Tag: autism

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Autism Case Study Finds Terpene-Enriched CBD To Be More Effective Than CBD Alone

One thing that I often point out to people is that the cannabis plant is one of the most dynamic plants on earth, and that in many ways humans are just beginning to scrape the surface of understanding and harnessing its full potential.

The cannabis plant, and wellness products derived from it, can be used to successfully treat a number of health conditions according to an ever-increasing list of peer-reviewed studies, as well as a growing body of patient testimonials.

Research dedicated to specific cannabinoids is becoming more common, thankfully, with research focused on cannabidiol (CBD) being particularly popular these days. One area of CBD-based research that is showing a lot of promise is CBD treatments for autism patients.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. Tens of millions of people around the world suffer from ASD, including an estimated 1% of all children worldwide.

Cannabis-based treatments are a fairly new thing when it comes to younger ASD patients largely due to prohibition-induced stigma, however, international researchers are exploring CBD and autism more and more thanks to reform victories in various jurisdictions.

A recent example can be found in Italy where a case study was conducted by researchers in Italy and Israel involving a young ASD patient. The patient was first diagnosed in 2008, and after exploring various conventional treatment regimens the patient eventually started to use CBD.

“On August 2018, after contacting a medical cannabis prescribing physician and consulting a specialized laboratory (THC Lab), G was first prescribed a CBD-rich cannabis extract containing 2.5% CBD. This was later exchanged with pure synthetic CBD oil at the same concentration. CBD oil was first administrated at a daily dose of 15 drops (12 mg CBD), corresponding to 0.34 mg CBD/kg bw (body weight) per day. CBD accompanied the Neuleptil treatment. This was found beneficial, completely eliminating aggression and leaving G happy and calm.” researchers stated in an article published by Frontiers in Pharmacology.

“CBD treatment was efficient for 3 years, until G turned 16 years old. From April 2021, with puberty, G became highly agitated. In order to control his symptoms, the dose of pure CBD was raised, reaching 27 drops (21.6 mg CBD), corresponding to 0.48 mg CBD/kg bw per day. However, the increased dose did not result in improved efficacy. Aggression had increased, reaching more than two major aggressive events per week. Aggressive events were severe (scored eight to nine on a 0–10 subjective aggressive scale, by G’s parents).” researchers stated.

“G’s regular CBD oil (pure synthetic CBD at a concentration of 2.5%) was enriched with one of two proprietary terpene blends, composed of terpenes demonstrated in pre-clinical and clinical trials to produce anxiolytic and calming effects. These included alpha pinene, limonene, linalool, beta caryophyllene and nerolidol. One of these two terpene blends was provided for daily use, and the other – for night use, or for times when G was highly agitated.” researchers also stated.

“Since August 2021, G has completed 9 months of treatment with terpene-enriched CBD oil. As can be seen in Table 1 and in Figure 2, aggression was significantly reduced, from two major aggressive events per week during treatment with synthetic CBD oil, to a complete elimination of aggressive events during treatment with the same synthetic CBD oil enriched with the selected terpene blends.” researchers observed.

“This case demonstrates the benefit of terpene-enriched CBD oil for treating aggression associated with ASD in an agitated adolescent. Enrichment of CBD with selected terpenes increased CBD potency, providing a therapeutic response wherein CBD alone had insufficient effect.” researchers concluded.

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Study Finds Cannabis Is Associated With Quality Of Life Improvements In Adults With Autism

It is estimated that as much as 1% of the world’s population has autism spectrum disorder, although many cases go undiagnosed so it’s quite possible that there are more people out there that have autism spectrum disorder.

Autism spectrum disorder is a neurological and developmental condition that affects how people communicate with others and how they learn and behave. The severity of autism spectrum disorder varies widely among those with the condition, which may contribute to any disparities in diagnosis rates.

Researchers in the United Kingdom recently examined the relationship between cannabis use and adults with autism spectrum disorder. The findings from the study are very insightful. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

London, United Kingdom: The use of cannabis flowers and extracts is associated with symptom improvements in adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to data published in the journal Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology.

British investigators affiliated with Imperial College in London assessed the safety and efficacy of cannabis products in a cohort of autistic adults (mean age: 32) enrolled in the UK Medical Cannabis Registry. Subjects in the study either inhaled cannabis flowers or consumed sublingual extracts for a period of up to six months. Subjects primarily consumed cannabis preparations that were elevated in THC content and lower in CBD.

Consistent with prior studies, investigators reported that patients experienced symptomatic improvements following cannabis therapy. They also reduced their use of prescription medications. Specifically, there was “a 33.3 percent and 25.0 percent reduction in the concomitant prescribing of benzodiazepines and neuroleptics, respectively, within this cohort.” Authors further acknowledged that cannabis preparations were “well tolerated” by over 80 percent of the participants.

“In this first published experience of clinical outcomes in adult patients with ASD treated with CBMPs [cannabis-based medicinal products], there were associated improvements in general health-related quality of life, in addition to sleep- and anxiety-specific outcomes,” they concluded.  “Moreover, there was a reduction in the administration of concomitant medications, some of which are associated with serious adverse events with long-term use. … These results … provide scientific justification for further evaluation within the context of randomized controlled trials while also providing guidance for clinical practice in the interim.”

Numerous trials have previously identified clinical improvements in autistic children who consume plant-derived CBD extracts. Survey data published in 2021 by the publication Autism Parenting Magazine reported that 22 percent of US caregivers or parents have provided CBD to an autistic child.

Full text of the study, “Clinical outcome analysis of patients with autism spectrum disorder: Analysis from the UK Medical Cannabis Registry,” appears in Therapeutic Advances in PsychopharmacologyAdditional information on cannabis and ASD is available from NORML.


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Study Finds Benefits For Autism Patients Following Use Of CBD-Rich Cannabis

Cannabidiol (CBD) is arguably the most popular cannabinoid on earth right now, at least among lawmakers. Whereas elected officials are unfortunately still reluctant to reform cannabis laws pertaining to THC in many areas, more and more of them are opening up to CBD reform.

The spread of CBD reform has been paralleled by a rise in CBD research, which is a great thing for patients everywhere. A recent study in Israel found that the use of CBD-rich cannabis may provide benefits to autism patients. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Tel Aviv, Israel: The administration of CBD-rich cannabis is associated with clinical improvements in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to data published in the journal Translational Psychiatry.

Israeli researchers evaluated the efficacy of cannabis treatment in a cohort of 82 young people (ages 5 to 25) with ASD. Subjects in the trial consumed whole-plant cannabis extracts (oils with a CBD:THC ratio of 20 to 1) adjunctively over a period of six months. Investigators used a variety of standardized clinical assessments to evaluate patients’ symptoms prior to and immediately following treatment.

They reported, “Our results revealed significant improvements in [the] overall … scores of the ASD participants who completed the 6-month treatment protocol with CBD-rich cannabis. Overall changes were mostly driven by improvements in social communication skills.

“[T]hese findings suggest that treatment with CBD-rich medicinal cannabis can lead to significant improvements in social communication skills of some ASD individuals, particularly those with more severe initial symptoms,” authors concluded. “These positive findings motivate further double-blind placebo-controlled studies for determining the efficacy of treatment with specific cannabis strains and/or synthetic cannabinoids.

The researchers’ findings are consistent with those of numerous other studies demonstrating that the use of either CBD-dominant cannabis or oral extracts is associated with symptom mitigation in adolescents with ASD.

Full text of the study, “Children and adolescents with ASD treated with CBD-rich cannabis exhibit significant improvements, particularly in social symptoms: An open label study,” appears in Translational Psychiatry. Additional information on cannabis and ASD is available from NORML.


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CBD-Rich Cannabis Extracts Are Safe For Pediatric Autism Patients According To Brazilian Study

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the subject of a growing number of studies as researchers and medical professionals continue to work to unlock the healing properties of the cannabinoid.

One condition that researchers seem to be focusing on more and more is autism. CBD is thought to be able to effectively treat autism, including among younger patients.

Researchers in Brazil recently conducted a study that looked specifically at CBD’s safety as it pertains to pediatric patients with autism spectrum disorder. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

João Pessoa, Brazil: The administration of CBD-rich cannabis extracts is safe and effective in mitigating symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial data published in the journal Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy.

Brazilian researchers evaluated the use of CBD extracts versus placebo in 60 children (ages 5 to 11) with ASD over a 12-week period.

Compared to the placebo group, subjects receiving CBD extracts experienced significant improvements in their ability to engage in social interactions. They also experienced reduced anxiety and agitation. Only a minority of subjects administered CBD exhibited adverse events, namely dizziness and insomnia.

The study’s findings are consistent with those of other trials similarly reporting improvements in patients’ ASD symptoms following their use of cannabinoid products. Survey data published in October by the publication Autism Parenting Magazine reported that 22 percent of US caregivers or parents have provided CBD to an autistic child. Survey data from the United Kingdom recently reported that autistic adults were nearly four times as likely as controls to report having used CBD within the past year.

Full text of the study, “Evaluation of the efficacy and safety of cannabidiol-rich cannabis extract in children with autism spectrum disorder: Randomized, double-blind and controlled placebo clinical trial,” appears inTrends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy. Additional information on cannabis and ASD is available from NORML.

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