CBD oil has taken the United States by storm over the last few years. With the legalization of it in some states, it’s been popping up in everything from beauty products to sleeping aids. It’s a big business and the industry is projected to reach a value of astounding $1.8 billion by the end of 2022.
What’s All the Fuss About?
Cannabidiol, the oil in question, is derived from the marijuana plant. It’s been proven effective in pain management and is especially useful in the treatment of psychiatric disorders related to anxiety. It has a calming effect on the mind and can assist in the treatment of insomnia.
Medical marijuana has also been extensively tested in the treatment of epilepsy and in pain relief for cancer sufferers. It’s interesting to note that the FDA has approved a cannabis-based medication, Epidiolex, for the treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy.
Why Are Parents Giving It to Their Kids?
CBD oil is a completely natural product with few side effects, even in larger doses. The World Health Organization considers it “generally safe.” Aside from its use in treating epilepsy, there are several studies of its effects in children.
That said, a study in Israel shows promising results in children with autism. The children in the study were given CBD oil and showed improvement in behavior and communication. They also showed reduced levels of anxiety.
Anecdotal evidence states that parents of children with ADHD have found that CBD oil is effective at helping to reduce hyperactivity.
Is It Safe?
As a child, I didn’t dare try smoking weed – I’d have been thrashed. Now we’re considering giving it to our kids? It’s important to make a distinction here. Marijuana consists of over a hundred active components. CBD is just one of these and it’s not psychoactive.
What that means is that it won’t leave you feeling stoned and it’s not addictive. The compound responsible for the buzz is THC. A high-quality hemp-derived CBD oil will contain no more than trace elements of THC. Certainly, nowhere near enough to make you high.
So, if you’re choosing a pure CBD product, you don’t have to worry about your kid getting high.
It’s Not All Black and White
The problem at the moment is that we can’t definitely state what the long-term effects of using CBD oil are. This is still a very new area and there have not been enough studies on the long-term effects.
To muddy the waters even more, there’s little regulation of the industry. Unless you choose a highly reputable supplier, who sends out their product for regular testing at an independent lab, you don’t really know what you’re getting.
What’s the Verdict?
At this stage, it’s too early to tell. If your child does suffer from a severe anxiety disorder, ADHD, autism, or severe pain, CBD might be a boon to them. If you consider the side-effects of pharmaceuticals used to treat these issues, the benefits could outweigh the risks.
Should you be using CBD as a prophylactic or immune booster? I’d say that at present, the jury is out. It’s best to use it as a last resort treatment option for an existing condition instead.