CBD for Autism
It is much easier to develop specialized medication when the cause of a disorder is known. Unfortunately, researchers are still not completely sure what causes Autism. For this reason, using CBD for Autism may be the best option to alleviate symptoms at the current time.
What is Autism?
Autism is diagnosed using comprehensive diagnostic evaluation and developmental screening.
A medical professional will look for certain characteristics in a child. These characteristics may include one or more of the following: communication problems, abnormal social behavior, repeated actions or movements, under or overreaction to 1 or more of the 5 senses, unusual interest in objects, or intense and prolonged emotional reactions.
There are several factors that contribute to the development of this disorder, including genetic mutations, environmental factors, or a combination of both. Environmental factors can include subjection to pesticides, exposure to drugs or alcohol while still in the womb, or even parental age. Symptoms usually reveal themselves within the first two years of a child’s life.
Autism is considered a spectrum, due to this wide range of contributing factors, as well as the severity of symptoms, which can range from mild to extreme.
Is There a Way to Treat It?
There are many different forms of therapy and training being used to alleviate the symptoms associated with Autism. These can include one or more of the following: auditory training, discrete trial training, vitamin therapy, facilitated communication, music therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, or sensory integration.
There are several medications that can treat symptoms of Autism. Two of the most popular are atypical antipsychotics: Risperdal and Abilify. These medications are used to treat Autism-related irritability.
Common side effects of these medications can include:
- Stomach pain
- Increased appetite
- Generalized pain
- Increased saliva production
More serious side effects might include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Difficulty breathing and/or swallowing
- Chest pain
- Vision changes
- High fever
- Uncontrollable body movements
- Sweating, rash, hives, or itches
- Muscle rigidity
- Swelling of the face, eyes, mouth, lips, throat, tongue, feet, hands, ankles, or legs
- Suicidal thoughts
- New or worsening depression
- Panic attacks
- Aggressive behavior
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep
CBD for Autism
There is only one human clinical trial currently underway in Jerusalem. This trial will conclude in July of this year.
One study examined social interaction in lab mice. Researchers would place more “social mice” in a chamber with mice that exhibited signs of social anxiety (aka run and hide.) When these antisocial mice took CBD, they were much more prone to interacting with the other mice. This has led scientists to believe it could possibly help autistic children become more social.
Although scientific research is still ongoing, there has been mounting anecdotal evidence from parents of autistic children, that CBD has eased many of their children’s symptoms.
While anecdotal evidence doesn’t do much for scientific research, it is certainly encouraging that CBD may be able to effectively treat many of the symptoms associated with Autism. Better yet, CBD has no known side effects, unlike commonly prescribed medications.