CBD Oil for Autism: The Science and The Myth

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autism ribbon

There is no cure for this condition, but luckily, there are a variety of treatments that can help improve the quality of life of those suffering from autism, as well as those who have autistic people on their lives. One treatment option, in particular, stands out: CBD oil. CBD oil for autism may not be a cure-all, but it certainly has many benefits that positively impact the lives of those with autism.

What is Autism?

Autism affects the development of millions of people around the world. It is caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors that affects millions of Americans. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that autism affects 1 in 59 children in the country.

In terms of characteristics, autism cases rarely have similar symptoms. Each patient experiences different symptoms across the spectrum. Patients are usually advised by their doctors to explore several medical and non-medical means to help manage their symptoms.

CBD Oil for Autism? What is CBD Oil?

Cannabinol (or CBD) is a chemical compound that occurs naturally within the cannabis plant. Unlike the other major component found within the cannabis plant, tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC), Cannabidiol possesses all the amazing benefits found within cannabis but without the psychoactive effects.

Today, cannabinol is being used to treat a wide variety of ailments including autism.

CBD for Autism: What are the Benefits?

According to recent research relating to the effect of CBD oil on autism, CBD has continued to show major promise in managing the symptoms of autism. 

Disclaimer: it is important to know that the current medical treatments available for autistic patients are in the form of drugs not yet approved by the FDA.

Some of the benefits CBD has on autism are:

It Helps Manage Seizures

For many, autism could feel like epilepsy because of the frequency of the seizures. Currently, research shows that 1 in 4 children who suffer from autism could also develop seizures from any time from their childhood right up until adolescence.

A major cause for concern regarding patients who suffer from such seizures is finding the appropriate medication that caters to their condition.

Using CBD oil provides relief. It increases the anandamide levels within the body. At the same time, it reduces the body’s excitotoxicity. These two factors contribute greatly to modifying the chemistry of the brain which reduces the number of seizures.

It Alleviates Vomiting and Nausea

One of the wonderful benefits of using cannabidiol is its ability to alleviate nausea and vomiting. Some autistic patients also tend to experience chronic vomiting syndrome.

Because of this, patients could experience several fits of vomiting and nausea during the day. There is a wide range of triggers that range from a virus attack or the presence of stress.

The good news is CBD oil has continued to prove helpful in managing these symptoms. The cannabidiol affects the serotonin receptors in the brain. These are responsible for the sensation of nausea which leads to vomiting.

It Possesses Antipsychotic Properties

For some autistic patients, treatment could include the use of strong antipsychotic drugs. This usually comes with unwanted side effects and possible long-term harm.

Swapping out these drugs for cannabidiol oil is a great step to take, thanks to the antipsychotic prowess of cannabidiol oil.

It Helps to Deal with Depression and Anxiety Symptoms

For some, suffering from autism is usually coupled with dealing with mental health issues. Many autistic patients experience anxiety and depression but thankfully CBD oil has continued to provide respite for the patients in this category.

Cannabidiol oil eases anxiety symptoms by triggering the body’s endocannabinoid system.

The Research: The Effects of CBD Oil for Autism

cbd oil bottles

Around the world, researchers are continuously reviewing the effect of cannabidiol on autistic patients. One of the companies leading such research efforts is Tikun Olam, a company that grows and supplies medical marijuana that caters to a wide range of issues.

They published a series of recent research showing the effect of CBD oil on autistic patients, and all results pointed to the fact that CBD is indeed a valid treatment option for autism.

According to the results of both studies, participants in the study reported the following results:

  • A decline of 67.6% in self-harm and attacks.
  • Progress of 70% in hyperactivity symptoms.
  • A 71.4% reduction in sleep problems.
  • Anxiety and mood improvement of 47.1%.
  • An 87.6% improvement in social communication skills.

Generally, there was a 74.5% improvement in the general symptom alleviation across all patients. Tikun Olam has since commissioned another research project to test the long-term effects of CBD oil.

Effects of Cannabidiol oil

Like every other substance out there, there are some documented side effects to using the drug. It is, however, important to state that overall, CBD is very safe and is tolerated by millions of patients around the world.

Here are some of the side effects experienced by patients:

Dry mouth: A dry mouth is probably the most common effect of using CBD oil. It is very important to bear this in mind when using CBD oil as the patient should remain well hydrated.

Other side effects may include the following:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Psychosis
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness

And finally, drowsiness. These effects are the reasons why CBD users are advised to steer clear of driving or operating dangerous machinery.

How to Use CBD Oil for Autism

mother playing with boy with autism

Frankly speaking, there is no universally accepted dosage for the use of CBD oil for autism. Usually, the dosage depends on a wide range of issues including the weight and height of the patient, the CBD oil concentration, severity of the condition and the body chemistry of the patient.

Regardless, it is advisable to start with less CBD oil than you believe is needed. You should also consult with your medical doctor to ensure you are using the appropriate dosage.

Finally for autistic patients, CBD oil has continued to show a lot of promise in the race towards living a life devoid of symptoms. And although it may not be a complete cure, the potential and efficacy CBD has shown in treating autism symptoms have become exciting news within the autism research and care industry.

Sources:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13311-015-0371-9

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130411123852.htm

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