In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and in some cases, it was able to stop them altogether. Recently, the FDA approved the first-ever cannabis-derived medicine for these conditions, Epidiolex, which contains CBD. CBD is commonly used to address anxiety, and for patients who suffer through the misery of insomnia, studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep.”
In general, it’s best to start with a lower dosage. In fact, studies of CBD for other disorders such as migraine suggest that a lower dose may be more effective.
How CBD May Help People With Autism
CBD is not helpful for everyone who uses it, and, in rare cases, it can cause side effects such as sleepiness or nausea.
Lower doses are also more easily tolerated than a higher dose.
Arno Kroner, DAOM, LAc, is a board-certified acupuncturist, herbalist, and integrative medicine doctor practicing in Santa Monica, California.
In preliminary studies, CBD oil has been shown to improve a variety of physical and mental health conditions like chronic pain, anxiety, ADHD, gastrointestinal illness, insomnia, cancer, and more. And in an April 2018 study of 60 children published in Neurology, a group of Israeli researchers found that CBD oil reduced autism-induced behavioral, communication, and anxiety problems.
CBD oil products aren’t lab tested in every state, according to the Child Mind Institute, so they could potentially contain THC or other unknown items.
CBD oil is made without large amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the chemical that’s responsible for the psychedelic effects of marijuana – so it can’t technically get you “high.” It has become widely available in health food stores and medical marijuana dispensaries across the country – usually in liquid, cream, or gel capsule form.
CBD oil may interact with other medications.
CBD oil is becoming an increasingly popular treatment option for a variety of health conditions – including autism. But is CBD oil a safe autism treatment for kids?
The plant produces more than 500 different chemical substances. These include 100 unique cannabinoids, which bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system. CB1 receptors are more common in the central and peripheral neurons, while CB2 receptors are expressed only in peripheral tissues, predominating the immune system. 2
7. Agarwal R, Burke SL, Maddux M. Current state of evidence of cannabis utilization for treatment of autism spectrum disorders. BMC Psychiatry. 2019;19:328.
Therefore, psychiatrists must direct patients and families in their approach toward this treatment option with exercised caution to its risks, benefits, and costs. Additionally, they must understand the data that does exist, and then explain that current data, with its significant lack of evidence-based results, to our patients and their families.
With autism cases on the rise, the need for effective treatments is rising too. Treatments in childhood carry special risks and potential rewards. Because a child’s brain is still developing, it is a good opportunity to make significant changes, but for the same reason, it is a dangerous time to experiment with certain compounds like THC and cannabis. Many of us have encountered desperate families who have found traditional treatments inadequate or resulting in undesirable side effects. At their wit’s end, they are willing to try just about anything. By not approaching the topic, patients and families may seek unsubstantiated advice on the Internet, leading them to use substandard and potentially dangerous products in an unregulated market.
Cannabis: An Overview