Your Child and CBD: What You Need to Know

Parents happy with decision to give CBD to child

More parents are turning to CBD to help their kids concentrate, sleep, calm down, and ease any pain.

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a substance extracted from hemp. When dosed appropriately, relatively safe consumption methods include CBD oil tinctures, softgels, and gummies.

For the pediatric intake of CBD, the RoC recommends weight-based dosing (determined by how much the child weighs). The dose is measured in milligrams of CBD, per pound of bodyweight, per day.

  • Pediatrics who are ‘medically-sensitive’: Begin at 0.25mg/lb/day
  • Pediatrics who are not ‘medically-sensitive’: Begin at 0.5mg/lb/day

Different from medical marijuana, CBD is legal under federal law and does not require a doctor’s prescription. 

“CBD has become a very popular over-the-counter type of treatment that parents get on their own and give their children, and some say they see a big improvement,” states Doris Trauner, M.D., distinguished professor of neurosciences and pediatrics at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and a physician at San Diego’s Rady Children’s Hospital.

Is CBD Safe?

Understanding a child’s emerging development is an essential part of the controversial topic: your child and CBD. From the very start, breastmilk fluid carries substances that are critical to the optimal development of many systems in the body.

Interestingly, endocannabinoids (like CBD) are naturally present in breastmilk and are vital for an infant’s overall development. The endogenous cannabinoids and their cannabinoid receptors have significant influence during pre- and post-natal development.

Several studies have connected CBD and the effective treatment of childhood epilepsy, behavioral conditions, and perinatal brain injury in children. The research has shown that CBD is safe and has a better side-effect profile than other drugs to treat specific medical conditions.

Cannabis expert Frank Lucido, M.D., of Berkeley, California, says, “if it’s legally purchased from a dispensary with a doctor’s recommendation, CBD oil can be highly effective in treating seizures, autism, ADHD, depression, and anxiety in children.”

CBD for Seizures

Epidiolex is a cannabis-derived medication with CBD as the active ingredient. On June 25, 2018, the FDA recently approved the use of Epidiolex to treat seizures for individuals two years of age and older with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS).

CBD for Autism

When discussing CBD oil to help ease aggression in their children caused by autism, the anecdotal evidence has been overwhelmingly positive. The unique, multidisciplinary study in San Diego will further help individuals discover if and how cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant, produces therapeutic benefits to children with symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). 

“The most exciting part of this novel study is that the findings could have tremendous implications for not just children with autism, but children with other types of neurodevelopmental disabilities,” states Doris Trauner, MD, Distinguished Professor of Neurosciences and Pediatrics at UC San Diego School of Medicine and an attending pediatric neurologist at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego with special expertise in neurodevelopmental disabilities.


There has been a recent upsurge in the number of researchers examining the impact CBD may have on ADHD. In 2011, a study published in the Nature Publishing Group indicated that CBD could help reduce anxiety. This could be an advantage for those who grapple with ADHD induced anxiety.

CBD is easy to personalize as it may be taken in numerous forms, derived from different strains, and is available in several diverse concentrations.

If you’re a parent examining CBD as a therapy method for your child, consult a cannabis specialist in addition to your pediatrician to further help you make a more educated decision.