Autism spectrum disorder affects one in 68 American children. It is classified as a developmental disorder that affects people’s ability to communicate and interact with others. It is known as a spectrum because it affects individuals in varying degrees. Delayed language, repetitive behavior, intense interests, difficulty making eye contact and holding a conversation are all common behaviors found in a child with autism.
Autism is often accompanied by other medical problems, like gastrointestinal disorder, sleep disturbances, ADHD, and OCD. But this is where CBD and autism meet because CBD is known to relieve these medical issues.
The inability to communicate properly is very frustrating to those with autism and can lead to other behaviors. They can include rage, self-harm, anxiety, body rocking, and other repetitive behaviors. CBD is also considered to be helpful in these instances as well, due to cannabis’ soothing and calming effects.
The Endocannabinoid system (ECS) is where the connection between CBD and autism really starts to make sense. Many of autism’s symptoms are directly related to the functions of ECS. The ECS is the biggest regulatory system in the body and controls: mood, pain, sleep, appetite, pleasure, motor control, and memory.
CBD comes as a relief to parents because other drugs prescribed to children with autism are powerful. Often times, children are prescribed Abilify or Seroquel: antipsychotics that aren’t specifically for autism, or children for that matter.
These antipsychotic medications come with tons of negative side effects that include dizziness, stomach pain, and weight gain. Many criticize them for being too strong and turning kids with disabilities into zombies. Or as one parent puts it, “You give it to children who can’t communicate how they feel.”
CBD without THC, on the other hand, is more effective at treating symptoms and is much less harmful. It has no negative side effects aside from possible drowsiness. CBD and autism have tons of potential. For families looking for alternative treatment, CBD might be the answer they’re looking for.