Connect with us

Mental health

Three quarters of parents would consider CBD for their child’s mental health, says poll

Three out of four parents would consider giving their child CBD to help with mental health symptoms such as anxiety and sleep.



How long does CBD take to work?
Three-quarters of parents were open-minded about CBD productas

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Three out of four parents would consider giving their child CBD when other medications didn’t work, according to data from the US.

Researchers from the University of Michigan have examined parental attitudes around using CBD products in children. 

Despite the majority of respondents never having considered giving their child a CBD product, three-quarters of parents were open-minded about the possibility, saying it may be a good option when other medications don’t work.

The nationally representative poll report was based on responses from 1,992 parents of those aged between three and 18 years, surveyed in October 2021.

Products containing CBD are often used to help adults manage symptoms such as chronic pain and anxiety, but so far its use is much more limited in children. 


According to the University of Michigan Health C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, parents’ most common reasons for giving or considering CBD for their child include anxiety (51 per cent), sleep problems (40 per cent), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), (33 per cent), muscle pain (20 per cent), autism (19 per cent), and to make their child feel better in general (13 per cent). 

While three quarters of parents felt CBD for children should require a doctor’s prescription, only 63 per cent rated the recommendation of their child’s doctor as a strong factor in deciding whether to give their child a CBD product. 

Of the seven per cent of parents who say they’ve given or considered giving CBD for their child, less than a third of them say they have spoken to their child’s health care provider about CBD use.

More data needed on CBD in children

 “There is very little data on how CBD may impact children’s developing brains and only certain types of situations when it’s considered for paediatric medical reasons. Still, CBD has become much more accessible and widely advertised, with some companies claiming benefits for kids,” said Mott Poll co-director Sarah Clark, M.P.H

“Our poll suggests most parents have very limited knowledge about CBD products. It’s important for parents to inform their paediatrician or other healthcare providers if they’re considering CBD use in kids so that they can discuss potential risks.”

Most parents cited side effects as the most important factor in deciding whether to give their child a CBD product. 

Other considerations included whether it was tested for safety in children (78 per cent), how well it works in children (72 per cent), recommendation of their child’s doctor (63 per cent), approval of the US Food and Drug Administration (58 per cent), and product reviews (41 per cent).

Most parents (71 per cent) have never used a CBD product themselves, while 24 per cent have tried CBD and five per cent use it regularly, according to the poll report.

In the UK only the CBD-based drug Epidyolex has been approved for use to treat seizures in children with Lennox-gestaut or Dravet syndrome.

Some studies have looked at CBD use in children with hyperactivity, anxiety, sleep problems and depression but research remains limited.

Side effects could include sleepiness, fatigue, and diarrhoea, and experts have raised concerns about CBD’s potential to interact with other medications and adversely impact the liver. But  the rate and severity of side effects remain unclear, particularly for children.

Clark cautioned: “Anecdotal stories of children benefiting from CBD may sound alluring but just because it’s a plant product doesn’t necessarily make it safe or effective in children. We need more evidence to understand CBD’s short- and long-term side effects in kids.”

Home » Health » Mental health » Three quarters of parents would consider CBD for their child’s mental health, says poll

Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister titles, Cannabis Wealth and Psychedelic Health. Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained. She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa. Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag


Cannabis Health is a journalist-led news site. Any views expressed by interviewees or commentators do not reflect our own. All content on this site is intended for educational purposes, please seek professional medical advice if you are concerned about any of the issues raised.

Copyright © 2023 PP Intelligence Ltd.