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CBD For Autism: What Parents Need To Know According To The Research

CBD For Autism

There are several theories regarding the rise of autism spectrum disorders and while clinicians cannot say with certainty what is causing the increase, what is for sure is that the level of cases is rising. The proof is in the data. In 2017, the stats showed a rise of 30 percent in the US alone. That's 1 in 68 compared to the 1 in 88 noted back in 2008. Compared to the 1 in 150 in 2000, it is safe to say that autism rates have more than doubled in almost two decades.

Autism affects children in different ways, from their motor skills to cognitive development, social interaction, communication, or social behavior. Parents of autistic children choose to deal with this challenging experience in different ways. Some choose to nourish their children with specific dietary requirements. Others decide to opt for a quiet life, away from the city's chaos, to give their children more room to feel free.

Some parents are choosing something non-traditional, but it is an option that could be of benefit to their child. CBD is the new trending product making a name for itself as a potent health tool. But how safe is it, especially when administered to children? Can CBD be the answer for parents who have children with autism?

What is CBD?

Cannabinol (CBD) is derived from the same plant species as marijuana. However, unlike the latter, hemp-derived CBD containing less than 0.3 percent of THC does not have psychoactive effects. This means that a person cannot get high from CBD, nor is there a risk of overdose.

Research on CBD is limited but what researchers have observed is that CBD works on the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The latter is an essential bodily function that manages critical systems in our body, including fertility, mood, sleep, body temperature, and appetite by using receptors throughout the mind and body.

Experts have yet to understand how CBD manipulates these receptors to stimulate change. Still, they have observed that this natural compound can bring change by signaling to these receptors. As a result, people have been using CBD to help them with their anxiety, insomnia, heart disease, diabetes, PTSD, and more.

With the rise in demand, the CBD industry has stepped up its game as well. There are cbd gummies for a subtle way to take this natural compound in public and CBD bath bombs for a truly relaxing bathing experience.

How safe is CBD for children with autism?

Due to the small body of research conducted so far, medical professionals cannot administer CBD to adults or children with assurance. However, there is encouraging evidence of CBD being helpful to children with autism from the studies conducted so far.

There was one study conducted in 2018, where 60 children with autism were given doses of CBD. The results showed that CBD oil eased autistic issues such as anxiety, communication, and behavioral problems. In another study conducted in 2019, 15 patients were given CBD. One patient showed no improvement, and three others stopped using CBD before the first month because of side effects. However, the rest of the patients showed improvement in their ADHD, communication, motor deficits, behavioral disorders, and more during the nine months of CBD treatment.

This isn't the first time that CBD was administered to children. When it comes to epilepsy, the FDA has already approved the first-ever CBD-based drug which can be administered to children as young as two years old. The drug, called Epidiolex, is given to patients with a rare form of epilepsy known as Dravet's syndrome.

Issues to consider before giving your child CBD

Although early research is encouraging, there are issues you must consider before giving your child CBD. Primarily, it's important to note that not all CBD products on the market are lab tested. So while some products may contain pure CBD, others may contain other ingredients that could be harmful to your child.

Moreover, the dose varies from one CBD brand to the other. Your child may need one drop of CBD oil from one brand but would require two or more drops when it's a different brand. The side effects of CBD could bring discomfort to your child too.

Although researchers have not observed any harmful side effects, some people have experienced drowsiness, nausea, and diarrhea after taking CBD. Dry lips are a common side effect too. CBD can also alter the work of other medications your child may be taking. It can block the work of particular medicine in the body, proving to be harmful if that medicine stops working.

The best way to administer CBD to your child

If you are keen on trying CBD to improve your child's autistic symptoms, it is best to speak to a medical professional who can guide you into choosing the right CBD products and the ideal dose for your child. A doctor can closely monitor your child to make sure the child benefits from this natural compound.

References:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-real-reasons-autism-rates-are-up-in-the-u-s/

https://n.neurology.org/content/90/15_Supplement/P3.318

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6333745/

https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-drug-comprised-active-ingredient-derived-marijuana-treat-rare-severe-forms

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Crystal Willson
See all posts by Crystal Willson

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