Are there any risks mixing CBD oil with other medications that parents should know about? Though CBD is generally considered a safe alternative medicine, especially in small doses, it may have unwanted interactions with other medications. CBD may alter the metabolism of compounds found in a variety of other medications by temporarily inhibiting the enzyme system cytochrome P450. If you’re concerned about other medications your child is taking that may interact negatively with CBD oil, consult with a cannabis specialist and your child’s pediatrician to assess the risk.
CBD modulates interactions that take place at cannabinoid receptors, which helps it elicit therapeutic effects. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Children should generally be given CBD oil orally, as opposed to adult-use methods such as vaporizing and combusting high-CBD cannabis flower. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Read CBD oil labels
When considering a CBD oil product for pediatric care, look out for signs of a reputable brand on product labeling and watch out for buzzwords with no scientific value or definition, such as “organic,” “pure,” or “natural.” In the United States, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t currently allow CBD oil labels to make claims of curing or treating diseases and conditions. All reputable CBD products have a certificate of analysis available from the manufacturer or company’s website.
Phytocannabinoids, or cannabinoids that derive from the cannabis plant, interact with our bodies through the endocannabinoid system (ECS), where they bind to cannabinoid receptors and are broken down by enzymes. CBD elicits therapeutic effects by modulating the interactions that take place at the cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are responsible for maintaining homeostasis, or the body’s means of maintaining a steady function of its vital systems. CBD is also known to interact with more than 60 other sites in the brain and body.
Though CBD and THC have been found to enhance the therapeutic effects of one another, it is illegal for anyone younger than 21 to consume THC for medical purposes, though this varies from state to state. Exceptions are made with a physician’s or authorized health professional’s recommendation and parental approval for children younger than 21.
When dosed properly, relatively safe consumption methods of CBD include tinctures, drops, and capsules. Children should generally be given CBD oil orally, as opposed to adult-use methods such as vaporizing and combusting high-CBD cannabis flower. Epidiolex is a cannabis-derived oral medicine with CBD as the active ingredient, approved by the FDA for use in treating epileptic seizures in patients ages 2 and older.
Though CBD — full name cannabidiol — is extracted from marijuana or hemp, it doesn’t contain THC, the chemical in marijuana that has psychoactive effects, so it doesn’t make you feel high.
The “preclinical” evidence (ie from animal studies) “conclusively demonstrates CBD’s efficacy in reducing anxiety behaviors relevant to multiple disorders,” Dr. Blessing wrote. Those include generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and OCD.
While anecdotal evidence of the benefits of CBD is common, there are risks associated with using these products, especially in children. Some of the concerns:
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