndromes. In three randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled drug trials, Epidiolex was effective at reducing seizure frequency compared to placebo. The study included 516 patients that had either Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome. Another study had similar findings.
A number of studies analyzed the use of CBD oil and medical cannabis in children with autism. Their findings suggest that CBD oil improves the symptoms of autism. One study involved 188 children between 5 and 18 years old to whom it gave 30% CBD oil and 1.5% THC under the tongue, three times per day. The children continued to take prescription medication. After one month, most children improved in symptoms like rage attacks, restlessness and seizures. There were great improvements for most children over six months. Since there was no control group, the researchers urge us to interpret the results with caution. There was improvement all the same, with side effects like lack of appetite, sleepiness, and reflux. More studies are in progress to determine safe and effective doses of CBD for autistic children.
Among its many health benefits, CBD oil also alleviates mental health problems such as anxiety. For that reason, many people have turned to CBD for the relief of anxiety in the last ten years. Its effectiveness has been supported by studies. One example is the review that was published in the Neurotherapeutics that stated that CBD can effectively reduce anxiety in people with panic disorder, general anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
One particular study involved a 10-year-old patient who was sexually abused and lacked parental supervision as a young child under the age of five. CBD oil reduced her insomnia and improved her feelings of anxiety, and that anxiety reduction lasted for a long time. Compared to the meds that she used to take, CBD caused a significant and long-lasting reduction in anxiety.
Though several human and animal studies have indicated that CBD oil has potential for alleviating anxiety, more studies on children are required. So far, what is known is that:
- Low doses during day-time can be energizing.
- High doses can be sedative.
- If terpenes are present in the oil, they induce sleep and relax muscles.
- Children who suffer from anxiety due to traumatic experiences stop focusing on the traumatic events and begin to feel good.
- The self-esteem of children who take CBD for anxiety improves notably.
If a child is depressed because they cannot enjoy life due to anxiety or due to other causes, he/she can be relieved of the depression by taking CBD oil. In a 2014 study, CBD showed potential as a treatment for depression. Its effectiveness is due to its ability to act on the serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that controls many functions in the body including social behaviour and the emotional state. Keeping its levels in balance is the typical treatment for depressed people and CBD does exactly that.
Children may have sleep problems due to pain, anxiety, or allotropic medications. When they take CBD, it calms them down and improves the quality of sleep while reducing pain or alleviating the symptoms of anxiety. A review of scientific literature published in 2017 confirmed that CBD can calm down mind and body and promote better sleep by reducing anxiety, restlessness, stress, and general imbalances in the body.
Type 1 diabetes used to be the most common type of diabetes in children. Now children are also getting type 2 diabetes especially when they are obese, overweight, and inactive. Luckily, CBD can help treat and prevents both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In one animal study involving mice suffering from type 1 diabetes, CBD reduced inflammation in the pancreas. Inflammation happens when immune cells attack pancreatic tissue. CBD has also been found to reverse type 2 diabetes by reducing insulin resistance through its anti-inflammatory properties.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Some parents have reported a reduction in their children’s symptoms of ADHD after using CBD oil. There is little research on its effectiveness as a remedy for children with ADHD. Since it has few side-effects and is generally safe, it is worth a try.
How to use CBD Oil
In New Zealand we have limited CBD oil options, gummies are common internationally but are hard to come by here. You’ll most likely find a bottle of oil which is consumed orally with a dropper.
CBD is safe for children. It can have a few mild side effects but will not cause a “high”, and it is not addictive. It also has a long list of health benefits such as improving the health of the digestive system.
Dr Ron Goedeke, specialises in alternative and functional medicine. He is a foundation member of the New Zealand college of Appearance medicine and has been a member of the American Academy of Anti-aging medicine since 1999. With over 20 years of experience in the anti-aging field, Dr Ron Goedeke is recognized as one of New Zealand’s leaders in this new and growing field of medicine.
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