Most parents in the United States are still in the dark when it comes to the potential benefits of hemp-based cannabidiol products on children. But, according to a new survey from the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, nearly two-thirds of parents are open to learning more, and see CBD as a potentially viable option for their kids when other medications don’t work.
The survey, released Monday, polled 1,992 randomly selected adults who were parents of at least one child aged 1-18 years living in their household. Just under half of surveyed parents said they didn’t know much about CBD use in children, and a third had never heard of it prior to the University of Michigan poll.
Ironically, despite the large number of parents who were unfamiliar with CBD use in kids, nearly three-quarters of respondents still believed CBD may be a good option for children when other medications didn’t work. About the same percent believed CBD for kids should require a prescription from a doctor.
Just over 83 percent of surveyed parents believed CBD products should be regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and one-third believed that giving a child CBD was the same as giving them THC-rich marijuana.
“Even though CBD products are widely available, parents have limited knowledge about them,” wrote survey co-directors Sarah J. Clark and Dr. Gary L. Freed. “However, most parents appear to be open-minded.”
The researchers noted that surveyed parents were occasionally inconsistent in their opinions of the popular cannabinoid, which is known for assuaging symptoms of depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, epilepsy and physical pain.
While more than eight in 10 parents wanted the FDA to regulate CBD products, only about half said FDA approval was an important factor in their decision to use CBD for their child. Only one CBD product — an oral solution to treat seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy — has so far received FDA approval for use in children.
Among parents who have given or considered giving CBD for their child, less than one-third say they discussed the cannabinoid with their child’s healthcare provider beforehand. Parents’ most common reasons for giving CBD to their children were anxiety (51 percent), insomnia (40 percent), ADHD (33 percent), muscle pain (20 percent), autism (19 percent) and general wellness (13 percent).