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CBD for Autism

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a common and complex neurodevelopmental psychiatric condition that shortens life expectancy by twenty years (Hirvikoski et al., 2016). In addition, 70% of autistic individuals are estimated to have co-occurring diseases, e.g., mood and anxiety disorders (Joshi et al., 2013) and epilepsy (Tuchman and Rapin, 2002). With that said, the medical community has not found effective pharmacological treatments for symptoms of ASD, and most people often respond poorly to conventional treatments of complicating mental or physical illnesses. Moreover, alternative treatment approaches, such as Cannabis and its major non-intoxicating component cannabidiol (CBD) (Fetterman and Turner, 1972), are increasingly explored. Autism spectrum disorder or AS refers to a wide range of conditions characterized by challenges with speech and nonverbal communication, social skills, and repetitive behaviors; experts believe that one out of every 45 children has Autism based on a widening spectrum. However, Autism is mainly a condition that significantly affects social abilities and increases the risk of other sub-categorized mental disorders.

Thus far, we have no known scientific approach to curing or eradicating Autism. However, doctors prescribe appropriate medications that help manage some of the inappropriate behaviors associated with Autism. Unfortunately, these medications have well-known unfavorable side effects in adults and children taking them. Consequently, no adult or child takes medications for Autism. However, those that do who do usually have a high level of risk of having secondary issues.

Alternatively, a large number of symptoms associated with Autism can be treated with Cannabis. Cannabidiol (CBD) can be an effective alternative in treating individuals with Autism. The effects can be in reducing physiological tension and inflammation. Therefore, possibly decreasing many of the negative symptoms associated with Autism. Several recent studies have shown the beneficial effects of cannabinoids, specifically when it comes to appropriate levels of CBD dosing. Cannabidiol can positively affect symptoms of Autism, such as hyperactivity, sensitivity to smells, and hypersensitivity to physical sensations.

These studies have found that administering a proper dosage of CBD mediates emotions and attention in patients with Autism. 

Cannabidiol is found to be therapeutic for regulating mood, a significant disorder associated with Autism. In addition, it appears to be neuroprotective, potentially reducing the degradation of the brain.

Also, Cannabinoids have been reported to have effectively treated other symptoms of Autism, including hostility, anxiety, and rage. It appears cannabidiol provides the individual with a calm and relaxed behavior.

A recent study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health examined the participants taking CBD to control focal epilepsy. One of the most significant concerns about Autism is the risk of experiencing seizures after the onset of puberty. After taking CBD, these patients experience nearly control of the episodes. However, when these patients stopped taking CBD, they noticed significant convulsions.

Another research was conducted on the relationship between immune system dysregulation displayed in autistic children and CBD. Also, these children showed altered peripheral blood mononuclear cells when taking CBD. Moreover, improvements were noticed as cannabinoids receptor type 2 levels were markedly increased. 

These findings are extremely promising and show the potential benefits of the therapeutic effects of CBD for autism management and care.

Although there is no known cure for Autism, recent studies have shown that CBD is beneficial in managing and treating the symptoms and negative effects of autism spectrum disorder. In addition, several research indicates that Cannabinoids possess anti-oxidant and anti-anxiety properties, helping users sleep better, relax and have a calmer state of mind. 

Resources and Studies

Study 80% of participating autistic children saw improvement with CBD.

Study: CBD for Children with Autism

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6834767/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6333745/

https://molecularautism.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13229-021-00420-2

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04520685