“Was recommended by a child psychologist to give cbd to my 4 year old to help cope with anxiety and sensory issue’s. Falls asleep much faster, within 10 minutes these days, and much calmer less emotional during the day. Big difference in shops, less anxious.. Good quality product, great speedy service! Ordered in the morning was delivered same day.”
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a range of disorders that affect cognitive development, communication and behaviour, and even motor skills. Autism is the most common ASD and is usually diagnosed in early childhood. As it presents on a spectrum, symptoms can vary significantly and range from social withdrawal and speech delay to repetitive behaviour, outbursts and abnormal sensory perception.
While medication such as anti-depressants and anti-seizure drugs are sometimes prescribed to treat the symptoms, these come with the risk of side-effects. CBD, however, is gaining momentum as a natural alternative, with a growing body of both scientific and anecdotal evidence suggesting it is an effective choice.
One study observed the effects of a CBD-enriched treatment on 15 autistic patients during the course of six to nine months. The results were promising with most of the participants showing an improvement in more than one of the eight symptom categories – ADHD; behavioural disorders; motor deficits; autonomy deficits; communication and social interaction deficits; cognitive deficits; sleep disorders and seizures.
The success of CBD as a treatment is believed to be linked to the way in which it interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS helps to regulate many physiological processes and plays a key role in the development of our brain and nervous system.
For children on the autism spectrum, CBD offers a number of benefits. This plant-based medicine has been shown to not only increase levels of dopamine, which has a positive effect on managing hyperactivity and anxiety, but it also promotes the natural production of serotonin, the body’s feel-good chemical. Furthermore, CBD has shown potential to reduce oxidative stress in the brain. Oxidative stress results in lower levels of antioxidant serum proteins, which are associated with acquired language skills. Perhaps even more significant is CBD’s effectiveness in treating seizures, which is an autistic symptom that presents in more severe cases.
More recent research also points to the link between gut microbiomes and autism symptoms. Gut bacteria is believed to help produce bioactive compounds that influence brain function and social development. Interestingly, children with autism have a distinct mix of gut microbes, which are not present in other children, which further supports the theory that there is a link between gut health and autistic symptoms. By working with the endocannabinoid system, CBD can help to improve gut health, potentially benefitting cognitive function and behaviour.
With such broad benefits, it’s unsurprising CBD is appealing to so many parents looking for new treatments to help their autistic children and provided it is carefully researched, it is certainly an option worth exploring.