Survey Suggests CBD May Be an Effective Autism Treatment

Much of the discussion surrounding Medical Cannabis relates to THC. We do not talk about CBD as much, and perhaps that’s because anyone can use CBD products without obtaining a Medical Cannabis card. Knowing that, a recent survey suggesting that CBD may be an effective autism treatment is intriguing.

The survey was conducted by Autism Parenting Magazine. The magazine sent email surveys to some 160,000 subscribers around the world. Some subscribers were parents or grandparents of children on the spectrum. Others were caregivers, teachers, therapists, or medical providers.

Seeing as how hard scientific evidence detailing the benefits of CBD and THC are lacking, surveys like this one provide the most reliable evidence we have to date regarding the efficacy of Medical Cannabis. Note that CBD is a cannabinoid. It is as much a Medical Cannabis product as THC.

Self-Treating with CBD

Looking at the survey data reveal some surprising results. At the top of the list is the fact that 20% of the respondents acknowledge self-treating their children on the spectrum with CBD. The U.S. appears to have the highest rate at 22.16%. UK caregivers treat autism with CBD at a rate of 14.29%, while the rest of the world comes in at 15.45%.

What does it all mean? It means that despite a lack of hard evidence in support of CBD as an autism treatment, one in every five adults providing care to an autistic child is seeing the benefits of treating with CBD firsthand. Caregivers administer CBD to children on the spectrum in order to:

  • help reduce anxiety
  • address challenging behaviors
  • offer pain relief
  • improve sleep
  • encourage relaxation
  • address seizures

One of the survey respondents, a medical doctor with an autistic son, acknowledged administering CBD for more than seven years. He claims that CBD has changed his son’s life and, by extension, the lives of every member of his family. Though this doctor acknowledges that CBD may not work for every autistic child, it works for his son.

No Prescription Necessary

The icing on the survey cake was data that showed nearly 83% of the respondents would recommend CBD to other adults caring for children on the spectrum. The fact that no prescription is required makes such a recommendation even more powerful. After all, parents with children on the spectrum are always looking for advice from other parents successfully helping their autistic children.

CBD is a cannabinoid just like THC. However, it does not have the same mind-altering effects. It is also derived mainly from industrial hemp rather than other strains of cannabis. Best of all, both CBD and industrial hemp were legalized nationwide with passage of the 2018 Farm Bill.

The net effect of the Farm Bill is that parents do not have to apply for Medical Cannabis cards to purchase CBD products. They do not have to go to a Medical Cannabis pharmacy, either. CBD products are sold throughout Utah in grocery stores, corner pharmacies, and just about anywhere you can buy dietary supplements.

Ask Your Doctor About It

If you provide care for a child on the spectrum, you might want to ask your doctor about CBD. He or she may have no knowledge of its efficacy as an autism treatment. On the other hand, your doctor may have more information than you know. CBD might be just what your child needs to manage daily life.

As with all things cannabis related, CBD is not a miracle cure for any condition. But if it helps autistic children, it might be well worth looking into.

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Published January 28, 2022

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