Early in 2019, there was a popular news story about a family who decided to use CBD oil to treat their son. The son had autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and a rare form of epilepsy. The story isn’t unique to this family, however. One source reported that up to 40% of a small sample of parents of children with autism had used CBD to manage the disorder.
Let’s learn more about what CBD is, why people might be turning to it for autism treatment, and what the research says.
CBD is short for “cannabidiol,” one of many compounds found in the plant Cannabis sativa. CBD doesn’t produce the feeling of “getting high.” This feeling is caused by THC, which is a different compound found in the cannabis plant. While CBD products do not necessarily contain THC, some do.
CBD is available in many forms, including oils, pills, tinctures, and edibles. The FDA has even approved an oral solution called Epidiolex to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two severe seizure disorders.
Even though CBD does not produce a high, it does have a calming effect on the nervous system. Because of these effects, CBD may help reduce some of the common conditions that are associated with autism, such as epilepsy, anxiety, and insomnia. Some parents who’ve tried CBD for autism have stated that CBD helped with their children’s short attention spans, aggression, and hyperactivity.
Let’s look at some recent research on the use of CBD in children with autism.
A Brazilian study looked at a group of 18 individuals with autism who received CBD containing small traces of THC for treatment. It evaluated their status in 8 symptom categories: attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), behavioral disorders, motor deficits, communication, sleep, seizures, autonomy, and cognition. The majority of patients saw improvements in multiple categories after 6-9 months of treatment.
An Israeli study took a closer look at CBD use for treatment of children with autism specifically. It observed effects of CBD on 53 children aged 4 to 22 years old who received CBD for an average of about 2 months. A majority saw symptomatic improvement in aggression, hyperactivity, insomnia, and anxiety, while very few parents reported that these symptoms worsened.
You and your doctor should decide what treatments might be most appropriate for your child’s condition. For those who do wish to try CBD, The Compounding Center carries two high-quality CBD brands: the Ananda Professionals line and Imbue.
Call The Compounding Center today.