How is CBD being used to treat children with Autism?
CBD and its role in treating children with Autism Spectrum Disorder has been a blessing for many parents struggling to find an effective treatment for their child’s condition. Medical marijuana can be extracted and refined through a process called roto-vaporization from a cannabis plant creating a purer form of CBD. CBD doesn’t make the user feel high like THC does. Every parent’s biggest fear is finding out that your child has some kind medical ailment. When our 2 year old daughter was diagnosed with Autism, the first thing I did was research as much as possible. I came across several studies and media articles about CBD and its role in treating severe childhood illnesses. The pharmaceuticals commonly prescribed to help patients manage their symptoms can range from stimulants to antipsychotics. Many of these drugs come with serious side effects. CBD and THC may help in improving symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder by their sedative, antipsychotic, anticonvulsant and tranquilizing effects. Recent research on medical marijuana has proven that cannabis to be effective on certain child hood ailments.
What is autism?
The Autism Spectrum Disorder is one of the most common child hood ailments. 1 in 88 children have autism; that’s approximately 2% of U.S children. Autism is a mental condition that generally starts to take effect in the first three years of a person’s life. Autism interferes with normal brain function. It is characterized by 3 core symptoms those are impaired communication, impaired social interaction, and repetitive patterns of behaviors and interests. Unfortunately, scientists have not been able to identifying a cause or the exact source of autism. Researchers have identified a disorder called Fragile X Syndrome. This remains the most common known genetic cause.
It’s important to understand that Autism occurs on a broad spectrum, meaning that each individual’s case is unique. We understand that autism is strongly linked to genetics but this is not the only cause. University of California investigated the role of cannabinoids in Fragile X Syndrome. They published their study in 2012, that showed the levels of 2-AG (2-arachidonoylglycerol) as a natural cannabinoid that binds to CB1 receptors, which depressed symptoms in animals with the disorder. They also found, by increasing levels of 2-AG, they were able to reduce some of the symptoms of autism, including behavioral defects. This is where medical cannabis would be beneficial in treating symptoms.
Who could medical marijuana help children with autism?
There have been some studies that suggest some Autism disorders stems from the endocannabinoid system, immune cells, immune dysfunction, environmental factors, vaccine reactions, and other unknown causes. A very recent study appears to identify a link between the endocannabinoid system and immune cells, sampled from children with autism. With that being said marijuana would be very useful in treating this disorder. According to this study, immune dysfunction is believed to be another factor that contributes to the disorder. It may be linked to higher levels of CB2 receptors expressed by cells. All though CB1 receptors were not found to be over expressed, CB2 receptors play a much larger role in immune regulation. The study concluded that CB2 receptors could be a therapeutic target for the management of autism. In order for medical marijuana to be effective it would have to play a role in the receptors.
There have been a variety of cannabis-related studies that have provided strong evidence of CBD medicinal benefits.We all ready know there are well over a 100 medical uses in adult patients for medical marijuana. Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder through CBD is versatile to the patient and could be very useful for treating a variety of symptoms. If the patient is going to need to use drugs, then a relatively safe drug, like CBD and THC (two cannabinoids found in cannabis), may have positive results. Autism is just one of the many child hood disorders for which medical cannabis can be used for. Recent research on medical marijuana may be welcoming as people are learning something new medically about the cannabis plant.