JAN 07, 2018 5:23 PM PST

Medical Cannabis and Autism

WRITTEN BY: Loren DeVito

Autism is a developmental disorder that exists across a spectrum and is composed of many different conditions. Children with the disorder display impairments in cognitive and social functions, as well as other neurological symptoms. Some with the disorder are considered high functioning if they exhibit only mild symptoms, whereas for others, the condition can be quite disabling.

The rates of autism spectrum disorder have increased substantially over the last few decades and currently affect 1 in 68 children in the US. Although there is a genetic component, the cause of autism is still relatively unknown. Children with autism are treated with behavioral therapy and some medications can be used to address irritability associated with autism; however, in severe cases, managing the condition is quite difficult.

A few initial studies have indicated that CBD might be beneficial for autism, especially in cases where child’s condition causes him or her to hurt themselves or others. Many parents who have given CBD to their children have seen significant improvement; in fact, their results are similar to those parents who treat their epileptic children with medical cannabis. One story reported in the media claimed that CBD actually enabled a child with autism to speak, for the very first time.

But is it too soon to be so optimistic about CBD and autism? The scientific community is taking the reigns in on this issue and more thoroughly evaluated the promise of CBD for these children. Clinical trials are now underway in Israel and at the University of Pennsylvania and other sites to carefully evaluate how CBD might help children with autism.

Watch a short video below on a child enrolled at a clinical trial in Israel:

 

About the Author
  • Academically trained neuroscientist with extensive experience in science and medical writing across a wide range of therapeutic areas.
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