National Autism Awareness Month: How CBD May Help with Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Did you know that people on the autism spectrum account for nearly 1% of the population? The CDC has recently updated its Autism Prevalence Estimates to about 1 in 59 children suffering from an Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. Since ASD originates during neurodevelopmental stages, (brain functioning that affects emotion, learning ability, self-control and memory) it is difficult to diagnose until the early years of a child's life and unfortunately at this time there is no cure.

But what is the relationship between CBD and Autism?

A scientific research study conducted in Israel, has found compelling evidence that CBD could be an effective form of therapy for people on the Autism Spectrum. Though doctors traditionally treat symptoms of autism with anti-psychotic medication, there are many negative side effects that can occur with this form of treatment.

CBD has been shown through FDA trials, that it has the characteristics to treat Epilepsy. This famous discovery has been collaborated to the conclusion that cannabinoids may also help with many of the symptoms associated with autism. With only 2% of the population being effected by Epilepsy, studies have found that around 33% of people with Autism also suffer from Epilepsy.

autism cbd spectrum

Since scientific data is limited due to the past restrictions on CBD, we rely on anecdotal evidence and personal experiences to understand the effects that CBD has on the symptom relating to ASD.

The scientific study conducted in Israel highlighted:

  • Behavioral Outbreaks Improved in 61% of patients
  • Anxiety and Communication Problems improved by 39-47%.
  • 80% of participates care-taker reported a significant decrease in problematic behaviors when introducing CBD, improved by 29%
  • 60% of them reported significant improvements when introducing CBD
  • Parents and Care-takers have reported less stress

The reported side effects consisted of:

  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Irritability
  • Loss of Appetite

All of which are already symptoms associated with ASD.

"This preliminary study support the feasibility of CBD based medical cannabis as a promising treatment option for refractory behavioral problems in children with ASD"

Aran, A., Cassuto, H., Lubotzky, A., Wattad, N., & Hazan, E. (2018). Brief Report: Cannabidiol-Rich Cannabis in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Severe Behavioral Problems—A Retrospective Feasibility Study. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 49(3), 1284-1288. doi:10.1007/s10803-018-3808-2


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