“Definitely works for focus and calming, kids also seem to be sleeping better.”
Anxiety can present in a number of different ways in children from bedwetting and tantrums to speech regression. Whether a result of post-traumatic stress, big life changes or even illness, children with anxiety are often treated with a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy and prescription medication. While selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may be effective at reducing anxiety, like other allopathic medications they carry a risk of unpleasant side-effects. CBD, however, is proving to be a promising natural alternative that delivers a potent anti-anxiety effect along with a myriad other health benefits.
While it may present differently, anxiety has the same far-reaching effects on children’s lives and overall wellbeing as it does for adults – think poor sleep, difficulty concentrating and depression. With its calming effect, CBD not only alleviates feelings of panic and anxiety, but also aids sleep, boosts mood and energy levels, and improves mental focus.
The secret to CBD’s effectiveness is the way in which it interacts with the endocannabinoid system, which helps to regulate various functions in the body. Shown to improve the functioning of this system, CBD helps to create balance in the body and promote overall wellbeing.
A popular anti-anxiety, CBD interacts with particular receptors in the brain to boost production of some of the body’s natural cannabinoids, namely anandamide. By indirectly effecting the CB1 receptors, CBD helps to prevent the breakdown of anandamide, which is linked to mood. The higher the levels of anandamide in your system, the happier you feel. Equally important for those battling with anxiety is CBD’s effect on serotonin levels. CBD has been shown to act on these receptors to increase the natural production of this feel-good chemical, which has a positive impact on mood and energy levels.
While research into CBD as a therapeutic treatment is limited, one study of a 10-year-old girl suffering from PTSD as a result of sexual abuse found that unlike allopathic medications which delivered no real benefits and a number of side-effects, CBD was effective in reducing the child’s anxiety. Another feasibility study of a group of 60 children on the autism spectrum found that CBD helped to reduce their anxiety levels, among other things.
More clinical trials are needed to further investigate the benefits of CBD, particularly for children, but the existing studies paint a positive picture. And for parents who may be concerned about their children getting ‘high’ from cannabidiol, rest assured CBD is non-psychoactive and considered safe to use regularly. But, finding the right dosage is key to it being an effective treatment – start on a lower dose and adjust it accordingly.