CBD Oil and Autism – More Studies on Cannabidiol
Autism is unlike almost any other condition that affects humans. It is one of the few major disorders (or set of disorders) that not only don’t have a cure, but the very cause of which is unknown. It can also present in an extremely unique way depending on the person. For that reason, it is difficult to diagnose, and treatments mainly target the symptoms. Recent research linking CBD oil with autism might provide welcome relief for those living with the disorder, as well as clues as to what is at the foundation of the condition itself.
Autism is also a very complex disorder, more precisely a spectrum of disorders because it includes a variety of disorders that affect the development of the brain at the same time. While autism affects each patient individually, almost all patients have a few symptoms in common. These are difficulties in communication, difficulties in interacting with other people, and the development of repetitive behaviors, sometimes these behaviors being negative and self-injurious. In this article, we deal with CBD Oil and Autism.
It is worth mentioning that not all children affected by autism have intellectual difficulties, as they are just a part of the group suffering from this sum of conditions. There are autistic children that have brains functioning at high levels, excelling in domains like math, music, or art. Also, with proper assistance, the symptoms triggered by autism can improve later on in life.
CBD Oil and Autism
So how CBD oil fits in this scenario? The treatment for autism is very limited, therapies being the preferred form of treatment in most cases, in the detriment of drugs. Unfortunately, there are severe cases of autism in which symptoms affect the life quality of the patient, making the child develop unwanted or dangerous behavior, making it hard for the parents to efficiently manage the situation.
To this point, there were no clinical studies involving the treatment of autism with CBD, but doctors and parents that tried this alternative treatment based on their own decision are providing positive results. But, because scientific data does not exist concerning this treatment, many doctors avoid prescribing cannabis products for the treatment of autism. Also, because there are many active compounds in cannabis, finding a safe dose in the case of children is another reason doctors are avoiding this treatment option.
Doctors who gave CBD & medical Cannabis a try
Many doctors do not want to use CBD because of the numerous variables, which may be hard to control in the case of children, produced by this treatment. Still, there are parents that decided to walk on this path at their own risk, the results being children that were happier and, surprisingly, healthier. So, this got the attention of some doctors that are ready to listen and pay attention to this alternative. Even if only anecdotes exist at this moment, they should not be dismissed, because they could provide the answer everybody is looking for in the case of autism.
An anecdote should be seen as the starter point for scientific studies, because if CBD caused positive improvements for some children suffering from autism then it may certainly do the same for others as well. It could be a relief for parents around the world, knowing that their children could have the chance of living a life that is as normal as possible.
Psychologist Dr. Giovanni Martinez
Dr. Giovanni Martinez, a clinical psychologist from Puerto Rico, who already tried to alleviate the symptoms of autism by introducing his patients and their parents to surfing, decided to check out the therapeutic effects provided by CBD oil. He is pleased to say that this treatment is providing great results. In one particular case, after treating an autistic child with hemp oil spray two times a day, for three weeks, the child went from non-verbal to speaking his first words and, later on, developing excellent language skills.
Dr. Martinez stated that before the treatment, the child was very frustrated because of his inability to communicate, adopting unwanted behaviors that led to his injury. But once the hemp oil treatment started to kick in, he is much happier and laughs a lot, due to the fact that he can finally express himself.
Mieko Hester-Perez -mother of an autistic boy
Mieko Hester-Perez, who started out as the mother of an autistic boy named Joey and is now the founder of Unconventional Foundation for Autism, has another success story. She came from a very conservative family and was against the use of cannabis. But everything changed when her son Joey, who was already diagnosed with autism and was following treatment, was also diagnosed with Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, a rare muscular disorder that was about to severely damage his body.
Doctors gave Joey just 6 months to live, time in which he should take a cocktail of medications that were notorious for their toxicity. At the moment, Joey was already taking 13 different drugs for this autism condition, every single day. His mother knew she had to do something about it. This is when she came across cannabis and decided to use it on her son, giving him edibles infused with cannabis. It’s been 6 years since doctors gave that 6 months term and Joey was never better.
He is healthy, sociable, happy, and simply enjoying life. Of course, there were many people that judged Hester-Perez for experimenting with cannabis on her child, but as far as she is concerned, having in mind the extraordinary effects cannabis provided, it was the best decision she made.
More studies with different Cannabis (Hemp) Strains
So yes, more study and research is necessary, but the anecdotal results are definitely worthy of our consideration.
CBD oil can potentially help autistic children become more functional, more communicative, and happier, allowing them to enjoy life as normal children do.
There are so many parents that took the chance of trying this treatment on their children and got results they never hoped to see with conventional treatments.
For some parents, this is definitely a cause that is worth fighting for, because many other children suffering from autism may have better lives. CBD oil reduces the violent episodes triggered by autism and alleviates anxiety, without having the “high” effects most people connect with the use of cannabis.
CBD is known to help in a wide range of health issues, including mental and emotional conditions, so it definitely has potential to make a difference for autism patients as well. We all need to give this treatment more attention, discovering how it can help children that have their brain affected by this complex spectrum of disorders. Most certainly things are going to change when it comes to CBD oil and this health problem because more and more parents find about the benefits of using CBD and will want to use it for their children.
Autism has been treated through a range of different means. Antidepressants and anxiolytics relieve mood problems, sleep problems, anxiety, and sensory overload. Behavioral conditioning is used by teachers and caregivers to help people with autism function within their home and society in general. Constant attention is necessary for those on the more extreme side of the spectrum.
There is no one holistic treatment for autism. Rather, many strategies are used to lessen its negative impact on those on the autism spectrum.
The role of the endocannabinoid system
Partially due to anecdotal evidence on the effect of CBD products on autism, researchers have been looking into the role of the endocannabinoid system in the cause of the disorder. The endocannabinoid system has many purposes. Receptors are found throughout the body, and affect the immune system, nervous system, and the organs. All of which may have a role to play in the genesis of the disorder.
Furthermore, the endocannabinoid system is instrumental in the brain’s reward center, which functions somewhat differently in people with autism – not rewarding stimuli that help others communicate in this world.
CBD oil can reduce deficits
Since CBD oil works on the endocannabinoid system, logic suggests that it may provide benefits to people with autism. In fact, parents have long been using cannabis and its products in treating symptoms of autism.
At the moment, this hypothesis has not been tested in lab-controlled studies. This is in part due to legality issues, as well as the focus on autism having been held by red herrings for so long.
However, there is quite a bit of anecdotal evidence that CBD works in relieving the symptoms of autism.
Also, CBD has been shown in many studies to alleviate many individual symptoms of autism. It has been successfully used for pain relief, in reducing anxiety and depression, and reducing attention deficits.
Conclusion: does CBD work?
So, while further research needs to be done to determine whether it can target the root of the disorder, we already know that it can alleviate symptoms. And high-functioning people with autism will tell you that it’s possible to live a very happy and meaningful life with the disorder. Many of them see it as having shaped who they are, and would not do anything differently if given the chance.
Other treatments will remain necessary to help people with autism function in this world. However, CBD might take autism treatment to the next level, simultaneously relieving many of the symptoms while giving people on the spectrum the resources they need.
Other resources and links
- Endocannabinoid Signaling in Autism
- Mutations found in individuals with autism interfere with endocannabinoid signaling in the brain
- Cannabinoid receptor type 2, but not type 1, is up-regulated in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of children affected by autistic disorders
- A novel approach to the symptomatic treatment of autism
- Consequences of cannabinoid and monoaminergic system disruption in a mouse model of autism spectrum disorders
- Targeting the endocannabinoid system in the treatment of fragile X syndrome
- Deficient adolescent social behavior following early-life inflammation is ameliorated by augmentation of anandamide signaling