What are the Benefits of CBD for Autism?
With more individuals looking to embrace natural wellness for anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns, some consumers have embraced edibles and CBD oil for Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that Autism can affect 1 out of 54 children worldwide. The cause for this complex developmental disorder is still debated by scientists all over the world, yet children and adults diagnosed with Autism have limited treatment options for relieving symptoms attributed to this disorder. While we wait for more studies to find causes and treatments, individuals are trying natural options for relieving Autism symptoms like anxiety, stress, etc. Edibles and CBD oils for Autism could be a great alternative with no side effects.
What is CBD?
CBD, also known as Cannabidiol, is a natural compound from hemp that can possibly provide pain, anxiety and stress relief benefits by interacting with our body’s endocannabinoid system. Our endocannabinoid system contains CB1 and CB2 receptors throughout our brain and immune system to maintain homeostasis or well-being.
Since the legalization of hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill Act, Full Spectrum CBD products have also been on the rise for consumers who are looking for multiple benefits for mental health illnesses and disorders, seizures and more. Full Spectrum CBD carries the benefits of 100 plus cannabinoids that include CBG, CBN, etc., with the legal trace limit of 0.3% THC. This legal trace of THC won’t get you high but can help boost the medicinal cannabinoids in Full Spectrum CBD oils, edibles, vapes and more for optimum relief.
What is Autism?
Not every individual with Autism exhibits the same range and severity of symptoms, which is why ASD can be classified as a spectrum of disorders with a wide range of behaviors and presentations. Individuals with Autism can possibly have difficulty interacting socially with other peers or being aware of other’s feelings. Adults and children with Autism might exhibit unusual sleeping and eating habits, and/or self-harming tendencies like banging their heads, aggression and more. Depending on the severity, some adults and children with Autism might need a lot of assistance with daily activities and others might need little help.
Since Autism can show up within the first three years of life, the head of the genomics team at Autism Speaks, Matthew Pletcher, recommends parents look for the symptoms of Autism if they notice their child is missing significant social and behavioral development milestones. He discusses that children who are lacking “big smiles and joyful expressions by six months of age, back and forth sound or facial expressions by nine to twelve months” might be displaying early signs of possible ASD.
CBD and Autism Studies: Can CBD Help Relieve Symptoms?
In a 2015 study conducted by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, a group of researchers found that CBD carried anti-anxiety benefits for both lab mice and preliminary trials with humans. In a lab, both humans and lab animals were able to see a reduction in both behavioral and psychological measures of stress and anxiety. For human trials, patients with anxiety were subjected to a controlled environment recreating stressful situations and were given low dosages of CBD oil to measure their reactions to stress. Scientists were able to see their patients improve their “consolidation of extinction learning” or begin the process of forgetting or moving past their traumatic memories associated with stress and anxiety episodes.
Along with its anti-anxiety benefits, CBD is also known to possibly help with depression and schizophrenia. In a 2016 study conducted for a psychiatric research journal, scientists were able to see a reduction in symptoms such as anxiety, social withdraw and hallucinations with schizophrenic patients while using CBD. These results were similar to what patients could find when taking traditional antipsychotic medication, although this team of scientists discovered that patients experienced fewer extrapyramidal side effects while taking CBD compared to their previous medication. Although these CBD and autism study findings are still in their early stages of testing, scientists are still looking into CBD’s antipsychotic benefits to help individuals with other mental diseases like depression, PTSD and much more.
Since CBD can help regulate the CB1 endocannabinoid receptors within the brain, this beneficial cannabinoid can also help reduce the possible rate of seizures for individuals with epilepsy and Autism. According to an American Epilepsy Society report, around 30% of children diagnosed with Autism also have epilepsy. Scientists have tried to correlate this unusual rate of Autistic children with epilepsy to their differences in brain development, although there is little evidence that has linked Autism to possible abnormal cell and neuron behavior in the brain that causes epilepsy.
In a 2018 controlled scientific study to test the first FDA approved CBD derived treatment for epilepsy, Epidiolex, a group of over 600 individuals with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome where given 10mg to 20mg of CBD for over a year. In a 28-day time period, patients were able to see a 41% drop in seizures with 20mg of CBD and a 37% drop in seizures with 10mg of CBD. In a year span, some patients were able to see a possible 75% to 100% reduction in seizures with CBD. With findings like this, we can expect to see more CBD and autism studies in the future.
What are the Traditional Treatments for Autism?
Dr. Harrison Weed from the internal medicine facility at Ohio State University’s Medical Center states that early detection and intervention for children with Autism can help develop important long-term therapeutic coping mechanisms for daily life. Some of these psychotherapeutic methods can include an interactive educational curriculum that focuses on communication, play, focus and social interaction. Children with ASD also benefit from strong family involvement, a stable and predictable routine, medication and a special diet that excludes gluten.
Dr. Weed states that medication for Autistic children is made on “case-by-case” decisions and is usually reserved for situations where other treatments have been exhausted. Common medications for Autism include Risperidone and Aripiprazole, which can possibly help stabilize irritability, aggression, repetitive behavior and mood swings. Although some of the medications’ side effects can include severe agitation, insomnia, nausea, dizzy spells, uncontrolled muscle movements and suicidal thoughts.
CBD Edibles and CBD Oil for Autism
Since the symptoms of Autism can manifest differently for each individual, finding the best treatment option can also be difficult due to trial and error. With CBD’s success in helping individuals with anxiety, stress and schizophrenia, some consumers are willing to try an alternative option like CBD edibles and CBD oil for Autism symptoms without possible side effects. Dr. Kathrine E. Zuckerman, an associate professor of pediatrics at Oregon Health and Science University, discusses that it’s hard for parents of Autistic children and adults to know which medical treatments would be best for their loved ones if previously effective therapies aren’t working. The Oregon pediatric doctor comments that since the rise in cannabis-derived products, more parents with Autistic loved ones are sharing their positive CBD experiences with other parents.
Although there have been limited CBD and autism studies, Dr. Zuckermen recommends adults and children with Autism to do some research into finding which CBD option is best for your Autistic child or loved one. CBD edibles might be a good option for as-needed help with anxiety, stress and mood swings. For ASD individuals who suffer from epilepsy, a Full Spectrum CBD option might help relieve the seizure severity and frequency. Since Full Spectrum CBD contains the legal trace limit of 0.3% of THC, it can show up as a false positive in a drug test.
For Autistic adults and children who want to try a natural alternative for relieving anxiety, seizures, mood swings and stress, a CBD oil and/or edible might be a great option for long-term relief. Go Green Botanicals always recommends consulting with your doctor before trying CBD and other hemp-derived products. With this natural alternative, adults and children with Autism, PTSD and schizophrenia may find long-term relief for a better quality of life with CBD. Shop Go Green’s selection of natural CBD products, and please contact us with questions.