Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex behavioral condition. In the vast majority of cases, the symptoms of ASD appear in early childhood and continue throughout the life of the patient. To date, no behavioral, genetic, brain imaging, or electrophysiological test can specifically validate a clinical diagnosis of ASD.
Current treatments for ASD are limited in their efficacy and safety. As a result, many parents are choosing to treat their autistic children at home with an alternative medicine; cannabis.
While this remains a controversial choice that divides many people, there is some science to back up the claims make by many that cannabis soothes the symptoms of ASD in a safer way than current treatments.
Although the current research isn’t sufficiently comprehensive to recommend cannabis as a treatment for ASD. However, there is enough data to suggest that the drug has significant potential in this area. This is largely based on our understanding of how cannabis interacts with the endocannabinoid system.
In the last 25 years a good deal of information has been accumulated on the main components of the endocannabinoid system. This system is made up of cannabinoids (chemicals), their target receptors, purported transporters, and metabolic enzymes.
It has been clearly documented that endocannabinoid signaling plays a key role in many vital human health functions involving the central nervous system. This has led to the study of possible cannabinoid-based drugs for the treatment of psychiatric, neurodegenerative, and neuroinflammatory disorders, including ASD.
The cannabinoids which are found in cannabis have been explored in recent studies for their effects on the symptoms of patients with ASD. While the research is far from complete and cannabis-based treatment of ASD remains wholly experimental, there is hope among researchers, doctors and patients alike for the future of cannabis and ASD.
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