Does cannabis help autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which refers to a broad range of a mental conditions. Present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts.
Scientists suspect that a faulty gene or genes might make a person more likely to develop autism when there are also other factors present, such as a chemical imbalance, viruses or chemicals, or a lack of oxygen at birth. In a few cases, autistic behavior is caused by: Rubella (German measles) in the pregnant mother.
Here are some other key findings from our most recent report by Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC estimates that about 1 in 59 children has been identified with ASD (or 16.8 per 1,000 8-year-olds)
- Boys were 4 times were more likely to be identified with ASD than girls.
- While a higher percentage of white children were identified with autism compared to black children, and even more so compared to Hispanic children, these disparities were smaller when compared with estimates from previous years.
- Among children identified with ASD who had IQ scores available, nearly a third (31%) also had intellectual disability.
- About 42% of children with ASD are identified with developmental concerns by the age of 3 years. This percentage is lower than the goal set by Healthy People 2020 that 47% of children with ASD have a first evaluation by age 3 years.
- ASD can be diagnosed as early as age 2 years, most children are not diagnosed with ASD until after the age of 4.
There is hope for help
An Israel research report published in the American Academy of Neurolgy found that CBD had a 80% success rate in reducing autism spectrum disorders among children with autism. The study, led by Dr. Adi Aran, director of the pediatric neurology unit at Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem.
Sixty (60) children were treated using a high CBD cannabis oil with a concentration of 20% CBD and 1% THC the treatment lasted for seven months. THC is the main psychoactive ingredient in the marijuana plant it’s what give users the high. CBD on the other hand, has no psychoactive effect and is the medicinal part of the plant.
Questionnaires were filled out by parents at the end of the treatment period. The parents were asked if they had noticed a change in their child’s behavior, the degree of their child’s anxiety and whether their child’s communication abilities had changed.
Here’s what was reported:
- 80% of parents noted a decrease in problematic behaviors, with 62% reporting significant improvements.
- 50%of the children had improved communication
- 40% reported significant decreases in anxiety. (Note: one-third of the study participants began the study with no anxiety.)
There is no cure for autism spectrum disorder, and no medications that can treat it. There are antipsychotic medications that can help with related symptoms like depression, seizures, and trouble focusing. Most medical treatments are more effective when combined with behavioral therapies. CBD is showing promise for the treatment of both autism and epilepsy. As more and more research is conducted like Dr. Aran’s, health care professionals will begin to realize the benefits of medical cannabis.
Parents should not give their children CBD, cannabis, or cannabis-related compounds, without consulting with a doctor first.