A new school, friend drama, sports pressure. There are countless things that can stress kids out. When coupled with schedules that are busier than ever, it’s no wonder that anxiety is on the rise in kids. As parents try to navigate their child’s moods and intense feelings, many have asked me about natural approaches to anxiety relief such as CBD. Does it work? Is it safe? Is it worth the hype? In short, yes, CBD can be effective for children, but here’s what parents should know before giving it a go.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, a chemical found in both hemp and cannabis plants. Cannabidiol is a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety. Hemp-based CBD contains zero to trace amounts of THC, and can be purchased without a medical cannabis card. CBD made from cannabis plants have higher amounts of THC and are available to patients who have their cannabis card.
CBD is most commonly known for targeting pain and anxiety, but may also be beneficial alongside traditional therapies for epilepsy, behavioral disorders, spasticity, autism and more. Parents who wish to incorporate CBD, or medical cannabis, should speak with their child’s doctor, and if necessary, get a second opinion from a physician who is experienced in using cannabis as medicine.
It’s best to incorporate CBD under the guidance of an experienced physician who can monitor your child’s progress. Not all medical professionals are educated on CBD’s role in symptom relief, or proper dosing. Innovative Wellness is a cannabis focused medical practice, so all of our providers have experience using CBD for adults and children. I even give CBD to my teenage son who has ADHD, which has allowed us to keep his prescription drugs at a low dose.
CBD can safely be used in children ages 6 and older, but again consult a physician who is familiar with using CBD for medical benefits, as it should be part of a larger, multi-dimensional, care plan.
The toughest, and arguably most frustrating, thing about CBD is the inconsistency between products. The lack of FDA regulation over CBD means that product quality can vary dramatically. This makes it difficult to compare products. As a patient, I was frustrated by the market, and as a doctor, patients were seeking my advice. This led me to team up with a grower and create my own CBD products, which I can confidently give to my son, and recommend to patients.
When comparing CBD products, look for those that are full spectrum, meaning they are made from whole-plant hemp. Reputable companies should also provide lab reports, allowing you to see exactly how much CBD is in a product, as well as any other ingredients.
CBD is not a cure-all, but it can be a great complement to other therapies. For children who are struggling with anxiety, talking with a school counselor, parent or medical professional should always be a first step, as that’s how they’ll build the tools and coping strategies necessary to manage their feelings. CBD can however be a good supplement to aid in anxiety relief, and with no associated side effects, parents can confidently give it a try.