Endocannabinoid System and Autism Spectrum Disorders | cannabisMD

Endocannabinoid System and Autism Spectrum Disorders

Our endocannabinoid system acts as an alternative pathway to treat autism.

Memory and social impairments are two major parts of someones behavior that can be influenced by our endocannabinoid system. Image Credit: By Photographee.eu on shutterstock

The endocannibinoid system (ECS) as been connected to numerous different psychological conditions. This study aimed to compile current data from different sources to identify whether or not the ECS would be a good target for medicines to treat or relieve the symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). If you have read other summaries we’ve written, you’ll have seen the ECS mentioned plenty of times before. Cannabinoids extracted from cannabis, such as CBD and THC, are known to interact with the ECS. This suggests that medical cannabis may play a role in ASD.

Main Points

Cannabinoids have the potential to positively affect autism. Different interactions with the ECS were able to improve a whole range of ASD related issues. Below is a list of areas positively affected when the ECS was modulated (altered). Although further research involving cannabinoids would be ideal to help clarify how exactly they would help.

Here is the full scientific article if you wish to download it.

  • Memory problems
  • Social impairments
  • Communication abnormalities
  • Anxiety-like behaviours
  • Movement problems
  • Seizure susceptibility (including those triggered by sound)
  • Cognitive deficits

It’s important to note that these symptoms were improved, but not removed totally. However, for anyone that has experience of ASD, you’ll know that if we were able to even improve this many aspects of ASD, it would improve the quality of so many lives. So this is an area that deserves a lot of attention.

Further research is needed, especially clinical research performed on humans with the necessary safety and ethical requirements in place, we would be able to begin producing real data that may change the face of medicine as we know it. This article focussed on current research, and due to limitations, the majority of research is on animal models. There is a lot of anecdotal information available. Unfortunately no matter how convincing and obvious the results may be, it’s hard to use this data. With more funding for independent studies, we would have results and progress much faster.

Jonathan Neilly
Jonathan Neilly
Jonathan Neilly is registered with the British Psychological Society, breaking the taboo on mental health issues is one of the driving forces in his life. His background in biomedicine gives him additional understanding of the factors that work together to influence the human condition.

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