For parents, ensuring their children’s safety hold the safety of their children paramount. A large part of this means ensuring their kids aren’t exposed to potentially harmful substances. But what should a parent do if they find CBD oil in their child’s bedroom? Is CBD safe for young children?
Difference Between CBD And THC
Parents unfamiliar with cannabis that discover their child using CBD may be quick to assume their son or daughter is simply using the substance as a way to get high. However, you can rest assured that’s not the case. Nobody would use CBD as a recreational drug for one very simple reason: consuming it doesn’t produce any intoxicating effects. You may be thinking, doesn’t CBD come from marijuana, though? Well, not exactly.
It’s true that CBD comes from the cannabis plant but typically from hemp and not marijuana. The difference between the two plant varieties comes down to the presence of a very different cannabinoid from CBD called THC.
Both CBD and THC belong to a class of compounds known as cannabinoids—meaning they’re both present in cannabis, and both affect the body by interacting with a system of neurotransmitters called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). However, the two compounds have radically different effects.
THC binds directly to the endocannabinoid receptors located throughout the central nervous system and brain, resulting in major changes to the bodily functions governed by the ECS. Essentially, it gets you high. THC is the main active ingredient in recreational marijuana and is solely responsible for the intoxicating feeling associated with being stoned.
On the other hand, CBD doesn’t form direct bonds to these endocannabinoid receptors and instead slightly alters the way the receptors respond to the neurotransmitters your body naturally produces. This can have an effect on things like mood, appetite, and sleep patterns, but it won’t leave consumers feeling high or intoxicated. So if you’re child is using 0 THC CBD capsules, for example, there’s no way they are doing it to catch a buzz.
However, just because a product contains CBD doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t contain THC. A tincture with 1:1 CBD THC ratio, for example, would include equal parts of both cannabinoids.
Why Would A Child Use CBD?
So if CBD doesn’t get you high, why would a child be using it in the first place? The answer: likely for the same reason adults do.
While the Food and Drug Administration is still tenuous about approving CBD products for therapeutic or medicinal use, the wellness and alternative medicine communities have fully embraced the compound. Preliminary research suggests that CBD may be an effective treatment for various types of pain and inflammation. However, children and young adults likely won’t be dealing with these kinds of issues. It’s more probable that those in this age bracket would use CBD as an anxiety/stress reducer, as a skincare product, or potentially as a migraine preventative.
Acne and breakouts, which are the bane of many a teenager’s existence, can be caused by an excess of a natural oily body secretion called sebum. Many beauty experts and scientists believe that CBD may help reduce sebum production.
Anecdotally, CBD users often find the compound relaxing. A dropper in the evenings can be a great way to unwind after a stressful day. Studies suggest that the cannabinoid could even be useful in treating anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. If you discover your son or daughter using CBD, they may be attempting to self-treat stress and anxiety.
Maintaining An Open Dialogue
Upon learning that your child uses CBD without your knowledge, the most important thing a parent can do is to remain calm. While there’s little in the way of clinical studies investigating the long-term effects of CBD use on minors, the compound is non-toxic, and there’s no way to overdose on it. Getting angry will likely only push the child farther away.
A better approach would be to have an open conversation regarding why they decided they needed CBD in the first place. They may be ashamed about feeling stress from their school work or extracurricular activities, and creating a safe place to discuss this anxiety will only benefit the both of you. After talking about their reasons for seeking out CBD, you may consider the both of you consulting with a family physician to discuss creating a monitored CBD regimen or discussing other potential treatment options.