Beginner’s Guide to CBD for Autistic Children
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As the parent of a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it can be challenging to know which therapies, treatments, and resources will help or hinder your child. No two Autistic children are quite alike, but it can feel like you as the parent are expected to follow a prescribed set of rules for parenting your kiddo.
In this blog, we’ll be discussing the use of CBD and medical cannabis therapy for Autistic kids, but we’ve got a very important message to share first.
Accepting Autistic kids for who they are is one of the most vital parts of cultivating their confidence, happiness, and long-term health. You as a parent may feel pressure to push back against quirks and unwanted behaviors, but it’s important to remember that kids with ASD are never trying to upset you on purpose.
The use of CBD for Autistic kids is to help alleviate symptoms often associated with ASD like anxiety, depression, and sensory sensitivities. The result is often reduced behavioral outbursts, fewer mood swings, and increased comfort in social situations. However, CBD alone can’t give your Autistic child everything they need to thrive.
As a parent, you’ll also need to provide other forms of support, confidence, and accessibility resources for your Autistic child. To connect with and learn more from parents of Autistic kids who use medical cannabis products to support their children, visit the Whole Plant Access for Autism Support Group on Facebook or visit their website at HERE.
How CBD Works for Kids with Autism
CBD has been found to interact with nerve cell messages in regions of the brain regulating anxiety, executive function, and behavior, blocking signals to key neuroreceptors that can trigger seizures– all of which are symptoms of ASD.
CBD isn’t going to change your child’s personality, but what it may do is bring them relief from the painful and debilitating symptoms of ASD, like seizures, depression, and anxiety.
CBD Pushes Biomarkers to “Typical” Levels
A novel way of looking at ASD is to look at biomarkers. Biomarkers are characteristics of the body that you can measure; they range from something as simple and easy to understand as heart rate to far more complex internal measurements.
For autism, there are several genes, proteins, peptides, and metabolites that can be used as biomarkers for ASD. One very promising element of CBD for ASD treatment is that many of these biomarkers interact with the endocannabinoid system; as a result, CBD use can push these biomarkers toward a more neurotypical level. Biomarkers can provide direct evidence for the success of CBD as an autism treatment.
CBD vs. Pharmaceutical Therapies
Autistic children are frequently prescribed lots of pharmaceutical drugs. These typically include SSRI antidepressants, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, stimulants, tricyclics, and anti-anxiety medications.
While these medications can work, they might not be what your child needs. These drugs have a number of side effects and interactions with each other and with other common medical treatments and may have serious risks involved with their use.
It is these risks that often lead parents to seek out alternative forms of treatment. CBD is frequently favored because the side effects are mild—if present at all—and are typically short-lived.
Benefits of CBD for Autistic Children
Overall, CBD shows several promising benefits for autistic kids. A 2018 study on the efficacy of CBD for relieving ASD symptoms showed that a notable percentage of the subjects experienced significant improvement in various areas, including communication, behavioral, and anxiety issues.
In another two-year study, behavioral problems were the symptom that saw the greatest reduction after treatment with CBD. CBD interacts with several parts of the brain and nervous system that are linked to ASD symptoms, so it shows great promise as a treatment for autistic kids.
Is CBD Safe for Kids?
CBD is generally considered safe. The World Health Organization has also found that CBD is generally well-tolerated and has a good safety profile. The FDA has even approved an epilepsy drug derived from CBD.
When it comes to medications, remember that “safe” is balanced against efficacy. When you consider the side effects of many of the pharmaceutical drugs prescribed to autistic kids, the extremely rare, mild side effects of CBD seem much safer.
How Is CBD Different From Medical Marijuana?
CBD and medical marijuana are two very different things. CBD is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike the psychoactive compound THC, CBD does not have psychoactive effects, meaning it does not produce a “high” or altered state of consciousness.
Medical marijuana refers to the use of the whole cannabis plant or its extracts to treat certain medical conditions. The main active ingredient in medical marijuana is THC, although it may also contain varying amounts of CBD depending on the strain.
How Much CBD Should Kids with Autism Take?
Dosing CBD can be tricky because if you dose too much or too little, you don’t get the full benefits. Our recommendation is always to consult with a qualified cannabis medical professional before administering hemp products to your child.
Risks of Using CBD for Autism
There is very little risk in using CBD for autism. CBD may have some minor side effects like diarrhea, changes in appetite, and fatigue. These are rare and frequently go away once the body is used to CBD.
How To Purchase CBD for Autistic Kids
We understand that trying something new for your autistic kid can be simultaneously promising and terrifying. Making health decisions for your child is never easy, and we really understand that. When we started Myriam’s Hemp, one of our goals was to simplify the process of getting cannabinoid products for medical concerns. We want to help your family, too.
It is common for parents to start their children with a lower potency CBD and work up to a higher concentration. It’s also very common to use a variety of cannabinoids to help enhance the effects of their child’s needs.
Although our products come with a basic suggested starting usage guide, we strongly recommend consulting with a cannabis doctor to help you with proper product recommendations and dosing guidance. If would like guidance from a cannabis medical professional, we would be happy to refer you to a cannabis doctor or nurse. If you are considering CBD to help your autistic child, please do not hesitate to reach out to our friendly, knowledgeable support staff. Please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at (800) 683-4807 ext 0 for a cannabis doctor or nurse referral or any questions about our products.
CBD can help with the most debilitating symptoms of autism, letting your child’s individuality and personality shine. At Myriam’s Hemp, we are here to help families with their loved one’s health journey.