4 Things to Consider Before You Give Your Kid CBD
CBD is not FDA Regulated
There’s No Guarantee You’re Getting a Safely-Made Product.
CBD’s use should be approached with caution, warns Dr. Zimmer. Like other supplements and herbal remedies, CBD is not FDA regulated. There’s no guarantee that what’s printed on the label is actually in the bottle.
Because there could be a chance that a CBD product contains an unknown concentration, THC or other contaminants like pesticides, you want to be very careful.
If you Give Your Child CBD, Please Monitor Them Closely
First, assess whether CBD is improving the condition you are trying to treat. A symptom log can be a helpful way to track whether the frequency or severity of symptoms is actually improving,” suggests Dr. Zimmer.
Second, be on the lookout for side effects. The safety profile for pure CBD is pretty good, but the studies on Epidiolex (the FDA-approved epilepsy medication) did show side effects including sedation, nausea, diarrhea and liver enzyme changes.
“As with any therapy, we always weigh the risks and benefits to decide if the treatment is the appropriate choice. Therefore, keeping your pediatrician involved in the process is important,” she says.
Marijuana Affects IQ, and we Don't Know if CBD Does, Too
CBD is still so new to the mainstream that we just don’t have enough data to know if CBD has any longterm effects on children.
“We don’t know if it impacts the developing brain,” says Dr. Zimmer. "Studies have shown that marijuana use has a negative impact on mood and IQ attainment in adolescents. We don’t have the data to say if that applies to CBD as well.”
Dr. Zimmer encourages parents to not treat their children like “tiny adults” when it comes to CBD. Just because you may take CBD and feel great, it doesn’t mean your kid will have the same experience.
CBD Isn't Your Only Hope
Often parents view CBD as their last ditch attempt to help their child. They've tried everything else and are at a loss.
"As a parent and a pediatrician, I completely empathize with parents who want to alleviate their child’s symptoms and help their child excel," says Dr. Zimmer.
She urges families hoping to avoid medication to explore behavioral interventions. Ask your pediatrician for information.
It's Dr. Zimmer's top priority to find safe, effective solutions for her patients. And when it comes to CBD's safety, “We just don’t know, yet. There just isn’t the data to support it."