More than ever before, Americans are looking to the hemp plant for medicinal answers as they look for solutions to their children’s health issues. Just as importantly, parents are more willing than ever to admit dosing their children with CBD as an alternative to pharmaceutical drugs that often carry negative side effects.

These developments beg the questions: Is CBD supplementation for children safe? What does the research say about the safety of CBD for kids? What are the ethical concerns about marketing CBD products to children? Has the stigma surrounding the hemp plant finally been lifted after decades of anti-cannabis propaganda from the federal government in the tradition of DARE “just say no to drugs” programming?

Let’s take a look at how social attitudes toward CBD use, especially among children, has changed.

A Rapidly Evolving Culture

Just a few years ago, many Americans might have struggled to wrap their minds around a mother dropping a CBD tincture into her child’s morning orange juice. In fact, many would have likely called the cops. The mother would likely have been brought up on child endangerment charges and the local news media would have breathlessly reported on the scandal.

In 2020, such scenes have become routine, marking a rapid evolution in the culture that was unimaginable in the early days of cannabis advocacy. Indeed, the only holdouts seem to be federal agencies like the DEA that have a vested interest in the continued prosecution of CBD users.

Increasing Usage Rates

Because of CBD’s impressive, lenghty list of proven medical applications, Americans with a variety of health conditions are increasingly willing to give CBD a shot when other treatments fail.

At least 14% of American adults now use CBD to help them manage their health naturally.

The Controversy Surrounding Children’s CBD Use

Supposed concern over the children has long been a tactic that anti-drug crusaders have used to control what adults are allowed to do. “What about the children?” has been the historical refrain of prohibitionists in response to the rational claim over self-ownership that adults claim in terms of their ability to put whatever substances they want in their body.

Justifying prohibition to “protect the children” is much easier than coming up with rational arguments against the use of a substance on its merits. And, for years, it worked to produce a consensus against legalization.

However, the tables have turned. Parents now openly advocate for CBD use after seeing remarkable health turnarounds in their own kids’ lives.

THC vs. CBD: A Crucial Distinction

One of the most positive advancements in the public dialogue over cannabis has been the increasingly nuanced understanding that Americans have in terms of the distinction between THC and CBD. This change in perception has powerful implications on public attitudes toward the therapeutic use of CBD to treat children’s health conditions.

Whereas THC produces a “high” through the activity of the psychoactive compound on the brain, CBD does not produce any psychoactive effects.

Much of the anti-pot hysteria of the 20th century centered around moralizing over children using cannabis to “get high” – an issue that is not applicable to CBD. So, in light of the achievements of CBD advocates to drill home the crucial distinction between CBD and THC in the minds of the average American, we have developed, as a society, a more nuanced understanding of CBD.

The Bottom Line on CBD, its Safe Use, and Kids

No medicine is without risk of side effects. CBD is no exception. However, science has come a long way to uncover the potent healing potential of CBD, driving public opinion in favor of legalization, even for children. All signs point to further acceptance of therapeutic CBD use in the future.