CBD for the Treatment of Autism
Colorado’s House of Representatives recently passed a new piece of legislation, House Bill 1028, to increase access to medicinal cannabidiol for the treatment of autism spectrum disorder. The bill enjoyed total support in the House, meaning no votes were cast against it, and now it heads to the Senate. With the passage of the bill, children under the age of eighteen with autism spectrum disorder will be eligible for treatment with cannabidiol, or CBD, in the Mile High State.
Currently, Colorado law provides for the use of CBD for conditions like pediatric inflammatory bowel disease, brain and spine tumors, tuberous sclerosis complex, severe pain and seizures. Although a similar bill sailed through the General Assembly in 2018, the previous Governor of Colorado John Hickenlooper vetoed the legislation. However, on the campaign trail the current Governor Jared Polis indicated that he would support a similar bill if it came across his desk while he is in office. If Governor Polis has a chance to sign such a bill, CBD will become a viable treatment option for children who struggle with autism spectrum disorder. This is extremely fortunate, as it will allow them to enjoy the benefits of CBD.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
The United States Center for Disease Control estimated that roughly 1 in 59 children have autism spectrum disorder. Autism is a type of developmental disorder that is caused by both genetic and environmental factors. These disorders are developmental because they typically become apparent during infancy or early childhood and result in symptoms that may last throughout a lifetime. The environmental factors that play a role in autism are not fully understood; however, scientists do know the prevalence is going up.
Autism is characterized by:
- Difficulties with communication,
- Difficulties in coordination and attention,
- Repetitive behaviors,
- Intellectual disability,
- Developmental coordination disorder.
Autism is a complex disorder and not every patient will present with all these symptoms.
Every child is with autism is different. In the most severe instances, autism spectrum disorder can cause debilitating symptoms that affects a person’s ability to communicate. This can make social interaction difficult or even impossible, and some children cannot speak. When communication is impossible, it is imperative to determine how to best treat the symptoms.
How is Autism Spectrum Disorder Treated?
Although there is no cure for autism, in many cases, these disorders are managed using atypical antipsychotics, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), stimulants and anxiolytics. All these medications can have negative side effects, particularly for children. Furthermore, some children do not respond to antipsychotic medications at all. Fortunately, CBD offers a form of treatment that does not possess the same dangerous side effects as antipsychotic medications.
How Can CBD Help Autism Spectrum Disorder?
While previously only anecdotal evidence showed that CBD can have positive effects on the verbal and cognitive functioning of children who struggle with autism spectrum disorder, there is a growing body of scientific evidence that supports the benefits of CBD for managing the symptoms of the disorder. Furthermore, there are several ongoing studies worldwide testing the efficacy of using CBD to treat autism spectrum disorder.
CBD may be effective in giving patients with autism the opportunity to engage socially and better communicate with others. In ‘Oral Cannabidiol Use in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder to Treat Related Symptoms and Co-morbidities‘, an Israeli study, eighty percent of autistic children—who had not shown improvement with more traditional therapies like antipsychotic medications—showed improvement after receiving CBD oil treatments for at least seven months. After the cannabidiol treatment, the children’s parents noted significant improvements in communication, problematic behaviors (self-injury, aggression, restlessness) and anxiety levels.
While CBD is derived from the cannabis plant, it is not psychoactive. In other words, a child with autism who takes CBD will not get high or experience any of the euphoria or confusion associated with marijuana. Not only does this demonstrate that CBD is a particularly stigma free and useful type of medical marijuana treatment, but it is also why CBD may be an ideal option for children with autism spectrum disorder.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. CBD products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or ailment. Symbio Wellness LLC assumes no responsibility for the improper use of these products. We recommend consulting with a qualified medical doctor or physician when preparing a treatment plan for any and all diseases or ailments. Symbio Wellness LLC does not make any health claims about our products and recommend consulting with a qualified medical doctor or physician prior to consuming our products or preparing a treatment plan. It is especially important for those who are pregnant, nursing, chronically ill, elderly or under the age of 18 to discuss the use of these products with a physician prior to consuming. You must be 18 years or older to visit this website and/or purchase Symbio Wellness LLC products. The information on our website is intended to provide general information regarding our products and is not to be construed as medical advice or instruction.