How Does CBD Help Children With Autism?
Do you know a child that is suffering from autism? Then you know how troublesome this condition can be. Unfortunately, nobody knows what causes this disorder and a cure has yet to be discovered. However, recent research has started to point to a compound known as CBD as a potentially effective medication at reducing many of the common symptoms caused by autism. Let’s look a little more deeply into the potential uses of CBD oil for kids with autism here.
Medical Benefits of CBD
CBD, which is known more properly as cannabidiol, is a powerful medicinal compound that is found in many plants throughout nature. Hemp and cannabis are especially rich with CBD; that is why most CBD oil extraction companies primarily use plants from these two species to make their various products.
CBD has shown quite a bit of potential as a medication for a variety of ailments and diseases. Research studies have illustrated this cannabinoid’s ability to treat inflammation, pain, neurological disorders, seizures, appetite issues, hormonal imbalances, anxiety, and even PTSD! One of the most interesting discoveries among this compound’s potential benefits has been the connection between CBD oil and autism.
What is autism?
Autism is one of the many developmental disorders that can attack children early on in life. As a matter of fact, most children who develop autism show distinctive symptoms by the time they turn three years old. The common symptoms involve difficulties with communication and social interactions.
Many autistic children also exhibit strange, repetitive, and restricted gestures and behaviors. Most of these issues seem to develop gradually, even though occasionally problematic signs can seem to come out of nowhere.
Autism affects people’s minds by altering the way their brains process information. It does this by altering the structure of nerve cells and the synapses that surround them. Those who suffer from autism and other related neurodevelopmental mental disorders (such as Asperger syndrome) are often referred to as being on the autism spectrum. Roughly one percent of people worldwide suffer from one or more of these conditions.
What are the main causes of autism?
Unfortunately, no real root causes of autism have ever been determined. However, a few risk factors during pregnancy have been determined. These factors include the ingestion of certain toxins (such as alcohol, hard drugs, pesticides, or excessive amounts of air pollution) or the development of infections (such as rubella) in the mother. Several autoimmune diseases have been linked to autism as well.
The most alarming statistics regarding autism
The most worrisome aspect of autism is the fact that the prevalence of this developmental disease is growing. In 2004, doctors were reporting that roughly 1 out of 166 children were developing an autism spectrum disorder. However, in 2018, new reports are showing that about 1 out of 59 kids are developing autism! That means in less than 15 years incidents of this worrisome disorder are almost twice as likely to occur.
What are the benefits of using CBD oil for autism?
Traditional therapies of autism include speech therapy techniques and interventions during early developmental stages to help improve certain behaviors. Since there is no real cure for this disease, these techniques have varying levels of effectiveness. Luckily, recent scientific research conducted in Israel has added additional confirmation to the hypothesis that CBD oil can be an effective treatment option for autism spectrum disorders.
In a study that is about to hit the press through the medical journal Neurology , Israeli researchers gave a group of sixty children suffering from autism doses of highly concentrated CBD oil for a period of at least seven months. The cannabis oil that was used was a special concoction that contained 20 percent CBD and only one percent THC (which is the compound found in cannabis that is responsible for causing its infamous psychoactive effects).
The results were startling! Roughly 50 percent of the treated children showed signs of improved communication. On top of that, about 80 percent of these children’s’ parents noticed significant decreases in problematic behavior! As much as 40 percent of the patients also displayed drastically reduced anxiety as well.
Hemp-based CBD or cannabis-based CBD oil: Which one is better for autism treatment?
The research seems to indicate that any oils that are rich in cannabidiol can be potentially effective at treating autism spectrum disorders. Depending on where you and your family are located, you may only have access to certain types of CBD oils. All CBD supplements extracted from hemp plant material are legal in all 50 states within the US. Cannabidiol products that are derived from cannabis are only available in the areas of the country that have legalized either recreational or medical marijuana.
As noted above, the CBD oil that was used in the recent Israel autism study contained 1 percent THC. This is roughly three times higher than the CBD concentration found in hemp-based cannabidiol supplements since the legal limit of THC in these products is 0.3 percent! Only marijuana-based cannabidiol oils have a 1 percent or higher concentration of THC.
Since the cannabinoids found in hemp and marijuana often work more effectively (in a medicinal sense) when used together, children with autism may find more relief with marijuana-derived CBD oils than hemp-extracted ones. But both types can likely show some improvement.
Will using CBD for autism make children “high”?
This is one of the most common questions regarding any product that could be potentially extracted from cannabis. Unfortunately, CBD oils that are made from recreational or medical marijuana could get autistic children high because their THC levels can be quite elevated. Luckily, they can completely bypass the possibility of feeling psychoactive effects by only using CBD oils made from hemp since these products’ THC percentages are low.
Hopefully, this has made the connection between autism and CBD oil far more clear for you. Do you know a child with autism and CBD supplements seem like a good idea for them to try? Well, if you both happen to live in the state of Florida, you have a number of different options available to you based on the fact that laws allow for the legal use of medical marijuana products. Contact us at Biofit today to get more information on the different CBD oils that are available for you and your loved ones!
CBD for Autism: how hemp oil could help treat Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Autism is a difficult to treat disorder with no available cures. Mainly because of the many different causes and symptoms it can bring about. However, many patients (and their parents) are desperate for an effective treatment. Considering autism spectrum disorder (ASD) – as it is actually called – greatly impacts social behavior and communication. Now research shows, that CBD oil could possibly decrease symptoms linked to various disorders on the autism spectrum.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a difficult disorder to treat, unfortunately. For some part, this has to do with the fact that it can have many different causes. As such, the developmental disorder is associated with both genetic and external factors. This includes – but is not limited to – certain infections during the pregnancy, toxins used (alcohol and other drugs), pesticides, air pollution and autoimmune diseases.
Therefor, symptoms of the ‘disease’ – if we can even call it that – might vary a lot. In fact, the term ‘spectrum’ in the name refers to the wide range of symptoms and severity individual patients might experience. In general however, autism is characterized by communicative disorders, deviant social behavior and limited mobility or repeated movements. And as it begins in early childhood – often discovered within the first year – most (severe) patients are children. Luckily, early and adequate treatment could greatly benefit the child’s development.
Inhibiting brain stimuli
Symptoms of various autism spectrum disorders often find their origin in the brain. Considering most of them are caused by a decreased inhibition of signals in the brain. And when these signals in the brain are not properly tamed, it can cause the brain to go in a sort of overdrive. This might be expressed as a hypersensitivity to light, sound, smells and touch. Which could trigger patients to react undesirably; with (physical) aggression or other extreme emotions, for example. Though in about 25 percent of ASD-cases, the brain gets so overstimulated that it can even cause extremely heavy epileptic seizures.
Accordingly, scientists focus on the inhibition of brain stimuli to decrease these symptoms and hopefully treat the disorder. Researchers of the Stanford University have tested this on mice, which were altered to show autism-like symptoms. Using optogenetics lights, the scientist then were able to increase the brain’s inhibiting function; which greatly helped to decrease the autism symptoms. Though unfortunately this technique does not work for people (yet).
Studies on CBD and autism
Another group of scientists – from the university of Washington – tried to get the same results using a different treatment: Cannabidiol (CBD). This is one of the best known cannabinoids found in hemp plants. But it is also the main ingredient in our high quality CBD oil. A product which is actually gaining momentum in the medical community; because of its many possible medical uses. One of the most prominent according to scientists, is CBD’s efficacy as a possible treatment of Dravet Syndrome; a severe form of child-epilepsy. An effect which has been proven by clinical trials.
Considering epilepsy and autism both have to do with some form of limited inhibition of brain stimuli – and autistic patients might even experience epileptic seizures themselves. It is only logical to investigate if CBD oil has the same positive effects on autism. While most evidence of CBD’s effects on autism is merely anecdotal; there is this one clinical trial, completed in 2019, on which we can rely.
CBD and autism-related symptoms
The researchers from Washington used their animal model of Dravet syndrome in order to study CBD oil’s effects on autism-like symptoms. Although the rodents could have spontaneous attacks and autism-related behavior just like humans; people and mice are still different. So to be able to make the right comparisons and draw valid conclusions, some situations had to be staged.
One of these situations forced a mouse to choose between interacting with another mouse or with a lifeless object. Where mice would normally prefer to spend time with other mice. The ones with autistic traits (like Dravet) liked to spend an even amount of time with the object as they did with the mouse. When treated with a small dose of CBD (approximately one tenth of an anti-epileptic dose) however; researchers reported an increase of the time spent with the other mouse.
Effects of CBD oil on autism
So the autistic mice were prone to avoid social interaction at first; and they literally hid in a corner. The scientists say this reaction comes from social anxiety, caused by excessive social stimuli. By using Cannabidiol from hemp though, this behavior decreased. On the other hand, the animals showed an increase in the quality of their social interaction.
In short, this shows that CBD improved the situation on both measure-points. We must note though, this was a study performed on mice and the results for humans might not be the same. Even though the internet is full of anecdotal evidence of CBD oil’s efficacy in treating kids with autism:
By recording the electric signals in the brain of the rodents in the study; the scientists were able to understand how CBD actually works in a brain with autism. Apparently, CBD blocks the GPR55-receptor. Which in response increases the inhibiting function of brain cells; and restores the balance in the brain. Considering this receptor is responsible for the communication between brain cells. It is believed to be one of the main reasons behind CBD oil’s efficacy in treating autism-related symptoms, inflammations and (chronic) pain – amongst other ailments.