Sanctuary Wellness Institute
Close this search box.

CBD for Kids: What Parents Need to Know

CBD for Kids
Table of Contents

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the active compounds (cannabinoids) that can be extracted from cannabis plants like hemp and marijuana. It’s commercially available in different forms, such as chewable gummies, transdermal patches, oils, and capsules.

Clinical trials have established CBD as a well-known treatment for multiple health problems, including disorders that occur in children. These include epilepsy (e.g., Dravet syndrome), anxiety, and autism. But can CBD get you high?

There are two prominent cannabinoids in cannabis plants: CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD isn’t psychoactive, meaning it can’t get you high, but THC does. That’s why CBD is medically approved for children.

However, some CBD products may contain THC, especially if the CBD used is derived from marijuana plants. To help kids avoid THC and its psychoactive effects, choose CBD isolate (THC-free) over full-spectrum CBD.

If you think CBD is suitable for your kids, you’re in the right place. This post discusses what parents need to know about CBD for kids. Read on to learn more.

CBD Dosing Guidelines for Kids

How much CBD should your kids take? The correct CBD dose for kids typically depends on the child’s weight. Below are the general guidelines doctors often use when prescribing CBD to children.

  • For kids weighing 30 lbs, the starting dose is 1-2.5 mg; the high dose is 7.5 mg.
  • For kids weighing 40 lbs, the starting dose is 2.5-3.5 mg; the high dose is 10 mg.
  • For kids weighing 50 lbs, the starting dose is 2.5-5 mg; the high dose is 15 mg.
  • For kids weighing 75 lbs, the starting dose is 5-7.5 mg; the high dose is 20 mg.
  • For kids weighing 100 lbs, the starting dose is 5-10 mg; the high dose is 30 mg.
  • For kids weighing 125 lbs and above, the starting dose is 5-10 mg; the high dose is 30-40 mg.

Furthermore, never use these guidelines as a treatment recommendation. Ask your doctor about the correct CBD dose for your kids. After all, medications made from CBD can’t be purchased over the counter. They require a prescription from a licensed doctor.Types of CBD

Types of CBD

As mentioned earlier, CBD is available in many forms. This can make it difficult to determine and control the amount of CBD given to a child. Some of the various forms of child CBD products include tinctures, oils, topicals/lotions, edibles, dietary supplements, and vaping items.

The most common forms of CBD for children are as follows:


CBD oil comes in a wide range of potencies. Often, it’s administered under the tongue and can be bought in capsules.

In addition, CBD oil has an earthy taste and unpleasant aftertaste kids may hate. If your child dislikes the taste of regular CBD oil, you can try its flavored variants. However, make sure to understand the possible risks of CBD oil to your child’s health before anything else.

CBD-Infused Gummies

CBD gummies are more appealing to kids than CBD oil. That’s because they taste and smell like sweet candy. This helps mask the natural, unpleasant taste and aftertaste of CBD.

Since CBD gummies taste like candy, make sure to store them in areas kids can’t reach to prevent overdose and unsupervised use.

Transdermal CBD Patches

Transdermal CBD patches are recommended for kids who dislike the unpleasant taste of CBD oil. They’re also ideal for sugar-sensitive kids.

Furthermore, CBD patches administer a consistent CBD level over time, unlike other CBD oil and gummies.

Side Effects Of CBD for Kids

Like any other medicine, CBD can cause a few side effects, including:

  • Sleepiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Restlessness
  • Seizures, especially in toddlers
  • Liver damage
  • Drowsiness
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Overdosage

Call your pediatrician immediately to adjust the dosage or replace the medication if any of these side effects persist for three or more days.

What Conditions Can CBD Treat?

CBD can help alleviate several conditions common to children, such as epilepsy, anxiety, and autism. However, only one condition is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); that’s epilepsy.


Children with epilepsy can take CBD to control seizures and relieve other symptoms. CBD can also help treat kids suffering from Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome—two rare epilepsy conditions.

According to research, Epidiolex (an oral CBD drug) was proven effective in relieving seizures of 516 patients with either Lennox-Gastaut or Dravet syndrome. Other related studies also provided similar results.

Store-bought CBD products may offer the same relief Epidiolex provides. However, they may also carry some health risks associated with Epidiolex. These include the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Infections
  • Loss of appetite
  • Rashes
  • Increased liver enzymes
  • Sleepiness and drowsiness
  • Weakened body
  • Sleep problems, such as poor sleep quality and insomnia

Severe health risks are also possible but less likely to occur. These include the following:

  • Mental health issues, such as depression, panic attacks, suicidal thoughts, and frequent mood swings
  • Agitation
  • Liver injuries

If these serious complications occur, call your child’s pediatrician immediately to prevent them from worsening.


Some studies found that 300-600 mg of CBD may help reduce anxiety symptoms, although there haven’t been enough tests and research done among children.

Preclinical evidence states that CBD may help treat a range of anxiety disorders. These include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and social anxiety disorder.

One study stated that the use of CBD improved the anxiety symptoms and insomnia of a 10-year-old child with PTSD. However, more research is necessary to conclude the effectiveness of CBD in treating children’s anxiety.


A study found that medical CBD was able to improve the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder in children aged 5-18 years old after one month. These include rage attacks, restlessness, and seizures. For most participants, autism symptoms continued to be alleviated for six months.

However, they also reported a series of side effects, including acid reflux, sleepiness, and lack of appetite. Also, the participants continued to take other medications, such as sedatives and antipsychotics.

Nonetheless, the experts suggested that their study must be dealt with caution because there was no control group when it was conducted. Furthermore, more studies might be necessary to conclude whether CBD is effective and safe for children on the autism spectrum.


CBD is a highly-recognized medication known to alleviate a range of medical conditions, including some that afflict children. These include epilepsy, anxiety, chronic pain, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism. However, more studies are necessary to determine how safe and effective CBD is for children with these conditions.

If you’re a parent or caregiver and want to give CBD to a child, be sure to consult a pediatric professional first to determine the right dose and type of CBD to administer. Though the benefits of CBD are well-known, it’s important to consult a healthcare provider so as to also consider the substance’s long-term effects and whether it’s the best treatment option for your child.

How we reviewed this article: