Hemp-derived CBD is legal across many states in the US and around the world. It comes in several forms like CBD oil, tinctures, edibles, and even as ingredients in some foods and drinks. With its newfound availability on the market, many are now wondering can CBD oil help with autism?
CBD has been found to have all sorts of health benefits. For example, according to Harvard Health Publishing,
“the strongest scientific evidence is for its effectiveness in treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which typically don’t respond to anti-seizure medications.”
As such, it has been recognized by the FDA for treating these rare and severe forms of epilepsy.
Other studies have shown that it helps treat patients suffering from mental illnesses like depression and even degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Further studies have shown that it also helps treat sleepiness and anxiety, two prevalent problems faced by people with autism.
Can CBD oil help with autism?
Some evidence suggests that CBD can help treat some of the systems and behaviors in people with autism. and this article will explain how.
CBD is a natural compound produced by hemp and the cannabis plant. CBD derived from Hemp does not contain THC (the chemical found in the cannabis plant), so it does not produce a high.
How CBD Oil Can Help People With Autism?
CBD will not cure autism. It will not solve challenges such as difficulty dealing with social interactions, restricted or repetitive behaviors, or sensory dysfunction.
If a person has autism and an anxiety disorder, CBD may help both disorders at the same time. Evidence also suggests that impulsive aggression and explosive anger are common among individuals with anxiety disorders. These issues also affect many autistic individuals.
As CBD has been shown to reduce the feelings of anxiety, it may be significantly beneficial with this combination of disorders.
One thing to note there are possible side effects. The most common negative side effects of CBD are drowsiness and dry mouth, but these often go away after a couple of weeks.
What The Research Says
There have been several studies looking into the effects of CBD on children with autism. On the other hand, there have not been many that have looked into its effects on adults with autism.
There was a large study taken in Israel on the former subject, which reported the following findings:
“In 2014, The Ministry of Health began providing licenses for the treatment of children with epilepsy. After seeing the results of cannabis treatment on symptoms like anxiety, aggression, panic, tantrums, and self-injurious behavior, in children with epilepsy, parents of severely autistic children turned to medical cannabis for relief.”
These results provided encouraging news, with most participants seeing much improvement in their overall behavior, anxiety, and hyperactivity.
They also showed that CBD helped to improve their social skills and sleep. With the bonus addition of little to no side effects, there was much to be excited about. And even when the side effects did occur (mild sleepiness and a slight change in appetite), there was no cause for concern.
This is not the only study taken on the effects of CBD on autistic people. Other studies have shown similar results, helping to reduce emotional stress, improving behavioral issues, and allowing for better social communication.
Research continues to find more evidence to support CBD’s benefits on autism. Which only breathes more confidence in its usage.
Steps To Take Before Trying CBD
There are plenty of benefits to using CBD that has been highlighted above and not having any to only mild side effects. Now, while it seems like a great idea to start using it straight away, it’s essential to understand these steps to ensure you’re in the right position to do so:
- Consult your/your child’s doctor or physician to ensure that you are safe to use CBD oil. They will need to confirm that it won’t interfere with any existing medication or cause an allergic reaction.
- Check that it’s legal to take CBD in your country or state.
- Find a reputable CBD oil brand to ensure you are using a high-quality product derived from hemp, not marijuana. Sites like CoolThingsChicago list all the best and safe brands on the market, so do your research.
- Steer clear of products that state the product may contain up to 0.3% THC, the chemical that can cause a high. With children, this is a risk not worth taking.
- Take detailed notes of your/your child’s behavior before taking the CBD so you can compare the symptoms once you start using it.
How To Use CBD Oil
There are many ways to consume CBD. According to Healthcare Weekly, CBD oil is best served for people who want to feel the effects quickly or for people who don’t like taking pills or capsules.
If it’s your first time using CBD oil, start with the lowest dosage. Then, gradually increase it if you don’t feel the effects. In fact, some disorders benefit more from lower doses of CBD.
Take a couple of drops under your tongue and let them sit there for around 60 seconds, then swallow. It shouldn’t be long until you feel the effects. If you don’t, then up the dosage to another drop or two the next time you use it. Repeat the process until you find your level.
Remember, everyone is different, so what works for you may not work for someone else. A host of factors impact optimal dosage such as age, height, weight, activity levels, etc.
As mentioned in the previous section, make sure you make notes of any noticeable changes. This allows you to review your records to see how helpful CBD is on stress levels, behavioral issues, etc.
CBD oil can be beneficial to some people with autism, as it helps to reduce their anxiety. There are minimal possible side effects, which is a big difference compared to traditional medication. Just make sure you do your research first and consult with your doctor if you have any questions about whether you can or should be taking CBD oil.