Autism is a disorder which develops during childhood, in the ages between six months and three years, and is related to three main factors: deficiency in social interaction, communication deficiency, manifestation of limited and repetitive behaviour.
The causes provoking the disease are still unknown, but according to data released by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke genetics play an important role.
Autism is a disorder from which one doesn’t recover, however, different types of therapies exist, of cognitive or behavioural nature, which support patients and relatives to improve their daily lives, an improvement of emotional, cognitive and social status.
The role of Cannabis in the treatment of autism
From the Hospital of Sahaare Zedek in Jerusalem, interesting news is arriving on the treatment of autism with cannabis extracts.
In this crossover study, 5 national sanitary centres were examined, with the involvement of over 120 children affected by autism.
The patients with ages between 5 and 18 years, were treated with oil containing a high CBD concentration and a low THC concentration.
The effectiveness of the treatment has been verified with the use of questionnaires addressing the relatives of the patients and the patients themselves and with the same value reference scales.
The results of the study demonstrates how 61% of the patients showed signs of improvement from the point of view of behavioural disorders, while disorders related to anxiety and communications improved a 39% and 47%.
The parents reported a minor form of stress quantified in an improvement of 33%.
The research highlights very interesting perspectives regarding the use of cannabidiol in the improvement of the quality of life of families with patients affected by autism.
Autism and research
In the United States the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research of the Medical University of California in San Diego received, end April 2017, a donation of 4.7 million dollars to perform a research on the use of CBD in the treatment of severe autism.
The study will be started in 2019 and, with the use of the most advanced scientific methods, will assess the applicability and safety of CBD therapy, the effectiveness against the symptoms of autism spectrum disorders, the possible interactions of CBD with neurotransmitters and its effect on cerebral connectivity, the possible alterations of the biomarkers of neuro-inflammation associated with autistic disorders.
The research will be conducted on a sample of 30 children with autism, aged between 8 and 11 years, without other neurological pathologies, like epilepsy, and with a relatively good health condition.