CBD oil for Autism with reddit research 2020
A lot of stories have appeared recently on people using CBD oil for autism. It’s yet another way that CBD Oil can be used to help improve the quality of life of people around the world by helping with the control of seizures and reducing anxiety which in turn makes every day life, in particular social situations, a lot more pleasant and manageable.
Improving the quality of life of someone with autism aren’t just my words, they come from the Autism Society who helped promote National Autism Awareness Month in the USA this April.
According to its website above, the Autism Society wants to promote autism awareness, inclusion, and self determination for all and want to make sure that every person who has ASD [Autistic Spectrum Disorder] can achieve the highest quality of life.
Sometimes cases can be so severe that ANY improvement is life changing for both the person with autism and their families.
Following on from this I saw that a story on CBD oil featured prominently on Reddit recently, it turned into a very interesting discussion and some great points were made.
In particular one person posted their experiences of their wife with autism taking CBD oil, so I thought I would share it with you guys.
He says that they started with a low concentration and the effects are pretty mild but that it looks promising. Another Redditor posts a similar story of how CBD oil helps his autistic wife as it helps with her severe anxiety and helps calm her down which helps a lot in social situations.
Two very good and practical examples of CBD oil helping in some small way to help people with autism have a better quality of life.
Autism Diagnoses Rates
Autism is a big talking point now with diagnosis rates increasing sharply over the past few years going from about 1 in 150 in the year 2000, to 1 in 59 in 2014.
The reasons for this increase are complex, it does not necessarily mean that Autism is increasing, it may mean that methods of diagnoses are getting better.
Children are being diagnosed earlier and parents can meet the challenges presented head on, as early intervention is key, to give those with the condition the best possible opportunity to live as normal a life as possible.
Video footage of the difficulties faced by parents with severely autistic children, unfortunately, makes for harrowing, sometimes shocking viewing.
You might have seen the documentary on Autism by Louis Theroux on the BBC or caught it on Netflix, if not, then it is well worth watching. Many celebrities in the UK and Ireland such as Paddy and Christine McGuinness and Boyzone’s Keith Duffy have been very open about what it is like being parents to children on the Autism spectrum.
The Autism Spectrum
The medical community is only beginning to understand the condition now and so it is no surprise that much of it is misunderstood by the general public.
I think it’s important that when people talk about autism that they are aware of the spectrum that I mentioned earlier, that is ASD, Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
What I mean by that is that a person can be on the spectrum and have very mild autism so that it is barely noticeable, such as someone diagnosed with Asperger’s.
These people may face challenges that they have to overcome in social situations, they might appear a little awkward, self-conscious or say the wrong things but in other ways they are fine. They work or study, or have relationships like everyone else.
Then there is severe autism where the person may not be able to speak, so are non-verbal, this can lead to severe frustration and then unfortunately, this frustration can lead to violent outbursts which can cause fear and be dangerous to the person and their immediate family.
Of course, parents love their children and will do anything to help them and make them happy. People who have someone with autism in their life can be open to remedies and treatments that were previously dismissed and often they are keen to do their own research and draw on their own conclusions to try to help make their children’s lives better.
This has led to an increase in the use of CBD oil in the treatment of autism.
Research into CBD Oil and Autism
USA Today reported on the research being carried out in Mod’in, Israel into the effect of CBD oil, cannabidiol, into autism. Israel permitted the use of medical marijuana in 1992, and is one of only 3 countries, the others being Canada[ I talked about this in my other CBD/Cancer article] and the Netherlands, that have a government backed medical cannabis program.
Around one third, 33%, of children with autism also deal with epilepsy. These studies in Israel have shown that CBD oil drastically reduced seizures in children and improved their behaviours.
The clinical trials involve the use of the non-psychoactive CBD oil, meaning you don’t get ‘high’ from it, as it doesn’t large amounts of THC, along with a placebo.
There were 110 clinical trials involving cannabis going on in Israel in 2017. The paediatric neurologist leading the research in Israel, Adi Aran, has said many children have shown significant improvements. They don’t hurt themselves as much or lash out or throw tantrums like they did before.
Conventional treatments involve the use of antipsychotic medication and around half of those suffer serious side effects. The user can be zoned out or be like a zombie, which no parent wants to see, and while it may relieve some of the aggressive behaviour it is tough on the parents.
The Israeli research is very promising and I will keep an eye on any research that is done, especially when the alternative is powerful anti-psychotic medication.
Another fascinating study I saw was from a clinical psychologist in Puerto Rico. Dr Giovanni Martinez has also seen rapid results from using a hemp oil spray twice daily on a child with severe autism.
The child was full non-verbal and in three weeks has started speaking his first words. Dr Martinez believes that the CBD oil opens up the child’s communication abilities and this communication makes the child happier and less frustrated.
If you are interested in reading more about the clinical trials and science behind all this, in 2013 research showed that the Cannabinoid receptor type 2 could be used in the pharmacological management of autism but more research needs to be done.
Other Parents’ Experiences of CBD Oil for Autism.
I found another very interesting Ask Me Anything, AMA, on Reddit with a father about the effects of CBD oil on his 7-year-old son with severe autism. His anti-psychotic medicine, Rispradol, did make him calmer but scary side effects included his tongue swelling which can affect speech.
He found a doctor in Berkeley, California that specialized in cannabis therapy for children with autism and epilepsy. The first night he tried the CBD oil he reported that his child went to sleep quickly and quietly, rather than the usual 30-45 minute tantrum. It’s also helping him with his speech and he has better focus, for example his child was able to get haircut, which he says was unthinkable before.
As the father on the Reddit AMA points out, every case is different; no 2 autistic people are the same. You have to try and find what works in your situation, do your own research and try things out.
There probably won’t be a magical permanent cure for those living with autism. Instead a combination of medication, supplements, therapy, activities, of which CBD oil could be one, might will help you achieve the aims set out by the Autism Society, that is trying to give those living with autism the highest quality of life.