Treating autism in children has been an everchanging process. The constant introduction of new medicine,such as CBD can make things difficult. For adults living with autism, CBD has been a saving grace. One clinical trial will determine if CBD can help aid children with their autism issues.
Could This Benefit Children?
Since 2007, the University of California San Diego School of Medicine has been doing autism research at the Autism Center of Excellence. Researchers from the university will conduct a future trial seeing if CBD can affect autism in children. The trial is looking to have 30 children between the ages of seven and 14. “Studies using animals modeling ASD have shown that CBD has similar effects: Excitatory neurotransmitters are inhibited, leading to a reduction of behavioral and social deficits characteristic of ASD,” said Doris Trauner, MD, Distinguished Professor of Neurosciences and Pediatrics at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “CBD may have potential for many neurological disabilities, but there is particular interest in autism because the behavioral problems can be severe and limit the child’s ability to learn and socialize.”
For this study, children will separate into two groups. The first part of the study will find one group gaining a placebo while the other group receives CBD. The next section will have each group switching drugs. During this time, investigators won’t know who used which drug until after testing ends. The trial will take place at the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine.
An Intriguing Study
In 2018, the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem ran the same study. Led by Dr. Adi Aran, this study included 150 children divided into three groups. Each group was only given one drug throughout a three-month period. Group A gained a placebo, Group B received a whole-plant extract of marijuana, and Group C gained a mixture of CBD and THC. The study determined Group B has a stronger improvement in controlling their problems. There was a downside for Group B, though. Through the extract, they gained a loss of appetite and sleep problems. Group A has the lowest improvement out of the three.
Some Side Effects
While CBD might reduce some autism symptoms, parents have to realize it can still malfunction. “CBD is a drug. It’s a medication. It has pharmacological properties. We have to consider that in the context of whatever else the child is taking,” American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Children with Disabilities member Katharine E. Zuckerman told US News & World Report. “It’s important for parents to think about CBD as a medication. It may have benefits, and it has risks, too. The problem is that right now we don’t know whether the risks outweigh the benefits.”
Parents have been divided about giving their children CBD to cure their symptoms. Many have been vocal about it improving their child’s life. Despite this, some parents are naturally scared about giving their child any dosage of CBD. As talk of the positive impact of CBD on autism continues, more studies will continue.