Autism happens to be a developmental disorder which ends up affecting the behavior and communication patterns. A person suffering from autism experiences difficulty in communicating with everyone around them. They also experience narrowed interests and repetitive behaviors. All of these symptoms make it unusually difficult for an individual to be a part of society.
There are several treatment options available and they include traditional meditation and therapy. However, CBD can be the treatment or the solution one is looking for to treat Autism. Is CBD really effective in Autism? and how does it work? Let’s find out.
Autism: A Brief Overview
Autism is an extremely complex neurobehavioral condition which causes impairment in developmental language, communication skills, and social interaction; all of which combined together with repetitive, rigid behavior. The wide range of symptoms that this disease includes is referred to as ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder. This disease covers a wide spectrum of skills, levels of impairment, and symptoms. Children who suffer from autism face difficulty in all methods of communication. They have a hard time understanding what is it that others are feeling or thinking. This makes it very difficult for them to express themselves through gestures, touch, facial expressions, or words.
A child suffering from ASD also faces trouble with touch, smell, sight, or sound. Everything that would seem normal to others might cause them pain.
Real Evidence of the Therapeutic Potential of CBD in Managing Autism Spectrum Disorder’s Symptoms
The number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has been dramatically increasing, worldwide. Children with ASD commonly share comorbid symptoms including, but not limited to, aggression, hyperactivity, and anxiety.
Recent evidence shows the possible therapeutic benefits of cannabis products in treating ASD. In 2018, a study was conducted on 188 ASD patients treated with medical cannabis in order to estimate the safety and efficacy profile. The majority of patients were treated with medical cannabis oil containing 30% Cannabidiol (CBD) and 1.5% Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). After 6 months of treatment, 30% of patients reported significant improvement while more than half of the studies population (53.7%) reported moderate improvement of their condition. The cannabis medication was tolerated by most patients with just one side effect to it which was restlessness, which was reported by 25% of treated autism patients. In conclusion, cannabis in autism patients appears to be well-tolerated, safe, and effective treatment plan to relive ASD-associated symptoms.
Similarly, another study was recently conducted on 60 children with autism spectrum disorder. They were treated with oral CBD and THC at a ratio of 20:1. The results showed that most of the treated patients (61%) reported that behavioral outbreaks were ‘much improved’ or ‘very much improved’. Also, the anxiety and communication problems were ‘much improved’ or ‘very much improved’ in 39% and 47% of ASD patients, respectively. On the other hand, patients witnessed 29% improvement in disruptive behaviors. This study supports the feasibility of CBD-based medical cannabis as an effective therapeutic option for behavioral problems in children with autism. The authors are currently conducting a large, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial on 120 children with ASD to assess the efficacy and safety of CBD as a treatment option for ASD. The results are yet to be reported in the near future.
The most recent study conducted in 2019, examined the safety and efficacy profile of oral drops of cannabidiol oil in 53 children with ASD. These patients received CBD oil for a mean duration of 66 days. CBD oil resulted in improvement of self-injury and rage attacks in the majority of children (67.6%) while hyperactivity symptoms were improved in 68.4% of patients. On the other hand, sleep problems improved in 71.4% of patients while near half of patients (47.1%) of them witnessed improvement in their anxiety symptoms.
Even though recent evidence shows a promising, substantial impact of CBD oil on treating ASD-associated symptoms of anxiety, hyperactivity, and behavioral changes, the long-term effects of CBD are not well studied.
Therefore, if you’re a parent and have a child with ASD, you should consult a neuropsychiatrist specialist prior to taking CBD to manage ASD symptoms.