CBD shows promise in managing autism

Researchers in Turkey followed children with autism spectrum disorder for two years.

Studies suggest that CBD or cannabidiol helps with many health conditions. jchizhe/Getty Images

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CBD, or cannabidoil, presents potential in providing some relief for people with autism spectrum disorder.

Researchers in Turkey came up with this conclusion after following children with ASD in the said country for two years.

“Using lower doses of CBD and trace THC seems to be promising in the management of behavioral problems associated with autism,” the investigators wrote in a paper.

CBD is the non-psychoactive element in cannabis. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the one that causes a high among users.

“In addition, this treatment could be effective in managing core symptoms and cognitive functions,” the researchers also reported.

ASD is a neurological disorder that affects a person’s brain functions.

Autism symptoms include difficulty in communicating, repetitive behaviour, interest in a limited number of activities, and unease with social situations.

The study is titled “CBD-enriched cannabis for autism spectrum disorder: an experience of a single center in Turkey and reviews of the literature”.

“No significant side effects were seen at the low doses of CBD-enriched cannabis when compared to other studies,” the document stated.

The paper was published on December 16, 2021 by the Journal of Cannabis Research.

For two years, researchers Serap Bilge & Barış Ekici observed 33 children who were administered daily doses of CBD with trace amounts of THC.

Bilge is with the Department of Pediatric Neurology of the Çukurova Medical School in Balcalı, Turkey.

Meanwhile, Ekici is with the Department of Pediatric Neurology at the Pediatric Neurology Clinics in Istanbul.

“The main improvements of the treatment were as follows: a decrease in behavioral problems was reported in 10 patients (32.2%), an increase in expressive language was reported in 7 patients (22.5%), improved cognition was reported in 4 patients (12.9%), an increase in social interaction was reported in 3 patients (9.6%), and a decrease in stereotypes was reported in 1 patient (3.2%),” the researchers wrote.

Citing reports from parents, Bilge and Ekici noted that “no change in daily life activity was reported in 6 (19.35%) patients”.

In the paper, the authors noted “no drugs are approved to treat the core symptoms or cognitive and behavioral problems associated with autism”.

“Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop an effective and safe treatment,” they wrote.

The research was conducted at the Pediatric Clinics of Neurology in Istanbul.

For details, read study here.

Follow Carlito Pablo on Twitter at @carlitopablo

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