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It has been known for a short while now that patients of children with epilepsy have been seeking out medicinal cannabis for treatment of seizures. Tired of waiting for big pharma and science for approval, parents began taking the treatment of their children into their own hands. Now there are pages and groups all over social media dedicated to families who have seen results using alternative forms of treatment with anecdotal success.
Now parents who have children on the autism spectrum are also wondering if cannabis can be helpful for their children. While the studies showing cannabinoids (CBDs) as an effective treatment for autism are scare, parents are charging forward in the hope of having a successful outcome for their child. Seen as a low risk, most parents look at the suffering their children experience and think they do not have much of a choice with the amount of time it can take for clinical trials and approval for treatments going the traditional route.
What is autism?
Children who are on the autism spectrum exhibit symptoms of impaired communication and inability to adapt in social environments. Some children can be high-functioning with certain treatments, while others seek to self-harm and are non-verbal. The latest figures from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that 1.5% of US children have a diagnosis of autism (2014).
CBD and autism
Since most parents are not keen to the idea of helping their children get high, they are instead turning to the one compound of marijuana that could provide healing benefits without the psychotic effects – CBD. There are companies, like the #1 CBD Oil in the UK, who have learned how to extract CBD containing medical properties from hemp. Since hemp does not have a lot of THC, there is no concern about getting “high”. With this type of CBD oil, there is no requirement for a prescription, making it easy for parents to access.
Now the stories about children who have been helped by these alternative treatments are starting to sound similar to the stories of children with epilepsy who have also been helped by CBD. One Brown University teacher told of her son’s turnaround using cannabis, an edible form, and a cannabis tea, as a “qualified success”. He had been hurting himself by hitting his head repeatedly but is now able to go on bike rides.
Then there is another son who began to talk, after having never done so before, after taking a dose of a spray of hemp oil by mouth each day. It took three weeks for him to speak and the parents had sought out the non-prescription hemp oil on their own, but their doctor has now been doing research on his own to share with other parents.
However, other doctors are not so quick to recommend these products since the scientific research to provide more evidence will take years to accumulate. Until then, parents should decide if this grassroots route is one that is worth a try for their children.