How CBD Is Effective For Autism?
Parents around the world have administered cannabidiol (CBD) oils to their autistic children. The scientific evidence thus far has been largely anecdotal rather than based in research or clinical evidence. However, in 2018 and 2019, several large research studies have been initiated to study CBD’s therapeutic effects. The culmination of these research topics has been noticed, and the result is that more mainstream medical professionals are changing their minds about CBD and giving it another glance.
Many children who suffer autism have a co-morbidity of epileptic seizures, and parents began utilizing CBD as a method for calming the child, reducing seizure frequency and lessening the number of adverse events, duration and severity of the seizures.
When parents initially utilized cannabis to treat co-morbidities like seizures, pain or muscle spasms, they noticed that the CBD not only alleviated these symptoms but that it also proved incredibly effective in treating some of the other associated negative symptoms known to accompany autism.
In short, CBD worked tremendously. Parents of these children had finally found some consistent and lasting relief. Many of the anti-seizure medications prescribed to children on the autism spectrum do not work; if the pharmaceuticals do work, they are so powerful that the medications quite often have severe side effects.
Parents wanted an alternative treatment option and found it in CBD. These adults were often criticized, called “desperate” or even accused of child abuse simply because they had the audacity to administer CBD to their offspring. But the CBD worked so well, and parents subsequently took extreme measures to ensure their children the continuity of much-needed relief. Some reverted to drastic measures that involved smuggling CBD into their states that had not yet approved CBD for legal medicinal use. Other parents relocated to states where CBD had been legalized, all in a last-ditch effort to help ease their children’s suffering.
CBD worked on 12-year-old seizure patient Charlotte Figi, and her CBD success story inspired 12 states to legalize CBD for medical use. Furthermore, GW Pharmaceuticals completed an important clinical trial on their high-CBD content drug for rare seizures. The drug, called Epidiolex, has since been approved by the FDA; in fact, it was the first-ever plant-derived CBD drug to hold this distinction.
Savvy researchers noted that there was sufficient and compelling anecdotal evidence and personal experience from parents of children on the autism spectrum to drive research studies, so they undertook the scientific research. Because autism often goes hand-in-hand with epilepsy, researchers thought that if CBD could help epilepsy, it could also help curb many of the other symptoms associated with autism.
Autism was once thought to be a single disease, but now is characterized as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). A child can be anywhere along the ASD scale, with some having mild symptoms or remaining high-functioning while others experience severe symptoms. ASD is a group of neurodevelopmental conditions that affect a person for the entirety of his or her lifetime. Autistic people suffer issues with behavior and social interaction, and often have learning disabilities and struggle immensely with language.
Some children with severe autism show aggressive behaviors such as biting or banging their heads against the wall. Many injure themselves or knock out their own teeth, and many have seizures — about one-third of all people on the spectrum.
CBD helps to calm many of these symptoms. Many parents have had success with medical-grade CBD while others swear by full-spectrum products that have not only CBD but also other cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids.
While many states have added autism to their approved list of medical conditions for which medical marijuana can be used, not ever state is convinced. For example, Colorado governor John Hickenlooper kept autism off the state list.