Cannabis Extracts May Improve Quality of Life for Autism Patients

Emerging cannabis science shows a lot of promise for a number of health conditions that people suffer from, but one that seems to be particularly promising is in the area of cannabis and autism. It’s an area of study that seems to be getting more focus in recent years.

International researchers estimate that as much as 1% of the world’s population has autism, although many patients go undiagnosed for various reasons.

A team of researchers in Brazil recently conducted a quality-of-life study focused on autism and cannabis extracts, and the results are encouraging.

Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Brasilia, Brazil: Autistic patients who use plant-derived cannabis extracts perceive benefits in their symptoms and reduce their use of prescription medications, according to data published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry.

A team of Brazilian researchers assessed the use of individually tailored doses of cannabis extracts in 20 subjects with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Most patients (80 percent) consumed cannabis extracts for at least six months. Patients used extracts dominant in either CBD or THC. All extracts were administered orally via drops.

Cannabis treatment was associated with perceived symptom improvements as well as with reductions in patients’ use of neuropsychiatric medications. Reported side effects from cannabis treatment were mostly “mild and temporary.”

Investigators reported: “In this manuscript we present the perceived improvements of ASD patients and their families over the course of 3 to 21 months of treatment with FCE [full-spectrum cannabis extracts], using a titration protocol that resulted in personalized CBD and THC dosages, resulting in individually tailored CBD to THC proportions. … Parents reported improvement in all aspects evaluated.

“Side effects observed during FCE treatment were mild. … As treatment evolved, most other medications had their doses reduced or were completely removed during FCE treatment, which is consistent with the subjective perception of general improvement after FCE treatment. Patients’ and their families’ quality of life improved in 19 out of the 20 cases.”

They concluded: “Our study expands the scientific data demonstrating that clinical use of cannabis extracts is a safe intervention with promising and valuable effects over many core and comorbid aspects of autism that are not achieved by conventional medications. … Based on our findings, we propose guidelines for individually tailored dosage regimens that may be adapted to locally available qualified FCEs and guide further clinical trials.”

Numerous other studies have also identified improvements in autism patients who consume either plant-derived extracts or cannabis flower. Survey data published in 2021 by the publication Autism Parenting Magazine reported that 22 percent of US caregivers or parents have provided CBD to an autistic child.

Full text of the study, “Individually tailored dosage regimen of full-spectrum cannabis extracts for autistic core and comorbid symptoms: A real-life report of multi-symptomatic benefits,” appears in Frontiers in Psychiatry. Additional information on cannabis and ASD is available from NORML’s publicationClinical Applications for Cannabis and Cannabinoids. This article first appeared on and is syndicated here with special permission.

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