can teens use cbd

In 2015 a group of researchers led by Esther Blessing, PhD, of New York University, investigated the potential of CBD for treating anxiety. In a review of 49 studies, they found promising results and the need for more study.

Because CBD is so new, there also aren’t a lot of rules about what can and cannot be included in CBD products. So, there’s a huge variety in the quality of products. You may even find different amounts of CBD in different packages of the same product.

Dr. Mitrani, who is a pediatrician and child and adolescent psychiatrist, says it’s an area worthy of investigation but recommends that parents wait until further research is done before giving a child CBD.

CBD oil for anxiety

The report found no indication of potential abuse or dependence. “To date there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

“The biggest problem is there’s a lot that we still need to know, especially in kids,” says Paul Mitrani, MD, a clinical psychiatrist at the Child Mind Institute. “In regards to treating mental health disorders in children and adolescents, there’s a lack of evidence to support its use.”

Last year the World Health Organization, acknowledging the explosion in “unsanctioned” medical uses of CBD, reviewed the evidence for its safety and effectiveness. The WHO report concluded that “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.” Any adverse effects could be a result of interactions between CBD and a patient’s existing medications, the WHO noted.

What do we know about CBD?

“Overall, current evidence indicates CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders,” Dr. Blessing concludes, “with need for further study of chronic and therapeutic effects in relevant clinical populations.”

In the US, research has been given a boost by changing guidelines and laws. In 2015 the DEA eased some of the regulatory requirements that have made CBD, as a Schedule 1 substance, difficult to study. “Because CBD contains less than 1 percent THC and has shown some potential medicinal value, there is great interest in studying it for medical applications,” the DEA said in announcing the change.

Can teens use cbd

Cannabis has been used medicinally for thousands of years, Miller said, but much more is known about its main component, THC, than about CBD.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of hundreds of chemicals found in marijuana. It differs from THC, the source of the famous marijuana “high.” CBD is present in marijuana but is more abundant in hemp—cannabis plants that have little THC.

Since all of those in the study were seen in an emergency department, their CBD experiences might not be reflective of young people in general, Cumbo said.

It’s not clear why so many young people believed in CBD’s curative powers—whether it’s the marketing, word of mouth, or ubiquity of the product, Cumbo added.

“It’s difficult to pinpoint why,” Cumbo said. “Did the CBD cause anxiety? Or were kids using CBD to treat anxiety, since that’s one of the things it’s marketed for.”

Cumbo presented the findings at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics, held online Friday. Studies presented at meetings are generally considered preliminary.

Now, with the explosion in CBD products, scientists are rushing to study the cannabis chemical. But at this point, CBD is approved in the United States for only one indication: certain rare forms of epilepsy. That product—called Epidiolex—is a purified, pharmaceutical-grade CBD, and not the oil people can get at a corner market.

“I’m not saying there’s no benefit,” he stressed. There is, however, no consensus yet on what the benefits might be, Miller said.

Can teens use cbd

There are also hints CBD might work for some autistic kids. Dr. Gal Meiri, M.D., clinical director of the National Autism Research Center of Israel at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, has studied CBD oils and autism. In a study that Meiri co-authored in 2019, 155 autistic kids aged 18 years and younger tried CBD oil for at least six months. More than 80 percent of the parents reported significant or moderate improvement in their kids. “Some of the parents reported benefits not just with seizures but also behaviors, like self-harm,” he noted.

Similarly, many parents are trying CBD products for children with A.D.H.D., for which there are no reported controlled trials with kids. One small trial on 30 adults with a mouth spray containing both CBD and THC had inconclusive results.

Hints of help

It’s impossible to overdose on pure CBD, but synthetic knock-offs can be poisonous. In 2019, the American Association of Poison Control Centers put out an alert noting “growing concern” about CBD products, with national calls about CBD rocketing from just over 100 in 2017 to more than 1,500 last year.

The way that CBD acts on the brain makes it a good candidate for controlling seizures caused by other conditions too. The Epilepsy Foundation said that early evidence from animal studies, anecdotal reports and small clinical trials suggest that CBD could potentially help with seizures. Dozens of trials are underway to test if, why and how CBD might work for kids and adults suffering from seizures of various kinds.

No silver bullets

“I had a patient start taking CBD and I only found out a month in,” said Mitchell. “Parents may assume that a doctor will respond in a negative way.” It’s a doctor’s responsibility, he said, to be open to discussing options. “If you shut a patient down, it doesn’t mean you won the argument, it means they’re not going to talk about it.”