Can CBD Oil Help Autism?
There’s a lot of talk circulating all over the internet about cannabidiol (CBD). It’s coming from scientists as well as the mainstream public in forums and on social media.
These comments, stories and research papers are detailing positive experiences about CBD, claiming that it is an effective way to treat many diseases such as depression, fibromyalgia, epilepsy, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, and many more.
As uses for CBD expand, so do questions from people regarding their specific condition. This article is going to explore CBD as a potential treatment for the systems of autism – a disease of the nervous system that can affect human development and behaviour.
What is Autism?
Autism is a condition stemming from the nervous system that typically begins in childhood. Considered to be a neurological disorder among many scientific researchers and health professionals, autism affects human development and social skills. Symptoms that manifest in most people include issues of communication, awkwardness in social situations and behavioural problems.
Autism is difficult to diagnose, mostly because there isn’t a single set of symptoms defining the disease. Medical practitioners instead refer to it as a spectrum of issues that range from mild to severe, classifying patients along that scale.
Can CBD Oil Help Autism?
Autism is a nervous system disorder. Therefore its cause stems from events that negatively impacted the nervous system either during pregnancy or shortly after birth.
The nervous system is directly affected by toxins and poisons. Healthcare professionals throughout the world along with advocates and lobbyists are pointing to childhood vaccinations as a root cause of autism. The main reason for this is due to the poisons found in vaccines – such as aluminum – that can directly damage the nervous system. In the late 1940s, a total of four vaccines were given to children. Today that number has increased by nearly 400%. While there has been much debate around the issue, a definite link has been made between African-American boys and a higher incidence of autism among those who were vaccinated versus children that were not subjected to the shots.
Since CBD helps with nervous system issues, many people with autism – including parents with autistic children – have been using it to treat symptoms.
CBD & Autism: How It Works
The endocannabinoid system is a component of the nervous system. You can think of the nervous system functioning somewhat to the mail service of a country. Neurotransmitters carrying messages deliver them to receptors located everywhere in the body. These neurotransmitters carry all sorts of messages such as pain, pleasure, hunger, thirst, and so on.
The Endocannabinoid System
The nervous system has many components. The endocannabinoid system is one part of the nervous system and has its own special neurotransmitters called cannabinoids.
Some cannabinoids – called endocannabinoids – are produced naturally within the body and some – called phytocannabinoids – are sourced externally through plants. Cannabis has nearly 150 different types of phytocannabinoids such as CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is mostly a controlled substance due to the “high” euphoric-like feelings produced when it is consumed. Conversely, CBD does not produce these sensations which is a primary reason for why it has been legalized in many places throughout the world.
The Importance of Cannabinoids
Cannabinoids send “feel good” neurotransmitters that can relieve pain, improve sleep, appetite, mood, memory, fertility and reproduction. Humans are able to produce endocannabinoids naturally however some issues related to physical, mental and emotional causes may prevent their production.
CBD-based products provide cannabidiol – an external cannabinoid – that can provide a wide range of therapeutic effects that include pain relief, mood enhancement, antidepressant effects and seizure reduction.
CBD Oil & Autism: What the Science Says
Research has also shown that CBD produces strong anti-inflammatory effects in addition to helping people reduce anxiety. This is in addition to the widespread anecdotal evidence and testimony of millions of people attesting to the benefits they have received from CBD.
Autism is no exception. An important study conducted in 2019 took 18 autistic patients and treated them with standardized CBD-enriched extract. While three stopped partway through the study, 14 of the 15 that remained showed improvement in at least one of the main symptom categories associated with autism that include motor deficits, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), behavioral disorders, autonomy deficits, seizures, communication/social interaction deficits, and sleep disorders.
Using CBD to treat autism is a fairly new practice. While there has been some research, it’s very limited at this point. What’s certain is that CBD has been proven to be effective in treating cannabinoid deficiency. Since cannabinoids are critical to the nervous system, it appears that CBD helps with nervous system disorders – autism being one of them. While CBD has been shown to be safe and gentle, it’s still important to talk to a holistic healthcare provider prior to making any important decisions about supplementation.