Cannabis is a hot topic today as it is filled with controversy on whether it’s overall good or bad for your health. In this article, we have taken some of the leading research on Cannabis as it specifically relates to CBD for kids with anger.
The first step in understanding if CBD is good for kids, is to understand what CBD is and how it works.
What is the difference between hemp and marijuana?
Cannabis is a generic name for a group of flowering plants in the Cannabaceae family. There are three main species: Cannabis indica, Cannabis sativa and Cannabis ruderalis.
Hemp is a Cannabis indica variety of cannabis and it contains .3% or less THC content. Hemp is used to make alternative milk, rope, textiles and clothing.
Marijuana is a form of cannabis that contains more than .3% (and even up to 30%) THC.
Hemp will not get a person “high,” whereas marijuana may, because of the higher amounts of THC in the marijuana species. Comparing hemp to marijuana is similar to comparing oranges to lemons. While they are both citrus, they are not the same fruit.
What is CBD and what are cannabinoids?
There are multiple different types of cannabinoid chemical compounds and Cannabidiol, aka, CBD is one example.
Endocannabinoids come from your body, and phytocannabinoids come from cannabis plants.
All of the CBD available on the market that you can find online and at grocery stores is derived from hemp which is cannabis indica.
CBD is a cannabinoid which is a product that interacts with your endocannabinoid system. Your body makes its own cannabinoids, which behave similarly to the cannabinoids from plants.
What is the difference between CBD from Hemp versus CBD from Marijuana?
CBD can come from either hemp or marijuana. Interestingly, the CBD molecule and its pharmacology are the same regardless of if it was taken from hemp or marijuana. In summary, there is no difference between CBD from hemp versus CBD from marijuana.
How do Cannabinoids Work?
Cannabinoids like THC, CBD, and others function by interacting with your Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
Your endocannabinoid system (ECS) is made up of three parts:
- Cannabinoid chemicals (whether from a plant or from your own body)
- Your body’s cannabinoid receptors
- Enzymes that break down cannabinoids so the body can use them
The ECS’s main job is to help keep your body in balance aka homeostasis. The ECS regulates your metabolism, mood, body temperature, blood sugar stabilization and so much more. Therefore, if your symptoms are caused by an issue with your ECS, treatments that support and balance the ECS may be life changing.
How does CBD work in treating anger and rage?
As mentioned, Cannabidiol aka CBD, comes from the hemp plant and is important in regulating your body’s homeostasis. CBD has also been shown to be extremely effective in treating anger and rage.
There are several things that go into a person being angry: Their cortisol (a stress hormone) may rise, their fight-or-flight response becomes enacted, then the hormones norepinephrine and epinephrine spike all causing increased levels of agitation and anxiety both emotionally and physically.
A study by Zuardi and colleagues (1993) looked at cortisol levels and how CBD can affect it (Zuardi, Guimaraes, & Moreira, 1993, p. 213). What they found was that cortisol levels decreased at even greater amounts in participants given CBD as opposed to before (Zuardi et al, 1993, p. 213). CBD reduces cortisol stress hormone, and can help quell the symptoms of fight, flight, and freeze associated with anger, anxiety and stress.
CBD can also reduce epinephrine and norepinephrine hormones associated with intense anger and anxiety. For example, in a study by Niederhoffer and colleagues (2001), CBD was found to decrease adrenaline, which is the hormone epinephrine (Niederhoffer, Hansen, Fernandez-Ruiz, & Szabo, 2001, p. 1323). CBD has been shown to help anxiety in the research! In a study by Crippa and colleagues (2011), they found that taking CBD reduced actual and subjective (perceived) anxiety (Crippa et al, 2011, p. 121). CBD can promote homeostasis by reducing excessive adrenaline and therefore decreasing a person’s anxiety, anger, stress, and other symptoms associated with a fight, flight, freeze state.
So what does this all mean? When these hormones are out of balance, it can vastly affect your mood.
In addition to the amazing anger and anxiety-reducing effects, CBD can relieve depression! A study by Linge and colleagues (2016) found that CBD increased serotonin, the happy hormone, in the brain, which produced an antidepressant effect (Linge et al, 2016, p. 16).
Is CBD safe?
A question that might be coming to mind is: Is CBD safe?
While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved cannabis as a medical treatment, leading medical institutions have been researching the medicinal benefits of cannabis.
For example: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has conducted extensive research on compounds from cannabis’ ability to protect and heal the brain tissue. According to recent studies, CBD also appears to have therapeutic potential in children and adults suffering from mental health conditions, seizures, pain, inflammation and endocrine abnormalities.
But CBD is not totally without its potential side effects.
Just like how a cup of coffee may make you wake up and be ready for your day, coffee can help others prepare for a good night’s sleep. While the chemical tends to evoke a sense of calm and increased self-awareness, every individual responds differently.
Let’s summarize our findings:
- The CBD on the market is from hemp and not marijuana
- CBD from hemp does not cause any feelings of being “high”
- CBD has been shown to reduce cortisol stress hormone
- CBD also reduces fight, flight, freeze hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine
- CBD promotes serotonin and relieves depression
- CBD reduces anxiety and panic
- CBD reduces anger and frustration
When it comes to managing symptoms in your child, it is important to always talk to your pediatrician before starting a new regimen. While CBD may be helpful, the research is still in its infancy and it is important to determine if CBD is a good fit before starting supplementation. Additionally, it is important to also look at variables for why your child may be struggling. For example: Is there bullying at school? Is your child struggling with classes? Is there stress in the home? Any recent changes in the child’s life? Is the child dealing with any grief or trauma? Are there any health issues going on? Is your child anxious or depressed?
Remember that quality is everything. Be sure to use brands that have high integrity in quality control studies and are free of chemicals, additives, coloring, and other ingredients. You will have the best success with the highest quality CBD on the market.
In conclusion, the research on CBD for anger, anxiety, depression, and overall wellness looks promising but there is no one size fits all. So do your research, and find an excellent integrative health clinician to advise you on your unique needs.
And as always, stop back often for more articles, research and topics!
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CBD and Anger Management. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://cbdinstead.com/pages/cbd-and-anger-management.
Crippa, J.A., Derenusson, G.N., Ferrari, T.B., Wichert-Ana, L., Duran, F.L., Martin-Santos, R., Simoes, M.V., Bhattacharyya, S., Fusar-Poli, P., Atakan, Z., Santos Filho, A., Freitas-Ferrari, M.C., McGuire, P.K., Zuardi, A.W., Bussatto, G.F., & Hallak, J.E. (2011). Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report. Journal of psychopharmacology, 25(1), 121-130. doi 10.1177/0269881110379283.
Linge, R., Jimenez-Sanchez, L., Campa, L., la Pillar-Cuellar, F., Vidal, R., Pazos, A., Adell, A., & Dias, (2016). Cannabidiol induces rapid-acting antidepressant-like effects and enhances cortical 5-HT/glutamate neurotransmission: role of 5-HT1A receptors. Neuropharmacology, 103, 16-26. doi https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropharm.2015.12.017.
Niederhoffer, N., Hansen, H.H., Fernandez-Ruiz, J.J., & Szabo, B. (2001). Effects of cannabinoids on adrenaline release from medullary cells. British journal of pharmacology, 134(6), 1319-1327. doi 10.1038/sj.bjp.0704359.
Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente Journal, 23, 18–041. doi:10.7812/TPP/18-041.
Zuardi, A.W., Guimaraes, F.S., & Moreira, A.C. (1993). Effect of cannabidiol on plasma prolactin, growth hormone and cortisol in human volunteers. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, 26(2), 213-217. Retrieved from https://europepmc.org/abstract/med/8257923.