A topic that has been recently addressed in articles as well as news are the benefits of cannabis and one of its main components, cannabidiol (CBD) in people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). These studies show that the use of CBD can help people with autism and the symptoms of this disorder such as sleep problems, hyperactivity and rage attacks. Beyond knowing the benefits of cannabidiol, it is important to understand what science thinks about the use of this drug.
Currently, more than 100 components of the cannabis plant have been identified that can alter behavior and cognition in people, the most popular and researched of which have been tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is highly psychoactive, and the aforementioned cannabidiol, which is minimally psychoactive. These active ingredients are found on the market in the localities where their use is permitted, in different presentations and concentrations to be administered; which include dried flowers, oils, resins, food, candies and pills and more.
One study carried out in January 2019 focused on children with autism, tested the oral use of cannabidiol to see the effects on the treatment of ASD symptoms. There were 53 children and adolescents between the ages of 4 and 22, who received cannabidiol for 66 days. This test showed the following results: self-mutilation and rage attacks improved by 67% and worsened by 8.8%. Hyperactivity symptoms improved 68.4%, and did not improve in 28.9%. Symptoms of sleep problems improved by 71% and worsened by 4.7%. Anxiety improved by 47.1% and worsened by 23.5%.
The result of this research on cannabidiol and ASD is a hope for both people with autism and their families. However, scientists still have a long way to go when it comes to research. Although the results of the research are encouraging, further efforts are needed so that physicians feel more confident when formulating this drug for patients with autism.