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How Old Do You Have to Be to Use CBD?

One of the questions we hear all the time is, “how old do you have to be to use CBD?” And the answer is: it depends. On your doctor’s advice, on legality in your state, and on the form of CBD you choose to take. All of which we’ll review in today’s post!

Legally Buying CBD

When it comes to buying CBD, guidelines are pretty clear. While the legal age to purchase CBD changes between states, it’s generally between 18 and 21. (But you should always check with local authorities.)

When it comes to safely taking CBD, though, the answers are less clear. What if you want to give your child CBD? To help with sleep, anxiety or other issues that CBD may alleviate? Unfortunately, that’s when the matter becomes less clear. And it’s a good idea to get your pediatrician involved in the conversation.

Epilepsy and Cannabidiol: How Old Do You Have to Be to Use CBD for Epilepsy?

One of the clearest uses of CBD in kids is for treating epilepsy. The FDA has approved the CBD-based drug Epidiolix for treating two rare forms of childhood epilepsy: Dravet and Lennix-Gastaut syndrome. At first, the drug was approved for children ages two and up. But recently, the FDA changed those guidelines. Now, children one years old and up can take Epidiolex. [i]

Now, this medication is the only form of CBD with FDA approval. For that reason, we don’t have safety guidelines to tell us how old you have to be to use CBD safely. So, for that, we have to look at anecdotal evidence and ongoing research. And, of course, you should always ask your child’s doctor before trying any new supplement.

Ongoing Research on CBD for Kids

Because CBD is still a relatively new supplement, we don’t have lots of long-term data on its effects for children. Now, the World Health Organization considers CBD a generally safe substance. Meaning it doesn’t cause medical injuries, and isn’t addictive. But it isn’t clear that it’s safe for developing children to take CBD.

Still, experts believe that children living with certain conditions may benefit from taking CBD. Right now, studies are exploring how CBD can help children between the ages of 5 and 18 who are living with autism. [ii] Early results from this and other studies suggest that using CBD can help improve symptoms of autism. Particularly when it came to seizures, rage attacks and restlessness.

When it comes to anxiety, research is even more limited. Many adults take CBD to relieve anxiety. One study found that taking CBD helped relieve a 10-year-old’s anxiety and insomnia.[iii] But we obviously need more research to say it’s safe for kids this age to use CBD. This is also true for kids with ADHD and other seizure disorders, two areas of promising CBD research.

Working with an Expert: CBD Dosing for Kids

Clearly, experts believe that some children can gain medical benefits from taking CBD. That’s why research in this area grows daily. But what about kids who aren’t living with medical conditions? How old do you have to be to take CBD without any health concerns?

Again, there’s no clear answer. Even for adults, it’s best to talk to your doctor before taking CBD. That way, you can mention any other conditions, medications or supplements that you’re taking. Because some drugs interact with CBD, and your doctor can guide you on times and doses to help you take CBD safely.

Now, guess what? The same is true for CBD for kids. If you have concerns about your child’s wellbeing, and think CBD can help, that’s a great conversation to have with your pediatrician. In that talk, bring up your specific concerns. Then, explain why you think CBD can help your child feel better. Next, review all the other supplements and medications your child may be taking. Finally, you and your pediatrician can decide if, when and how much CBD your child can safely try.

Also, if you’re giving your child CBD, watch carefully for any reactions. Unusually large CBD can make you feel dizzy or nauseous. And, since children are small, and a relatively small dose could be too much. So, if you notice any of these symptoms after giving your child CBD, hold off on another dose until you’ve seen your doctor.

Can Kids Take CBD: Final Thoughts

Like every parenting issue, giving CBD to kids is complicated. So, if you want to safely answer, “how old do you have to be to take CBD?”, include medical experts in the conversation. Working as a team, you can help your child feel better. While making sure he or she doesn’t experience any unwanted side effects from taking CBD.

[i] [ii] [iii]

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