medical cannabis for autism: analysis of safety and efficacy
Medical cannabis has been used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including autism. While there is still much to learn about the effects of cannabis on autism, early research suggests that it may have potential benefits.
One study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that among a sample of children with autism, those who received a cannabinoid-based medication had significant improvements in symptoms of anxiety and agitation, as well as improvements in social interaction and communication.
Another study published in the journal Frontiers in Neurology found that treatment with a combination of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was effective in reducing symptoms of autism in a small sample of children. The researchers found that the treatment was associated with improvements in social interaction, communication, and repetitive behaviors.
Finally, in a study published in Scientific Reports of 188 autism spectrum disorders (ASD) patients, the study found that cannabis appears to be well-tolerated, safe, and effective in reducing symptoms such as seizures, tics, depression, restlessness, and rage attacks.
The study included a six-month follow-up period, during which less than 15% of patients stopped treatment. Overall, more than 80% of parents reported significant or moderate improvement in their child’s global assessment. Good quality of life was reported by 31.3% of patients prior to treatment initiation while at 6 months good quality of life was reported by 66.8%. Positive mood was reported by the parents on 42% before treatment and 63.5% after 6 months of treatment (p < 0.001). The ability to dress and shower independently was significantly improved from 26.4% reported no difficulty in these activities prior to the treatment to 42.9% at six months (p < 0.001). Similarly, good sleep and good concentration were reported by 3.3% and 0.0% (respectively) before the treatment and on 24.7% (p < 0.001) and 14.0% (p < 0.001) during an active treatment. The data from study suggest that a CBD-enriched cannabis treatment may improve behavioral symptoms in ASD patients.
Side effects were reported by both patients and parents, but they were generally moderate and easily managed. Compliance with the treatment regimen was high.
However, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of medical cannabis on autism and to determine the appropriate dosing and formulation for individuals with this condition. Additionally, the use of medical cannabis for autism is still a contentious topic, and further study is needed to determine its safety and efficacy.
In conclusion, while initial research suggests that medical cannabis may have potential benefits for individuals with autism, more research is needed to fully understand its effects and to determine the appropriate use in this population.
Disclaimer: Views expressed here are those of the author and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare practitioner.