Using lower doses of CBD and trace THC seems to be promising in managing behavioral problems associated with autism. In addition, this treatment could be effective in managing the core symptoms and cognitive functions. No significant side effects were seen at the low doses of CBD-enriched cannabis w … My ASD Child Parents who are raising children with autism have a special kind of patience. Symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are often pervasive, affecting every aspect of daily life,
CBD-enriched cannabis for autism spectrum disorder: an experience of a single center in Turkey and reviews of the literature
Introduction: Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in communication, social interaction, restricted interest, and repetitive behaviors. Although more cases are being diagnosed, no drugs are approved to treat the core symptoms or cognitive and behavioral problems associated with autism. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop an effective and safe treatment.
Objective: In this study, we aim to share our 2-year experience with CBD-enriched cannabis treatment in autism and review the latest studies.
Materials and methods: The study included 33 (27 males, six females) children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder who were followed up between January 2018 and August 2020. The mean age was 7.7 ± 5.5 years. The average daily dosage of cannabidiol (CBD) was 0.7 mg/kg/day (0.3-2 mg/kg/day). The median duration of treatment was 6.5 months (3-28 months). The preparations used in this study contained full-spectrum CBD and trace elements tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) of less than 3%.
Results: The outcomes were evaluated before and after treatment based on clinical interviews. At each follow-up visit, parents were asked to evaluate the effectiveness of the CBD-enriched cannabis treatment. According to the parents’ reports, no change in daily life activity was reported in 6 (19.35%) patients. The main improvements of the treatment were as follows: a decrease in behavioral problems was reported in 10 patients (32.2%), an increase in expressive language was reported in 7 patients (22.5%), improved cognition was reported in 4 patients (12,9%), an increase in social interaction was reported in 3 patients (9.6%), and a decrease in stereotypes was reported in 1 patient (3.2%). The parents reported improvement in cognition among patients who adhered to CBD-enriched cannabis treatment for over two years. The antipsychotic drug could be stopped only in one patient who showed mild ASD symptoms. No change could be made in other drug use and doses. Additionally, this study includes an extensive review of the literature regarding CBD treatment in autism spectrum disorder. According to recent studies, the average dose of CBD was 3.8±2.6 mg/kg/day. The ratio of CBD to THC in the used preparations was 20:1. The most significant improvements were seen in the behavioral problems reported in 20-70% of the patients.
Conclusion: Using lower doses of CBD and trace THC seems to be promising in managing behavioral problems associated with autism. In addition, this treatment could be effective in managing the core symptoms and cognitive functions. No significant side effects were seen at the low doses of CBD-enriched cannabis when compared to other studies.
Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder; Cannabidiol; Cannabis.
My ASD Child
Parents who are raising children with autism have a special kind of patience. Symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are often pervasive, affecting every aspect of daily life, and emotional disorders begin to appear as children with ASD age. These painful differences are compounded by the social rejection that both child and parent experience as a result of being seen as “difficult.” Parents struggle to connect with their children who are sometimes described as being “somewhere else.” They understandably worry about their emotional well-being in addition to their safety, and solutions are few and far between.
Treating the symptoms of an autism spectrum disorder requires a cocktail of medications that can have detrimental long term effects including extreme weight-gain, and side effects including tremors, anxiety, blurred vision, fever, confusion, abnormal heart rhythm, and the list goes on. Many parents believe that the effects of the medications are worse than the effects of the disorder itself.
- Social withdrawal
- Cognitive challenges
The endocannabinoid (ECS) system is a network of neuroreceptors and neurotransmitters responsible for maintaining balance and homeostasis within the body and brain. Though researchers only recently discovered the ECS within the last few decades, it has always been a part of human evolution. Some scientists now believe that many disorders and diseases are a result of a poorly functioning ECS.
CBD products activate certain receptors within the ECS to promote better functioning and communication between all bodily systems. This is why CBD is so good for so many different problems. The endocannabinoid system originates in the nervous system and affects every other system in the body.
Research has shown that CBD products like CBD gummies and oils help reduce general systemic inflammation, anxiety, depression, and a host of other problems. CBD inhibits the growth of abnormal cells, has neuroprotective properties, and has been approved by the FDA in a drug used to treat certain kinds of epilepsy.
Legal CBD products are derived from industrial hemp, which contains a dozens of different cannabinoids. All of them have their own unique individual effects, and produce what is known as the “entourage effect” when combined. This refers to the concept that all of the cannabinoids put together have a special effect that cannot be replicated by taking just one or two.
CBD comes in a few different formulas, and you want to do your research on each type in order to make an informed decision about which one to try. CBD isolate is pure CBD with no other cannabinoids present. Full spectrum CBD contains all cannabinoids present in the hemp plant, including THC. There is not enough THC to cause intoxication, and THC is known to have powerful therapeutic properties—especially when combined with other cannabinoids to produce the “entourage effect.” Broad spectrum CBD includes all the cannabinoids present in the hemp plant, minus THC.
Unfortunately, it is a challenge to get the medical community to acknowledge the benefits of CBD, especially in children. They are concerned about potential risks, as long term effects and drug interactions are not yet fully understood. But research is catching up with the anecdotal evidence, and parents should peruse the growing body of evidence before they make any decisions about giving CBD to their children.
You will have some choices to make about the formula and the dosage, but it is a good idea to start with smaller doses a couple of times a day, wait a week or so at the chosen dose, then work your way up from there. You also want to be careful about ensuring the CBD you use comes from a reputable company and provides a certificate of analysis with all of its products to confirm potency and purity.
When searching for ways to treat the painful symptoms of an ASD, parents are often overwhelmed and frustrated with the options available. The side effects usually outweigh the benefit they have, and there is never a simple solution. CBD oils and CBD gummies may be that solution, and some parents will swear that it is. When you are deciding what is right for your child, do your research in order to make the most informed decision possible.
Talk to their doctor, and do not drop behavioral therapies just because CBD may help certain symptoms. Like most drugs that treat psychological problems, CBD is a support that enables better integration of behavior therapies, not a replacement for them.