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CBD oil for Autism patients

Dani Walton
Dani Walton
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Autism spectrum disorder is an increasingly common condition, usually identified in early childhood. There are virtually no effective treatment options for the condition which negatively affects quality of life and ability to work. CBD shows a lot of promise as a new and effective treatment option for those with this condition. In this article, we take a look at how CBD can be used for autism, what the research says about it, and how you can choose the right CBD oil.

The endocannabinoid system in people with autism

Before referring in depth to the use of CBD in people with autism, it is good to clarify how the endocannabinoid system works in people with this pathology. In order to carry out a good treatment, it is necessary to know how the patient’s body and their entire organism receives the benefits they receive from CBD.

Studies have shown that those with autism have lower concentrations of the body’s main endocannabinoid, anandamide, compared to healthy patients. This is a strong indication that a dysfunctional endocannabinoid system is involved with autism symptoms. Some studies have gone so far as to make a connection between autism and the release of oxytocin, which is the main neurotransmitter involved in reinforcing parental and social bonds (these bonds are weakened in patients with autism). This system appears to be regulated by the endocannabinoid system which is how CBD can help.

CBD in the world

Last year, the World Health Organization, acknowledging the explosion in “off-label” medical uses of CBD, reviewed the evidence for its safety and efficacy. The WHO report concluded that “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.” Any adverse effects could be the result of interactions between CBD and a patient’s existing medications, the WHO noted.

The report found no indication of possible abuse or dependency. “To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or of any related public health problems associated with the use of pure CBD.” As for effectiveness, the WHO noted that several clinical trials had shown effectiveness for epilepsy, adding: “There is also preliminary evidence that CBD may be a useful treatment for a number of other medical conditions.”

What science says about CBD and autism

In one study, an improvement in behavioral symptoms has been recorded in 61% of participants after treatment with sublingual CBD oil, while in others it has also been possible to observe cognitive, communicative, and social improvement. It is also important to mention an improvement in sleep problems, hyperactivity, and episodes of self-harm, in addition to the beneficial effects for epilepsy.

According to the evidence on its anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties, CBD would represent a first-choice tool to improve chronic inflammation at the neurological level and the body’s immune response which could lead to different types of improvement.

CBD in autistic people and its benefits

We must remember that people with autism often have dysfunctional anandamide (one of our primary endocannabinoids) and changes in serotonin and dopamine which are important neurotransmitters in the brain. CBD works specifically by optimizing anandamide levels in the body by preventing its breakdown and increasing the rate of release of this important regulatory molecule. This offers direct benefits to autism by addressing what many researchers believe to be one of the main underlying causes of autism.

1- Reduces the frequency and severity of seizures

In one study, CBD extracts were shown to reduce epileptic seizures in 89% of treated patients. This is significant when considering the fact that approximately 20-30% of people with autism experience occasional or frequent seizure attacks.

2- Reduces the severity of dysfunctional social behaviors in autistic patients

Social behavior problems are the hallmark of autism. People with autism often experience social anxiety, an inability to communicate effectively, and a lack of attention to social cues. Most of the research in this area comes to us through case studies including reports from doctors and parents monitoring autistic children taking CBD oil. These doctors note any improvement or worsening in social behavior during treatment.

In an attempt to improve our understanding of this, researchers began conducting studies on rat models of autism, many of which noted significant improvements in socializing behavior in affected rats after taking CBD.

3- Reduces symptoms of social anxiety

Anxiety is one area where CBD tends to really shine in terms of treatment options. It works through several systems in the central nervous system associated with stress and anxiety, starting with the hypothalamus, the main regulator of the response to stress and anxiety.

CBD increases the sensitivity of this important region of the brain, making it more receptive to stress and therefore more able to regulate an appropriate response to stress. People with autism often lack effective stress management in this brain region, causing high levels of anxiety if there is any change in their routine or environment. Other studies have shown a direct improvement in social anxiety scores in a model based on public speaking.

4- Alleviates addictive behaviors

One of the common traits of autistic children is addictive behavior towards stimulation-inducing activities, such as video games or television. The main cause of this is believed to be a dysfunctional release of dopamine. This neurotransmitter plays a key role in the brain’s reward center which gives us a dose of the feel-good molecule (oxytocin) when we do something that benefits the body.

In some people, such as those with autism or ADHD, dopamine levels are low, causing them to seek more stimulation to elicit the same response. This facilitates the development of an addiction to stimulating activities such as television and video games. CBD has been shown in preclinical trials to improve addictive behavior by enhancing the dopamine reward system, allowing patients to more easily find the reward response without seeking excessive stimulation.

5- Stabilizes mood disorders

A common finding in people with autism is mood disorders. The most common forms are depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, mania, and psychosis. Much of this is regulated by serotonin activity in the brain. CBD was shown to reduce hyperactive serotonin receptors and have similar effects to lithium which is a mood-stabilizing pharmaceutical drug.

The correct dose

Finding your CBD dosage is perhaps the most confusing part of the entire process. This is because the endocannabinoid system is incredibly diverse from person to person, making it difficult to know exactly how much CBD is needed to produce the desired effects.

With autism, it is important to always start with a very low dose and slowly increase it over time once you know how it directly affects the individual. Here’s a recent guide we did on the subject to help you get started. The correct dose is identified when you find symptom relief.

Selecting the correct CBD Oil

When choosing a CBD oil, as always, it is important to look for a product of high quality and avoid the cheaper and poorly made options that are common on the market as these extracts are not reliable and may contain harmful additives. For autism, you can opt for a full-spectrum extract which includes all other cannabinoids and terpenes found in the plant or a CBD isolate.

Full-spectrum extracts contain other compounds that aid the effects of CBD by enhancing its absorption and passage through the blood-brain barrier and may even offer therapeutic support on their own. CBD isolates do not contain these other ingredients but do have higher doses of CBD. Most of the research on this condition has been done using CBD isolates.

It’s also important to remember to avoid anything that includes THC as it has the opposite effect of CBD in many ways and can actually further reduce anandamide levels, thus making the condition worse. Always check the concentration of THC on the bottle. We recommend that you take a look at our article on the best CBD oils to learn more about it and see which oil is best for you.

Avoiding THC for autism

THC has been shown to reduce anandamide concentrations which are already at risk of being too low in these individuals. Pushing this could make symptoms worse instead of better. Cannabinoids like THC and THCV can also induce rather than relieve anxiety which is one of the most troublesome symptoms for people with an autism spectrum disorder.

CBD Charlotte`s web

Charlottes Web

This variety called Charlotte`s Web is one of the most popular medicinal marijuana seeds that is rich in CBD and low in THC. This strain of weed has been used for the treatment of childhood seizures and is now gaining attention as an alternative to be used for the treatment of autism. With concentrations of 10%-12% CBD and less than 1% THC, it is ideal for both children and adults with autism. It helps relieve anxiety and has strong calming properties which allows control of spasms or insomnia. In addition, it leaves users in a state of deep relaxation which makes it possible to control autism-related aggression.

CBD Diesel

​​CBD Diesel (1:1) is a sativa-dominant variety that is rich in CBD, reaching levels of 7% and THC percentages of only 6%, that is, it is a variety (1:1) or 1 part of CBD for 1 part of THC. As for medical cannabis patients, it can be said that they have used CBD Diesel (1:1) to help relieve symptoms related to anxiety, stress, depression, and pain. As we know, people with autism can have trouble socializing and this is why CBD Diesel (1:1) can provide blissful and invigorating effects to enhance socialization for these medicinal weed users.

CBD OG kush (1:15)

The medicinal version of OG Kush called CBD OG Kush (1:15) is a strain indicated for people seeking relief from their health problems because it has high CBD levels of 8%-10% and a low THC ratio of 6%-8%. With this strain of cannabis, you can control body spasms and help relieve anxiety symptoms because this mostly indica genetic induces a deep state of relaxation that allows people to fall asleep and reduces insomnia. This variety of weed can be used with controlled doses in oil format and creams can also be made. Although, it is always good to start with small amounts as its effect is usually intense and very long.

CBD Blueberry (1:16)

The CBD Blueberry strain needs no introduction, however, we tell you that it is an Indica-dominant strain with one of the fruitiest profiles you will ever have the pleasure of enjoying. With its potent CBD levels ranging from 14%-16% and low THC percentages ranging from 0.5%-0.6%, CBD Blueberry is said to be one of the most delicious medicinal experiences to be had. It is no surprise that this legendary strain has been used as the genetic base for many of the modern cannabis strains and in the case of this CBD version, it is due to its great potential to control muscle spasms, anxiety, and even help fight depression.

Auto CBD Purple

Auto CBD Purple produces intense, relaxing effects that induce a deep relaxation in people and has a sedative characteristic that causes sleep. For these reasons, we believe that Auto CBD Purple weed strain which has CBD levels of 17%-19% and low THC percentages of 0.2%-0.5% is recommended for medicinal users with autism.  In addition, it can help users with other pathologies such as fatigue, depression, or arthritis. Now that we have an overview of how we can use CBD oil in users with autism and also how CBD can help treat this type of condition, you can move towards a CBD treatment. Although, it is always important to consult in advance with your doctor and clearly follow his or her advice to avoid causing damage. Do not forget that you can also buy each of the CBD-rich varieties that we have recommended in our store where we guarantee the highest quality of medicinal seeds.

Strains featured in this article:

Dani Walton

Dani Walton is a highly accomplished cannabis expert and entrepreneur hailing from the Bay Area. With an impressive track record spanning over 20 years, Dani has amassed a wealth of experience in the cannabis industry. Her journey has taken her across the globe, as she traveled with the executive team of Harborside for more than 11 years, passionately advocating for the positive impacts of the cannabis plant.

During her tenure at Harborside, Dani excelled in managing wholesale and distribution for Harborside's farm, while also playing a pivotal role in the development of their in-house brand, Key. Following her departure from Harborside, Dani embarked on a new venture, co-founding NXTLVL, a women-owned concentrate delivery service that quickly gained recognition and Agris Farms. A beautiful 5 acre light dep farm located in Woodland, near Sacramento.

Her extensive knowledge encompasses the latest consumer trends, cannabis sales, extraction techniques, cultivation methods, new brands and products, as well as the evolving science of cannabis medicine. Recognized as a respected authority in the industry, Dani has served as a judge for esteemed cannabis competitions such as Chalice, High Times, Dab- A- Doo, The Organic Cup and The Emerald Cup. Her expertise and insights have been sought after by renowned publications and media outlets, including Forbes, The Guardian, The Independent, and many others.

With her remarkable background and unwavering commitment to advancing the cannabis industry, Dani Walton stands as a true pioneer and an influential figure in the field.

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