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CBD Improves Autism Symptoms with Few Adverse Effects

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Photo: DR | IndianExpress.com

A systematic review of scientific studies led by Laura Fusar-Poli, published in  PubMed and in the magazine brain sciences, concluded that there is preliminary evidence demonstrating that CBD can improve symptoms associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It is estimated that about 1,5% of the world population belongs to the autism spectrum.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in communication and social interaction, by a pattern of restricted interests and repetitive behaviors that can vary in severity.

Several studies have been carried out with children and young people in Israel, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Chile, Austria and the United States. All showed positive results with few adverse effects. The use of CBD (in some cases with small percentages of THC) showed improvements in participants with Autism, namely in:

  • behavioral problems
  • hyperactivity 
  • sleep disorders
  • anxiety
  • humor
  • communication and sociability

Participants in the studies revealed even fewer metabolic and neurological side effects compared to using conventional medications. Treatment with cannabinoids also allowed:

  • reduce the number of prescription drugs
  • significantly reduce seizure frequency and intensity in participants with comorbid epilepsy

The most common side effects of cannabinoids were:

  • somnolence
  • increased appetite 
  • Irritability

However, as many patients were taking other medications, it was not possible to determine whether these adverse events were caused by the cannabinoids or another medication. This systematic review concludes that further studies are needed to better understand the mechanism of action of CBD in Autism.

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[Disclaimer: Please note that this text was originally written in Portuguese and is translated into English and other languages ​​using an automatic translator. Some words may differ from the original and typos or errors may occur in other languages.]

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With a degree in Journalism from the University of Coimbra, Laura Ramos has a postgraduate degree in Photography and has been a Journalist since 1998. She was a correspondent for Jornal de Notícias in Rome, Italy, and Press Advisor at the Office of the Minister of Education. She has an international certification in Permaculture (PDC) and created the street-art photographic archive “What says Lisbon?” @saywhatlisbon. Laura is currently Editor of CannaReporter and CannaZine, as well as founder and program director of PTMC - Portugal Medical Cannabis. She directed the documentary “Pacientes” and was part of the steering group of the first Postgraduate in GxP's for Medicinal Cannabis in Portugal, in partnership with the Military Laboratory and the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Lisbon.

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