OHIO — The popularity of CBD for help with health conditions is raising concerns as parents turn to it as a solution for their kids.

What You Need To Know

  • 1 in 3 adults use CBD products. and 14% of those 18 and under are using it, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

  • Research shows many people don't know full details about CBD and its effects when it's an unlicensed product

  • Dr. Justin Cole said over 30% of parents with kids who have Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD or anxiety have given their child an unlicensed CBD product

  • Experts aren’t sure what chronic exposure to CBD does to brain development

“We have noticed that parents are probably likely to give these products to their children, especially those that are struggling with behavioral health conditions. So in our research, over 30% of parents of children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD or anxiety have given their child a CBD product up to this point," said Dr. Justin Cole, associate professor of Pharmacy Practice at Cedarville University.

Cole said these have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He went on to say that many parents are looking for more natural products that will be the answer to the issue their child is dealing with. 

The problem with the unlicensed products is that physicians don’t know what’s actually in those products.

“A number of studies have been done showing that only 30 to 50% of these products on the market contain what's on the label. That means they may have a way more or way less and up to 20% of them had THC, which is the psychoactive compound form. So parents really don't know what they're giving your child," Cole said. As a result Cole indicated that there can be interactions of CBD with other medicines which can cause any number of side effects. 

Licensed or not, “the biggest thing is we do not know what chronic exposure to CBD does for the developing brain. We know kids' brains are developing significantly even into their 20s. And we don't know what the long-term impacts are, positively or negatively,” Cole said.

This is why he and others believe parents should be cautious about the use of unlicensed CBD products as a solution to their child’s health issues.