Can CBD ease anxiety in children?

Written by: Rahul Khare

Can CBD ease anxiety in children?


A new school, friend drama, sports pressure. There are countless things that can stress kids out. When coupled with schedules that are busier than ever, it’s no wonder that anxiety is on the rise in kids. As parents try to navigate their child’s moods and intense feelings, many have asked me about natural approaches to anxiety relief such as CBD. Does it work? Is it safe? Is it worth the hype? In short, yes, CBD can be effective for children, but here’s what parents should know before giving it a go. 

What is CBD? 
CBD stands for cannabidiol, a chemical found in both hemp and cannabis plants. Cannabidiol is a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety. Hemp-based CBD contains zero to trace amounts of THC, and can be purchased without a medical cannabis card. CBD made from cannabis plants have higher amounts of THC and are available to patients who have their cannabis card.

CBD may reduce symptoms associated with several medical conditions
CBD is most commonly known for targeting pain and anxiety, but may also be beneficial alongside traditional therapies for epilepsy, behavioral disorders, spasticity, autism and more. Parents who wish to incorporate CBD, or medical cannabis, should speak with their child’s doctor, and if necessary, get a second opinion from a physician who is experienced in using cannabis as medicine.

CBD can be safe and effective for children, but parents shouldn’t go it alone
Not all medical professionals are educated on CBD’s role in symptom relief, or proper dosing, so be sure to speak with someone who is knowledgeable and can guide you while monitoring your child’s progress. As a physician, I often recommend CBD and counsel parents who wish to incorporate it for their child’s health. I’m also a parent who uses CBD for my teenage son who has ADHD. 

What age must a child be in order to use CBD?
CBD can safely be used in children ages 6 and older, but again consult a physician who is familiar with using CBD for medical benefits, as it should be part of a larger, multi-dimensional, care plan. There are CBD tinctures specifically formulated for pediatric patients

CBD products are not created equal
The toughest, and arguably most frustrating, thing about CBD is the inconsistency between products. The lack of FDA regulation over CBD means that product quality can vary dramatically. This makes it difficult to compare products. As a patient, I was frustrated by the market, and as a doctor, patients were seeking my advice. This led me to team up with a grower and create my own CBD products, which I can confidently give to my son, and recommend to patients. 

What should you look for in a CBD product?
When comparing CBD products, look for those that are full spectrum, meaning they are made from whole-plant hemp. Reputable companies should also provide lab reports, allowing you to see exactly how much CBD is in a product, as well as any other ingredients. 

CBD is not a cure-all 
CBD is not a cure-all, but it can be a great complement to other therapies. For children who are struggling with anxiety, talking with a school counselor, parent or medical professional should always be a first step, as that’s how they’ll build the tools and coping strategies necessary to manage their feelings. CBD can, however, be a good supplement to aid in anxiety relief, and with no associated side effects, parents can confidently give it a try. 

Rahul Khare, MD, is the founder of Innovative Express Care, a primary/urgent care clinic, and Innovative Wellness, a cannabis-focused primary care clinic in Lincoln Park. Khare lives on the North Side of Chicago with his wife and three children, and is a proud member of the NPN community. Prior to opening his own medical practice, Khare spent ten years at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Innovative Wellness offers a line of CBD products, including a pediatric CBD tincture, and counsels patients on how to incorporate cannabis as medicine for symptom relief. Contact us at 773-420-4453, or visit us online

Posted on October 02, 2019 at 1:39 PM