Can CBD be Used to Treat Autism?
Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, is a chemical found in cannabis plants. Because it contains no THC, the active compound in cannabis, CBD gel doesn’t induce a euphoric high. It can, though, lower stress and reduce anxiety. As of now, there’s some evidence that cannabidiol may improve behavior and mitigate symptoms in people on the spectrum, but research into CBD’s efficacy and safety is ongoing.
All About CBD
Cannabidiol can be taken from cannabis or hemp, and it’s now legal in most states and many countries. CBD creams and other products can be bought without a doctor’s prescription. Pills, oils, tinctures, and edibles such as CBD gummies are also available. These products are available at various dosages and price points.
While some companies and websites make outlandish claims about CBD’s effectiveness, others set much more realistic expectations. Cannabidiol seems to alleviate some of the toughest symptoms of disorders such as anxiety, sleeplessness, and epilepsy—which are common symptoms among those with autism. The strongest evidence is for CBD’s use as a treatment for intractable childhood epileptic conditions such as Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes.
In some studies, cannabidiol reduced the frequency of seizures, stopping them in some cases. Recently, the Food and Drug Administration approved a cannabis-derived medicine called Epidiolex for the treatment of seizure-related conditions. CBD is often used to decrease anxiety, but it may also help those who have problems falling and staying asleep. CBD topicals aren’t right for everyone, and in some instances, it may lead to minor side effects such as nausea and sleepiness.
How Cannabidiol Helps People on the Autism Spectrum
No drug or supplement, including CBD topicals and CBD creams, can cure the primary symptoms of autism, which include:
- Sensory dysfunction
- Communication challenges
- Repetitive and restricted behaviors
It’s important to remember that aggression and sleeplessness are some of the most difficult symptoms for parents to handle, and they can quickly find themselves overwhelmed and exhausted. With the prevalence of these challenging behaviors in children with autism, many parents feel as institutional care is the only safe option.
However, a CBD topical may work to alleviate other autism-related disorders, including sleeplessness, anxiety, epilepsy, and stress. By relieving these symptoms, CBD gel can work to mitigate some of the most severe effects of autism.
For instance, CBD roll-on products may provide calming effects and encourage better sleep (which can make a person less aggressive), decrease the number of seizures (which lessens stress and makes social interactions easier), and lower anxiety (which makes it easier to communicate).
Research on the Benefits of CBD for Autism
A few research studies have explored the effects of cannabidiol in kids with autism, but none have evaluated its impact on adults with the condition. One large study included a startling revelation: that, after seeing the results of medical cannabis treatment on symptoms such as panic, aggression, anxiety, and self-harming behavior, parents of children with autism often turned to cannabis and its derivatives for relief. This study’s results were encouraging, to say the least, and most of the kids involved saw marked improvements in hyperactivity, anxiety, and anger.
Most of the parents and children who participated in the study also saw substantial improvements in sleep, self-harm, and social communication. One of the best things about using CBD cream to treat autism symptoms is that these supplements have few side effects, and those that appear are typically mild.
Other studies have offered similar results. Cannabidiol has proven to help in most cases involving behavioral and emotional issues, and it may even help to improve autism sufferers’ communication skills. These early findings, along with the rarity of serious side effects, are exciting. Studies continue in research centers and clinics all over the world.
Before Treating Autism With CBD Products
With all the positive publicity about CBD cream and the minimal risk associated with its use, it might make sense to encourage an autistic child or adult to try it. Before you buy CBD gummies, oils, tinctures, or edibles, it’s important to take these basic steps.
- Check with your (or your child’s) physician to ensure that no sensitivities or allergies will cause a serious reaction to cannabidiol.
- Verify that the CBD tincture you’ve chosen is legal in your country, province, or state.
- Learn about CBD sources to ensure that the brand you’ve chosen is licensed and well-reviewed.
Carefully observe the behavior of the person with autism, taking notes to ensure that you have basic information on symptoms and behaviors. That way, you’ll be able to make an accurate comparison before and after CBD oil usage.
Cannabidiol comes in numerous dosages and forms. Most oils have a somewhat bitter taste, which leads many users to choose sweet edibles. As with other drugs and supplements, CBD gummies and other edibles should be kept out of children’s reach.
Generally, it’s best for users to start with a low dosage. A few studies of cannabidiol for other conditions, like migraine, indicate that lower doses are more effective. Additionally, lower dosages are more tolerable than higher doses.
When using new drugs, treatments, or dietary supplements, it’s crucial to ensure the patient’s doctor knows about the addition and isn’t concerned about its effects on their well-being. If giving CBD oil or a CBD tincture to a child, let their teachers and others know about the new treatment and ask them to make a note of any changes in skills or behavior.
If you’re an adult using a CBD roll-on to treat autism, observe the changes you see so you can compare them to past results, while looking out for harmful side effects. If these occur, be sure to report them to your doctor right away.
Cannabis and its derivatives have long been known to have calming, stress reducing, and sleep-inducing effects. Therefore, cannabidiol products may work to treat some of the most problematic symptoms of autism in adults and children.
Whether you’re treating your own disorder, or you have a child on the autism spectrum, the right CBD product may make all the difference. Hemp Emu’s products are safe, effective, and available now. Request more information on our website, email us, or call to learn about the benefits of these all-natural products.