CBD oil is a hot topic in the medical world but is somewhat controversial. We know through research that CBD produces very positive effects and can be safely used to treat diseases in children. Others are worried that CBD is a gateway drug. Where does the truth lie? As always, it seems to be somewhere in the middle.
Is Cannabis a Gateway Drug?
The concept of the gateway drug has been heavily debated over the years. Marijuana and other cannabis products are the most common topics of this discussion.
According to the gateway drug theory, these substances make drug use more acceptable for a person and inspire them to experiment with other drugs, which could create severe addictions due to their initial cannabis use. In this perspective, marijuana is a gateway to heroin and other drugs.
For example, one study found that nearly 45 percent of people who used cannabis over their lifetimes had experimented with or progressed to other types of more severe drugs. Though this may be less than half of the people who use marijuana, the number is significantly high – as stated by the study’s author – to conclude that cannabis might be a gateway drug.
Beyond increased acceptance of experimentation, the THC in cannabis may also make the mind more prone to substance abuse. Studies have found that those who use THC or other types of less-addictive drugs create an addictive behavior pattern that may lead to substance abuse. However, CBD is not one of the oils named or even tested by many of these studies.
That’s because CBD does not cause the high produced by marijuana and other types of cannabinoids. Though it does trigger relaxation and calmness, it does not change a person’s perception. Does this mean that CBD is not a gateway drug or that children can safely use it? Not exactly: this topic is more complex than it may seem.
Is CBD Part of the Problem?
Though cannabinoids are often considered a common gateway drug, CBD oil may or may not be a problem. Simply put, there aren’t enough studies on this oil that prove it meets these criteria.
Since it is not an addictive substance such as THC or an opioid – and because it doesn’t cause a high – CBD oil might not be considered a gateway drug. In fact, the opposite might be true, since some may find that it helps with addiction troubles.
For example, some studies show that CBD could help manage some types of addiction. The oil can help calm the nerves and may decrease a person’s anxiety when they go through addiction therapy. In this way, people can stay focused more easily without worrying about the dangers of withdrawal affecting their ultimate recovery process and its success.
Other studies show that CBD could be useful for managing cocaine addiction. When researchers gave CBD to rats addicted to cocaine, their withdrawal was less intense. The rats also wanted cocaine less frequently and were able to quit much more comfortably.
Though these are just singular studies and haven’t been replicated, they show an exciting facet of CBD oil that might refute the idea that it is a gateway drug.
However, the fact that CBD oil may be a useful item for some health situations doesn’t mean that it should be used without reservation. It may be particularly important to regulate its use in young children.
There are too many risks here that could make it a huge issue for children’s overall health. And for some children, CBD oil may be a gateway drug in particular circumstances.
Should Children Use CBD Oil?
Although CBD oil is generally considered safe to use for the average person, many questions about CBD use concern the medical public. While CBD’s gateway potential has yet to be confirmed, many doctors are arguing that the effects of this oil should not be taken lightly when considering it for children. Doctors are concerned that parents may be using this oil without a prescription.
The product itself raises concerns. There is currently no real regulation on the manufacture of CBD oil, which means that many products might not be subject to quality control measures.
Some manufacturers could be making products that may contain little to no CBD. They might be including ingredients that may be unsafe.
Many doctors thus suggest that parents do NOT give their children any CBD oil products. In fact, some CBD products are so poorly made that they contain THC, which can cause a child to get high and may lead to the gateway drug effect.
If CBD is used for certain types of conditions, such as insomnia, a child may become tolerant to it. As a result, they may need higher levels and end up struggling to sleep if they don’t receive a dose of CBD oil.
Beyond that, the legality of CBD is still a questionable topic. Even in U.S. states where CBD is legal, the federal government may still prosecute people involved with the drug.
If you’re extremely concerned about such prosecution, consider using it with a prescription, such as to treat epilepsy in children. The legal status of CBD and marijuana has been changing in different places, so you also might want to research local laws about the substance.
Getting Treatment Help
Although CBD may not be strictly a gateway drug, some children may end up finding its effects relaxing enough to experiment with other drugs. Others may find CBD to be a safe, effective way to treat conditions they were not able to treat otherwise.
Situations vary on a case-by-case basis, so it may be wise to talk to inpatient drug treatment centers if your child is using CBD oil and seems to be experimenting with other substances that have you afraid for their health. Doing so can stop an addiction problem in its tracks and keep your child safe.
Overall, CBD and the positive benefits of the cannabis plant can certainly help inspire consciousness, healing and more with the younger generation and there are many parents giving CBD to their babies in the hopes of expanding their reality.