Children with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) experience a variety of difficulties in everyday life.
Generally, ASD is defined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges. Additionally, people with autism have difficulty understanding or can often misinterpret typical human interaction through body language and tone. Their learning abilities can range on a “spectrum” from highly gifted and talented to severely challenged. Intervention is critical and highly recommended at an early age.
There is currently no cure for ASD, however, there are a few treatments available to parents whose children are diagnosed with the disorder. Arguably the most important treatment is early intervention through Special Education. This allows children to learn how to navigate through social situations involving personal communication, verbally, and nonverbally. Service workers work closely with children diagnosed with ASD by teaching the children to improve interactions through special focus and imitation techniques. Another form of treatment involves a special diet, avoiding gluten, a protein commonly found in cereals and breads.
For more severe disorders, sometimes prescription medications will be used as a treatment option. Unfortunately, with prescription medications come an abundance of unpleasant side effects.
While scientific studies continue to pour in from scholars across the globe, hemp CBD oils are becoming a popular option amongst parents to use in order to treat autism spectrum disorder. But what is CBD? What are its medicinal benefits? And is it safe to administer to your child?
CBD (cannabidiol) is a naturally occurring compound derived from the hemp plant. The hemp plant differs from the cannabis marijuana plant in that hemp plants will produce a test result of >0.3% THC and are rich in the CBD compound. CBD is often used in place of THC products as it does not create a psychoactive effect while maintaining its internal medicinal benefits.
CBD oil may be beneficial to those who fall on the spectrum as it has been found to aid in stress relief during confusing and difficult moments as well as help curb anxiety. Children with ASD might struggle with processing and displaying strong emotions and feeling empathy towards others and children with more severe disorders might display behaviors like self-injury or outbursts of aggression. CBD oil recommended more and more as a daily supplement for children with ASD to help curb anxiety.
30% of children with autism spectrum disorder have also been diagnosed with epilepsy, a disorder resulting in unpredictable seizures. The FDA recently approved the use of Epidiolex (a plant-based formulation of CBD) to treat seizures for people 2 years of age and older with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) (Epilepsy Foundation). CBD oil has gained popularity as families seek alternative treatments to prescription medications that may result in a multitude of side effects. CBD oil has been found to produce a lower number of unwanted side effects than prescription meds, making it a desirable treatment option for many parents looking for a more “natural” medicine to administer to their children.
While scholarly experiments and reports are still developing regarding the benefits of medicinal use of CBD to treat autism spectrum disorder, it can be difficult to back up evidential claims about the properties of the compound. Many people reference and are familiar with the story of Charlotte Figi, a little girl who suffered from epilepsy and was able to go from having nearly 300 seizures daily to only a few in one month, thanks to CBD’s homeostasis maintenance characteristic. Her family saw major improvements in not only the reduction of frequency of her seizures, but she also became more socially involved and her speech improved significantly. Charlotte’s positive benefits and relief from taking CBD oil sparked a movement around the world and played a critical role in supporting US legislation on medical marijuana.
CBD oil is available at any Cannabis Nation Dispensary and can be used to treat a variety of autism-related symptoms, including stress relief, reducing anxiety, help coping with aggressive behavior, and promoting homeostasis within the body. There is enough evidence to support the idea that CBD is a safe and natural medicinal alternative for children with autism.