Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental and neurological disorder. Autism is a neurodivergence that primarily affects the synapses and connections between brain cells that help with communication, sensory processing and learning. While it is not unusual for one to discover they’re autistic at any age, many find out between ages two and four. And in recent years, more people have been diagnosed with ASD.
In 2021, approximately 1 in 44 children were diagnosed with autism in the United States. In the UK, autism has increased between 1998 and 2018. There are also many resources to help autistic individuals, such as occupational therapy, pharmaceuticals and community support organizations like AWN.
In 2021, approximately 1 in 44 children were diagnosed with autism in the United States. In the UK, autism has increased between 1998 and 2018. Although there isn’t a cure for autism, there are many programs and treatments that help with ASD symptoms, such as behavioral therapy and pharmaceuticals. And while medications like anticonvulsants and anti-psychotics are often used, other medicines have been used in helping people with ASD but are not approved by the FDA. One of them is cannabis.
In what ways can CBD help with autism?
Signs and symptoms of autism can vary from inconsistent eye contact, nonverbal communication, and difficulty adjusting to social settings. With the major groundwork done in cannabis/hemp research for medicinal use, those with autism are starting to go the CBD route to help with their symptoms. Recent neurological studies found that people with autism using CBD experience benefits like improved sleep disorders, seizures, and communication. While cannabis/hemp is still not approved by the FDA for medical usage, CBD/THC products can help those with autism by calming the nervous system and helping ease behavioral triggers.
What are the side effects for ASD cannabis users?
The therapeutic benefit of CBD has grown over the past few years. For autism, recent data shows how CBD use decreased behavioral problems, increased expressive language, and improved cognitive development. However, just like any other medication, using CBD/THC for medical purposes shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Depending on the individual, CBD could have an adverse effect and worsen behavioral symptoms if not taken correctly. Heather Manus, a co-founder of Cannabis Nurses Network, suggests always taking precautions when starting CBD usage for autism. While there may be little to no side effects when using CBD, monitoring the dosage is crucial. “CBD has considerable therapeutic potential as an intervention for Autism and related immune disorders, but I recommend taking special consideration of the patient’s detoxification status before starting CBD supplementation,” says Manus. “This helps prevent a severe die-off reaction and decreases the risk of an adverse event that may discourage the use of CBD.”
Why would people with ASD prefer CBD as opposed to other medications?
As the health and wellness industry continues to grow, so has holistic health and healing. Caregivers and therapists are now working together, searching for new ways, and have seen improvements in behavior and activity when CBD is part of the ASD care plan. While there is substantial research on using CBD for mental and behavioral issues, another thing to consider is research is conducted on adults and not children. Therefore, it’s not recommended to issues CBD to children without speaking to a doctor or health care professional.
There are pros and cons to both sides but at the end of the day, it’s wise to do your due diligence and research the positive and negative effects. CBD/THC is not for everyone but with recent data, it can help aid in several symptoms.