You’ve already heard the rage about CBD. People—maybe including a few of your friends, or even yourself—are taking it to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and treat other ailments like epilepsy, anxiety, PTSD, and more. There are brands available online, at dispensaries, and even coffee shops; some of which are made for pets.
So, now you are wondering: is CBD safe for children? If you are a parent, it may have crossed your mind that your child could benefit from CBD’s health properties, whether they are living with anxiety, chronic pain, or something else. CBD is generally regarded as safe, and it works for you, so it’s logical to extend this thought to your children.
However, it’s doubtful that your child will be keen on earthy-tasting oils, tinctures, or other edibles; and you certainly don’t want them vaping. Getting them to take other medications is hard enough, imagine trying to get them to eat something that “tastes like dirt, Mommy.” CBD gummies, however, like those from Verma Farms, are a delicious way to ingest CBD. If your child eats fruit-flavored multivitamins that taste like candy, then CBD gummies should be no problem.
We still must answer the original question, though—is it safe to begin with? The answer is: it’s unclear.
Lack of information
Truthfully, we do not know a great deal about CBD. While the WHO recognizes it as generally safe and what side effects researchers have noted are uncommon (such as diarrhea, vomiting, and weight changes), stigmatism against cannabis has made research difficult. Industrial hemp was legalized as recently as last year, so even though it contains low amounts of THC compared to marijuana, CBD was nevertheless classified as a Schedule 1 substance and therefore difficult to acquire clearance and funding to study.
Most research that exists has been conducted on animals, such as mice. Much evidence of CBD’s benefits for humans is anecdotal. Studies conducted on humans are few and far between, though CBD’s growing popularity and an increasingly curious view of cannabis will hopefully make research easier as more states legalize it.
A dangerous industry
The CBD industry is also unnervingly unregulated. The FDA does not keep a close watch on CBD products (though it has issued warnings to companies making unfounded health claims), so there is no organization establishing or enforcing any standards. It is up to each individual business to hold themselves accountable.
As such, there are many companies on the market that sell products with more or less CBD than they advertise, along with other potential ingredients. All CBD products made in the US must be derived from hemp, which is a bioaccumulator. This term means that hemp absorbs substances from its environment, including toxins like pesticides and heavy metals. These toxins can find their way into resulting products like oils and gummies.
Reputable companies do exist, of course—you just bear the responsibility of finding them when shopping for yourself, and especially for your children. Always look to see if a brand tests their products with third-party labs for purity and potency; any company that knows what it’s doing will post the results online for you to read. Also check for transparency about where its hemp comes from and what other ingredients are in its gummies (coconut oil is common, as well as dyes for color).
CBD and children
As of now, the FDA has only approved one brand of CBD product, called Epidiolex. As it happens, Epidiolex is used to treat two forms of pediatric epilepsy in children two years of age and older. Epidiolex came into being when CBD proved the most effective treatment for a girl named Charlotte Figi, who suffered from Dravet syndrome. Her seizures fell from 300 to one per week.
This instance seems to suggest that CBD is safe for children—though Charlotte’s situation was dire, and there is also very little information regarding how CBD interacts with other pharmaceutical drugs, which could prove dangerous.
So, can you buy CBD gummies for your children? Either hold off until more research is released, or discuss with your child’s doctor first. Broaden your search if your pediatrician is not knowledgeable about CBD. In this moment in time, we cannot definitively say, “No, CBD not safe for children.” It might be just as beneficial for them as it is for adults, for all we know. You and your children do, however, bear the risks of an under-researched substance, a potentially sordid marketplace, and a lack of information regarding how CBD affects developing brains.
CBD gummies are delicious and often effective ways of providing pain and anxiety relief. If you want your children to reap the same rewards, though, talk to their doctor first, or wait until we know more. What CBD gummies to you purchase for yourself?