Making the case: cannabis oil for children

It’s hard to walk down the high street today without being bombarded by advertising for cannabis oil products. CBD is everywhere and everyone seems to be talking about it. But what does this trend mean when it comes to usage for children? Below, we explore the case for the use of cannabis oil for children.

Why parents might consider cannabis oil for children

CBD – actually known as cannabidiol – is extracted from a cannabis plant. It is one of the most popular chemical extracts as it isn’t psychoactive. That means parents can rest assured that their children won’t experience any type of “high” by using a CBD-based product. 

Generally, it’s believed that cannabis oil can be used to manage a variety of symptoms and issues including: 

  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Broken sleep
  • Pain management
  • Acne reduction 

Parents are likely to use cannabis oil for children in instances where traditional solutions and treatments don’t work. However, this is often through self-prescription.

What parents need to know before making a decision

According to Dr. Paul Mitrani, clinical director at Child Mind Institute “in regards to treating mental health disorders in children and adolescents, there’s a lack of evidence to support its use”. Typically, suggestions around what cannabis oil for children can and can’t do is largely anecdotal. 

When buying cannabis oil for children, particularly off-the-shelf, parents need to be aware that some products are unreliable in delivering the amount of CBD advertised. Without strict regulation in place, there is no guarantee on the quality and content of the product. 

Although CBD is thought of as being generally safe, parents also need to consider that it may conflict with other medication that their child is taking. With so little research available, too, it can be hard to determine the dosage that is acceptable for children.

What is the legality around cannabis oil for children?

Just like the benefits of cannabis oil for children, the legality surrounding its usage is also murky. Cannabis itself is still generally illegal in many parts of the world, but allowances have been made for the use of cannabis oil in genuine medical conditions. 

In America, the usefulness of cannabis oil has only been proven in two rare and severe forms of epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet symptoms. This has led to the approval of Epidiolex, the first FDA-approved drug containing cannabidiol. It can be used by children over the age of two.  A medical marijuana card is required for access and patients must meet a set of qualifying criteria. 


In the UK, cannabis is a Class B drug. Medical cannabis is only provided in the most severe cases and parents often have to provide a legal case before they are able to access the drug for their children. This was recently seen in the public battle for seven-year-old Alfie Dingley who suffered multiple epileptic seizures until he could access medical cannabis. Access is provided by a specialist medical practitioner.

Conclusion

Although parents can self-prescribe cannabis oil for children due to the availability of CBD products on the market, it’s not always the best idea. There is still little research into the impacts and uses of cannabis oil – and even less proof that unregulated products actually work. 

Whether or not the use of cannabis oil for children is appropriate should always be determined by a medical practitioner. This will help parents be assured that their child is being treated properly with medicine that has the right dosage, quality and content of cannabinoids. 

If you want to know more about the use cases of cannabis oil, follow The Leaf Desk for regular updates.