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Study Finds CBD From Cannabis May Improve Autistic Quality Of Life


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A recent study from the journal Pharmaceuticals found that CBD, an active chemical found in cannabis, may ease the symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder leading to improvements in quality of life.


Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition that can lead to differences in how someone communicates. It is also characterized by a heightened need for repetitive behaviors and routines. Autism can come with a wide spectrum of differences from heightened sensitivity to sensory input, to emotional regulation challenges, to seizure conditions. Current estimates suggest that 1 in 36 people are autistic. Still, despite a large population of autistic people, there are few treatment options for those with the condition.


This study follows up on previous research that suggested cannabis could benefit autistic individual’s social communication and quality of life. One study suggesting this, demonstrated a potential pathway for the effect, by showing in mice models that enhancing anandamide-mediated endocannabinoid signaling could enhance social communication.


Later, a human study on autistic individuals found that treatment with cannabis extract led to improvements in social communication, as well as quality of life. It also reduced factors like meltdowns, discomfort in crowded noisy spaces, and poor appetite. In that study, quality of life improved in 95% of cases, and communication improved in 85% of cases.


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Some hypothesize that cannabis is helpful for this, because of how it activates the endocannabinoid system, a natural system in the body that serves a variety of important functions. Autistic people have been found to have lower levels of natural endocannabinoids, which activate this system. When endocannabinoids are lacking, cannabinoids found in cannabis may be able to supplement them to help trigger the endocannabinoid system and improve dysfunctionality arising from the endocannabinoid deficiency.


While cannabis is well known for the mind-altering effects of THC (a plentiful and highly psychoactive cannabinoid in the plant), this latest study used extracts high in CBD. CBD is a compound that won’t get you high, but can have medicinal benefits. To look at whether a high CBD extract would benefit autistic people, researchers used a retrospective, observational, and cross sectional cohort model.In the study, 30 autistic volunteers, aged 5-18, were given a daily dose of CBD for 6 months, and were given both clinical and caregiver assessments before and after the 6 months. The results showed significant improvements in communication skills, attention, learning, eye contact, and irritability, as well as improvements in quality of life overall.


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Some did have negative side effects, such as irritability, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, daytime drowsiness, insomnia, tachylalia, self-injury, intensification of binge eating and intensification of obsessive-compulsive disorder. But these were mostly resolved by lowering the dose.


The authors concluded that their findings suggest CBD may be a safe and effective option for treating autism symptoms.


While these are promising results, they are limited by the study design, which did not use a double blinded design or a control group. The sample size of the participants was also small, and since the majority of participants were male, under 18, and had some intellectual disability co-occurring with their autism, it cannot be generalized to the entire autistic population.


Still, it suggests further research is warranted to look into whether autistic people could benefit from cannabinoids like CBD.




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It definitely helps me sometimes. 
I don’t know if it improves my communication. That would need a brain transplant. Maybe it does. It calms me down sometimes and makes me take a step back to work out a neurotypical communication. 

The meltdowns and being overwhelmed yes definitely but not all the time. Helps me zone out in crowded spaces so I’m not processing every single fucking detail and becoming overwhelmed. Sometimes I like processing too many details though lol

The lower levels of cannabinoids is a new one on me though. Never heard that before. 




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The study's findings regarding CBD and its potential benefits for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder are intriguing. As someone who has seen the struggles faced by individuals with ASD, I'm always interested in research that explores new treatment possibilities. However, it's important to approach these findings with caution due to the study's limitations, such as its small sample size and lack of a control group. Despite these limitations, the observed improvements in communication skills and quality of life are encouraging. This highlights the need for further research to explore the therapeutic potential of CBD for ASD. On another note, some releaf patients buy cannabis online in the UK. This could offer a convenient and legal way for individuals with ASD to access CBD products if further research supports its efficacy. Overall, while there's still much to learn, this study opens up exciting possibilities for the future of ASD treatment and the accessibility of CBD products

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Wow, this study on CBD and autism is fascinating! As a parent of a child on the spectrum, I've always looked for safe ways to help improve his quality of life. Hearing about CBD potentially easing symptoms like meltdowns and social challenges is really encouraging. It reminds me of when we tried a more natural approach with diet changes and sensory therapies, which also showed some positive effects.

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