Throughout the years, cannabis has been surrounded in controversy. Supporters claim multiple benefits of usages; whereas, detractors are concerned about its effect on mental health, especially on how it can affect brain development in children.
This is where CBD oil comes in. A good quality CBD oil will have less than 2% THC, on average 0.3% THC – The psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis. CBD oil or Cannabidiol is a phyto-cannabinoid that was discovered in the 1940s, and can account up to 40% of the plant’s extract.
With the growing popularity of CBD oil, the debate has raged over the legalization of cannabis, its medicinal uses, and whether it is safe and effective for children and animals.
Let’s talk about CBD and hemp for the kids.
Hemp seed oil is produced by pressing the seeds of the hemp plant to make oil, and contains no cannabinoids. Hemp oil contains some CBD, although it goes through a different process by cold-pressing the components of the plant. CBD oil comes from the extraction of the flowers, leaves, and stalks from the cannabis plant.
It is generally considered that hemp seed oil has a higher nutritional value when it comes to protein, fibre and fatty acids. Therefore, makes a great addition to the diet. It also contains terpenes which carries their own benefits. Hemp seed oil can be purchased as a nutritional supplement from many health stores, and added to dressings, smoothies, cooking, or taken in tablet form.
Hemp oil or CBD oil is considered more of a medicinal product due to its high content of antioxidants, terpenes, and of course, the broad-spectrum cannabinoids. There are over 100 ‘known’ cannabinoids, with many of them being converted into their active form during growing and curing stage.
Both products have their benefits. And personally, I believe including both can be beneficial to adults as well as children.
However, in some countries, you can only get CBD oil via prescription. While in other countries the market is flooded with products that are not what they claim.
Is it safe for Children?
Research on cannabis is still in its infancy. Although cannabis has been around for years, due to the legal issues, obstacles make it more difficult to source and test cannabis products.
With more parents wanting to go the natural route, CBD oil is being used more often to ease symptoms for a range of issues. As of yet, parents and adults have not experienced many negative side effects as long as they stick to the dose recommended.
As with most medications, side effects can arise, from dry mouth to the occasional bouts of diarrhoea. These side effects tend to be reduced or avoided by staying on a low dose, and spreading the doses throughout the day.
Generally, it is recommended to start with 0.5mg of oil per pound of body weight of the child, taken three times throughout the day. For example, morning, around lunch, and perhaps closer to bedtime.
Full Spectrum or Isolate?
CBD oil generally comes in two forms – Full spectrum and isolate. Full spectrum oil contains all phytonutrients from the plant – cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, essential oils, and trace amounts of THC. Whereas, isolate is only purely Cannabidiol.
For parents that are concerned about any amount of THC, then it is recommended to only give isolate. However, there is more to THC than its psychoactive properties. THC mimics endogenous cells within the endocannabinoid system, unlocking and binding receptors to partially activate them.
Some people can even be deficient in these cells, theorizing this deficiency could lead to the development of medical conditions.
Technically, CBD oil requires ‘some’ THC to carry medicinal benefits. CBD oil still has a range of supplementary uses without the presence of THC; however, to be considered a truly medicinal product, small amounts of THC need to be present. And so far, the small amounts (2%) and under appear do not have negative side effects on brain development.
Taking this into consideration, some parents may still opt to stay with the isolate, which is considered a great supplement that can be administered under the tongue or applied topically.
When looking for CBD oil, ensure it has third-party testing, and go for a product that potency is lower, making it easier to administer the dose several times a day, instead of one lump amount which could result in unwanted side effects.
If nothing else, a hemp supplement provides a decent dose of Omega-3, a whole other discussion for another day… 😉
I would love to hear if you have tried Hemp seed or CBD oil for your child, why, and what your experience is.
What are the Benefits of CBD? Find out in the next episode.