Pediatric Autism Spectrum Disorder

Pediatric Autism - FSC Ailment Card Image

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a problem that affects a child’s nervous system and growth and development. It usually shows up during a child’s first 3 years of life. A child with ASD may have problems with the structure of the brain or with certain chemicals in the brain.

Some children with ASD seem to live in their own world. They are not interested in other children and lack social awareness. A child with ASD focuses on following a routine that may include unusual behaviors. A child with the disorder also often has problems communicating with others and may not start speaking as soon as other children. He or she may not want to make eye contact with other people.

ASD can keep a child from developing social skills. This is in part because a child with ASD may not be able to understand facial expressions or emotions in other people. A child with ASD may want to play alone, not want to be touched, and not want to change routines.

How Cannabis Can Help Relieve Symptoms

Autism and cannabis have been studied by researchers in Israel, but most other information sources are anecdotal, rather than empirical. 

In one study done in Israel, parents of children with ASD were instructed on how to administer oral drops of cannabidiol (CBD) oil for the course of 2 months.  Many of the challenging behavioral symptoms associated with ASD improved, including: a nearly 68% change in self-injury and rage attacks, hyperactivity improvement in 70% of cases, disruptions in sleep patterns improved in 71%, anxiety and mood improved in 47%, and social communication skills improved in nearly 88% of patients evaluated.

With more states in the US, and countries across the globe, looking to expand their medical cannabis access, there may be more opportunities to collaborate on research and provide solutions for patients and families with loved ones diagnosed with ASD.

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