With so many people using CBD to manage their health conditions these days, it’s only natural that people are wondering if it’s safe to give to their children too.
Always speak with your child’s doctor before administering CBD — especially if they’re using any other medications or have underlying health issues.
With that aside, let’s explore how people are using CBD with their children.
Is It Safe for a Child to Take CBD Gummies?
As long as the CBD product you’re using contains less than 0.3% THC, it’s legal under federal law and won’t produce any intoxicating effects — even in children.
Some types of CBD products, such as alcohol-based tinctures, concentrates, capsules, and vapes, are not suitable for children to use.
Best CBD Gummies For Kids (Top Brand Reviews of 2021)
Why Parents Are Using CBD Gummies With Their Children
CBD has many health benefits. While more research is needed in this area, there’s an increasing number of studies that support the use of CBD for a variety of health conditions often experienced by adults and children alike.
CBD is used to alleviate symptoms of various conditions that affect children as well as adults, including:
- Chronic pain
- Autoimmune conditions
Is It Legal to Give CBD to Children?
Although restrictions vary according to state law in the US, federal law stipulates that any CBD product with a THC content of over 0.3% is illegal (this also applies to many other parts of the world).
CBD derived from industrial hemp will never contain more than 0.3% THC, so it’s completely legal to buy, possess, and use. It’s technically legal to give it to children, but there are some blurred lines here. You should only give your children CBD if they’ve received direct approval from their pediatrician.
CBD derived from marijuana — which is legal for both medical and recreational use in some US states — could contain much higher THC levels and is illegal under federal law. It’s also illegal to give to children — even in states where marijuana is legal. The only exceptions here are very rare cases in which a doctor may recommend marijuana for children with rare forms of epilepsy .
Will CBD Gummies Make Children High?
CBD does have some cognitive effects — such as feelings of relaxation and sedation. It can even be used to treat anxiety-related disorders directly. However, while THC binds directly to the brain’s endocannabinoid receptors, CBD does not, so the result is entirely different from the feeling of being “high.”
Always double-check the THC content on the CBD oil you plan to use with your child to make sure it’s within the legal limit (0.3% or less). If you’re unsure, make sure to ask someone from the company to confirm. This step is essential.
What Are the Best CBD Products for Children?
CBD Gummies for Children
Gummies make it easy to provide precise and consistent doses of CBD in a format they’re unlikely to turn their nose up at. Most people buy gummies that contain a total of 5 mg or 10 mg of CBD, then cut them into smaller pieces if necessary.
Ensure that doses are supervised and the gummies are stored away in a safe, out-of-reach place (although that goes for all supplements and medicines too).
However, there are other ways of consuming CBD to consider as well:
CBD Oils For Children
CBD oils — the most common form of CBD — are also good to give to children, as they can be easily mixed with juice or a smoothie to disguise the flavor (which can be quite bitter-tasting and “herby”).
It’s best to choose a CBD oil at the lower end of the potency range (for example, 500 mg or less). It will come in an easy-to-use bottle with a dropper top, which means you can easily measure specific doses depending on your child’s weight.
CBD Topicals For Children
This is by far the best option for any skin-related ailment, as well as sore muscles and joints. As the CBD reacts with the endocannabinoid receptors in the skin and only trace amounts end up entering the bloodstream, you don’t need to worry as much about specific doses.
This means that topicals are generally the safest way of giving CBD to children, but it’s still important to test any new skin product on a small area of the body first in case of any allergic reactions.
Lastly, companies now sell an array of creams, lotions, and salves containing CBD mixed with other beneficial ingredients, such as essential oils.
CBD Syrups For Children
Although they’re not as common as some of the other forms of CBD, syrups provide another good way to give CBD to children. They make it easy to disguise the flavor of CBD and mix it with sweet smoothies or drinks.
The downside of CBD syrup is the high sugar content — so use these products sparingly.
CBD Suppositories For Children
These are only necessary for a few conditions, such as managing inflammatory pain in the digestive tract or if CBD can’t be consumed orally. These products deliver the CBD directly to the lower digestive tract, making them ideal for recovering after hookworms or inflammatory bowel disease.
Using CBD this way is bound to be a fairly unpleasant experience for a child, so it’s best to only use suppositories when specifically recommended by your healthcare provider.
What CBD Products Should Not Be Given to Children?
Some forms of CBD should not be given to children:
1. Alcohol-based Tinctures (Avoid)
Most CBD tinctures are alcohol-based, so they’re not appropriate for children.
Bear in mind that some CBD companies label their oils as tinctures, so it’s worth double-checking the ingredients list to confirm. Any products that are made with alcohol should not be used with children.
2. Concentrates (Avoid)
Concentrated CBD is extremely potent. This makes it inappropriate for use with children (unless under medical supervision).
Even small amounts of CBD concentrate will likely be too strong for your child, so we recommend you avoid them altogether.
3. Capsules (Avoid)
Although CBD capsules are popular for adults, they’re not recommended for children – especially those under the age of 8. This goes for most types of pills and capsules. They’re too big for a small child’s airway and can be dangerous and uncomfortable for children to use.
Gummies are a much better option because they can be chewed into smaller pieces before they’re swallowed.
4. Vape Pens (Avoid)
It should go without saying, but children shouldn’t be vaping anything at any time. Vape pens are great, but they’re for adult use only. It’s never appropriate to administer CBD via vaporizer with children.
What’s The Ideal Dosage of CBD Gummies For Children?
Even though CBD has been proven safe and doesn’t bring the risk of overdose or other serious consequences — it’s important to use an appropriate dose.
A child’s dose should be much lower than that of an adult — generally around 2.5 mg to 10 mg. For epilepsy, the dose may be significantly higher [2,3], but always follow the guidance of their pediatrician before giving CBD to your child for epilepsy.
Of course, this depends on the child’s age and weight, as well as the severity of their symptoms. It’s generally recommended that you start at the lower end of the spectrum and increase the dose slightly every day until the desired effects are achieved.
However, if you want to calculate a more specific starting dose for your child, you can use the method below.
Step 1: Determine the Adult Dose
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to dosing, even in adults. There are many variables that can affect the ideal dose — including the size and weight of your child, their individual sensitivity to CBD, and the severity of their symptoms.
With that said, the generally recommended dose ranges from 5 to 40 mg of CBD for adults.
A good starting baseline is 20 mg of CBD. This is typical for the average adult.
Step 2: Calculate the Equivalent Dose for Your Child
There’s a number of formulas that can be used to calculate your child’s dose using their age or weight. We’ve picked what we consider to be the best three depending on your child’s weight:
Salisbury’s Rule #1 (for children under 30 kg)
[weight in kg x 2] = percentage of adult dose to give the child
Salisbury’s Rule #2 (for children over 30 kg)
[weight + 30] = percentage of adult dose to give the child
Step 3: Determine the Dose for the Specific Product You’ve Chosen
For example, if you have a 5 mg gummy and need to give 2.5 mg doses, just cut it in half.
When it comes to dosing CBD oils, it’s a little more complicated, but once you see how it works, it’s very easy to do.
Firstly, you need to work out how much CBD is in every mL of oil, as this varies significantly. For example, a 30 mL bottle of 1000 mg of CBD is going to have a lot more CBD per mL than a 30 mL bottle of 300 mg of CBD (33 mg/mL vs. 10 mg/mL, to be exact).
Once you know the potency of the oil you’re using, you can count the mL to get the exact dose.
Final Thoughts: Is CBD Gummies Safe to Give to Kids?
Children benefit from using CBD in all the same ways as adults — and it’s perfectly safe for them to do so, as long as it’s a controlled dose given under adult supervision.
It’s important to bear in mind that children will usually need a much lower dose than adults, so make sure you start low and build up slowly until you start to see signs of improvement.
If they take CBD supplements for a long period of time, you may have to recalculate every few months. Children grow quickly!
Gummies are usually the best form of CBD to give to children. They’re easy to use, most kids accept them happily, and they’re easy to cut into smaller pieces to deliver accurate doses of CBD with every piece.
If you’re looking for a quick recommendation for what to use — we recommend you check out the Gold Bee CBD gummies. They have an excellent flavor; they’re made from a gluten-free, vegan-friendly gummy base; and deliver consistent doses of either 10 mg or 20 mg of CBD per piece.
References Cited In This Article
- Crippa, J. A., Crippa, A., Hallak, J. E., Martín-Santos, R., & Zuardi, A. W. (2016). Δ9-THC intoxication by cannabidiol-enriched cannabis extract in two children with refractory epilepsy: full remission after switching to purified cannabidiol. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 7, 359.
- Porter, B. E., & Jacobson, C. (2013). Report of a parent survey of cannabidiol-enriched cannabis use in pediatric treatment-resistant epilepsy. Epilepsy & Behavior, 29(3), 574-577.
- McCoy, B., Wang, L., Zak, M., Al‐Mehmadi, S., Kabir, N., Alhadid, K., … & Snead III, O. C. (2018). A prospective open‐label trial of a CBD/THC cannabis oil in dravet syndrome. Annals of clinical and translational neurology, 5(9), 1077-1088.