Hemp oil and CBD alleviates symptoms of autism in children
It has been difficult to find appropriate treatments to improve symptoms associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Yet, anecdotally, some reports have shown that treatment with various cannabis oils has alleviated various symptoms of ASD.
Today, a new study conducted by researchers at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Soroka University Medical Center in Israel shows that cannabis as a treatment for ASD appears to be a well-tolerated, safe and effective option for relieve symptoms including seizures, tics, depression, agitation, and temper tantrums in a group of patients aged 18 and younger.
The results of the new study have been published recently in Scientific Reports in an article entitled "Real Life Experience of Medical Cannabis Treatment in Autism": Analysis of safety and efficacy." In addition, the researchers reported that "overall, more than 80% of parents reported significant improvement or moderate in their child ", according to Lihi Bar-Lev Schleider, principal investigator of the study.
"Although the study suggests that cannabis therapy is safe and may improve symptoms in autistic patients as well as quality of life, we believe that double-blind placebo studies are essential for a better understanding of the effect of cannabis." on patients with ASD, "said the Professor Novak .
Other researchers participating in the study as Raphael Mechoulam from the Hebrew University and Naama Saban Tikkun Olam's research department also draw conclusions.
ASD is a pervasive developmental disorder that is expressed in almost every dimension of child development. It is now common to refer to this disorder as a wide range of pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) with a variety of manifestations and symptoms.
"We analyzed retrospectively collected data as part of the treatment program of 188 patients with ASD treated with medical cannabis between 2015 and 2017," says Gal Meiri, author of the study of Negev Autism Center. "The treatment of the majority of patients was based on cannabis oil containing 30% dcannabidiol oil (CBD) and 1,5% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The symptoms, the overall assessment of the patient and the six-month side effects were the main outcomes of interest and were evaluated by structured questionnaires. "
Surprisingly, after six months of treatment, 30% of patients reported a significant improvement, 53,7% of a moderate improvement and only 15% experienced little or no change.
In addition, patients reported that quality of life, mood, and ability to perform activities of daily living were assessed before treatment and after six months. A good quality of life was reported by 31,3% of patients before the start of treatment. After six months, the quality of life has more than doubled to reach 66,8%. The positive mood was 42% before treatment and 63,5% after six months.
The ability to dress and shower independently has improved significantly compared to cannabis treatment. Only a quarter (26,4%) reported no difficulty before treatment, while 42,9% improved their ability to dress and take a shower independently after six months.
Cannabis oil medicines also significantly improved sleep and concentration. Sleep and concentration rates were 3,3% and 0%, respectively, at baseline, versus 24,7% and 14% during active treatment.
Although the researchers were encouraged by their findings, they cautioned against over-interpretation of results or self-medication, as larger controlled studies are needed to determine whether these results will be valid in a large population.