Autism is an incredibly common and well-known neurodevelopmental disorder. It has been the subject of much public controversy in recent years due to debates about its root causes. Though these debates have largely been put to rest by the data that demonstrates autism’s mostly genetic origins, many still wonder what environmental factors can either exacerbate or decrease autism symptoms.
As marijuana becomes more widely legal in the U.S. (both for recreational and medical purposes) we’re seeing more research into the medicinal value of the plant. CBD cannabis products are currently believed to treat (or at least assist in treating) an incredible range of diseases, illnesses, and disorders. Mental disorders like anxiety disorder, depression, and certain sleep disorders in particular have seen usual success in the advent of cannabis treatment. Autism represents less-tread waters in the field of medical marijuana, but some parents report that their autistic children non-communicativity to showing improved life skills with the advent of cannabis medicine.
The research is still in its infancy, but the clinical studies that have been done—combined with anecdotal evidence and patient stories—suggests a hopeful new treatment method for autism disorders.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is an incredibly complex condition. It is onset in early childhood, and manifests itself in very individual ways. Most children with autism slowly learn to cope with their symptoms into adulthood, depending on the severity of their autistic symptoms. There is still no one provable method for diagnosing an autistic disorder, but recent studies have indicated a connection between autism and the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system is a group of cannabinoid receptors, transporters, and metabolites. Endocannabinoid signals are key to regulating nervous system function and overall health. Current research into the endocannabinoid system has opened up the doors for treatment of neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory disorders. Cannabis is activated by the same cannabinoid receptors that are mutated in autism patients.
What is CBD? Currently, the most valued compound in marijuana for medicinal purposes is cannabidiol (CBD). Unlike THC—the cannabis compound responsible for the cannabis “high”—CBD is completely non-psychoactive, making it the perfect candidate for medical research and applications. CBD-heavy cannabis, even when it has trace amounts of THC, is far less psychoactive than high-THC cannabis strains. CBD strains can either be “CBD-rich”, which means they have similar amounts of CBD and THC, or “CBD-dominant”, which means they have a high-CBD/low-THC ratio.
Many have used CBD strains for relief from inflammatory disorders, chronic, pain, anxiety disorders, and nerve spasms. Clinical research has shown CBD’s ability to treat conditions like arthritis, PTSD, depression, epilepsy, and even alcoholism. CBD is completely legal in all 50 states. As a result, CBD-centric products have made the compound readily available across the country. Anecdotal evidence and clinical research are currently working hand in hand to exploit CBD for its full medicinal value.
CBD concentrates are arguably the most popular medicinal CBD product today. It can be extracted from the stalk of cannabis or hemp plants through a CBD-exercising extraction process. Because hemp is only legal to grow in the U.S. for commercial purposes, CBD hemp oil has permeated the medical cannabis market.
People take hemp oil for a wide variety of reasons. For many, it has become a highly effective sleep aid. Others use it for more serious medical conditions. Because hemp oil is very available and safe to use, it’s a CBD product that can be safely tested on adult and child autism patients alike.
There hasn’t been enough research to place CBD oil anywhere outside the experimental medication status in relation to treating autism. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t provided intriguing results. Parents who have given their autistic children CBD oil have largely reported calming of disruptive behavior. Preliminary research suggests that CBD oil might be able to work against autism-related brain degeneration. There’s enough anecdotal CBD-supporting evidence out there that a new study is underway in Israel, researching the possibility more thoroughly than ever before. As the results roll in, a new era of autism treatment seems imminent.
Read our in-depth look at treating Autism with CBD Cannabidiol Might Just be the Natural Treatment for Autism You’ve Been Looking For.