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CBD Oil for Children - Is it Safe?

Published on 23rd April 2019

CBD Oil for Children - Is it Safe?

One of the most common questions we get asked at Spirit of Hemp is whether it is safe for children to take CBD oil. So, we thought we’d dedicate this blog post to what we know so far about the safety of CBD for children.

CBD, otherwise known as cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring compound in hemp. Over the last ten years, CBD has been getting increasing amounts of media attention due to a succession of high profile stories where children’s lives have been turned around after taking CBD oil. 

Many of these children had rare types of epilepsy that did not respond to conventional medication. Consequently they suffered sometimes hundreds of seizures a day, any of which could have proved fatal.

Children like Charlotte Figi in the United States, Katelyn Lambert in Australia, and Ava Barry in Ireland, were all given a new chance at life after their seizures were dramatically reduced by CBD oil. 

These dramatic results caught the attention of the pharmaceutical industry and who have since invested billions of pounds investigating the use of pure CBD for childhood epilepsy. Thanks to this research, we are now more informed about CBD’s safety record in children. So, here’s what we know. 

CBD is Considered Safe in Children

While most research has been carried out using a 99% purified version of CBD which is different to most full spectrum CBD oils on the market, the fact that it was found relatively free from side effects, should reassure any parent giving their child CBD oil for the first time.

Any side effects were relatively mild and included sleepiness, diarrhoea, and lack of appetite. One should also bear in mind that the CBD doses given to children during these trials (20mg per kilo of bodyweight) were far higher than those taken by children taking CBD oil as a nutritional supplement, which could explain the higher incidence of side effects. 

The World Health Organization has also recognised CBD’s good safety profile and lack of toxicity in a recent report

CBD Will Not Make Your Child Feel High

Many people confuse the effects of hemp with marijuana. Hemp only contains trace levels of THC, the compound responsible for the high sensation. Instead hemp is abundant in CBD, which does not interact with the same receptors in the brain and central nervous system, and is consequently not intoxicating. Quite the opposite in fact, CBD tends to bring about sensations of calm focus. 

If you would like to try a hemp product that’s totally THC free, we recommend our hemp flower tea; high in CBDA and full of hemp goodness.  

CBD May Interact With Certain Medications

Thanks again to the research carried out by GW Pharma into its purified CBD epilepsy drug, Epidiolex, scientists discovered that CBD can cause higher levels of certain prescribed medication to remain in blood plasma, in particular the epilepsy medication, Clobazam. This is because CBD inhibits the production of cytochrome P450 enzymes which break certain drugs down in the body. It is advisable then, if you are considering giving CBD oil to your child and they are already taking prescription medication, to inform you doctor. 

Less CBD Is Required With Whole Plant CBD Oil

In 2018, a team of Brazilian researchers compared studies of whole plant CBD oil and purified CBD for childhood epilepsy. They found a significantly smaller dose of whole plant CBD was necessary compared to isolated CBD.  Unfortunately, that does not mean we can tell you how much CBD oil to give your child as that would imply giving some kind of medical advice. But a general rule is to use the up-titration method, gradually working up from a sub-therapeutic dose until the desired effect is achieved. 

If you have any dosing questions, it is a good idea to speak to a doctor experienced in prescribing CBD to children. Right now in the UK, most GPs know very little about CBD. So until our NHS catches up, parents are still turning to places like the Kalapa Clinic in Barcelona who specialise in childhood epilepsy and cannabinoids.  

More Research Needs To Be Conducted

Right now, scientists around the world are investigating CBD’s potential therapeutic benefits for conditions affecting children such as autism, anxiety, and ADHD. In the same way that Epidiolex has been approved for certain types of childhood epilepsy, these will also have to go through the three stages of clinical trials before being considered safe and effective medications for children. 

In the meantime, many parents are turning to organic, full spectrum CBD oils such as Spirit of Hemp CBD oil as a safe and effective health supplement to take alongside their children’s prescription medication. Additional support is available to parents wishing to explore giving their child CBD oil or indeed getting a prescription via the NHS through the campaign group Families4access

Hopefully by now, you will feel more confident giving your child CBD oil as a health supplement. Feel free though to contact our customer service team if any questions remain and we’ll be delighted to share our knowledge.