The brains of people who have autism process information in a different way. Because of this, people with autism often have a good eye for detail, they are honest, analytical and hardworking. On the other hand, they often have difficulty with social contact, have trouble keeping oversight and can restrict themselves to a limited set of interests and activities. Obviously, these characteristics differ from person to person.
There is no treatment or drug that can cure autism. Treatment is often focused on coping with the difficulties that may be associated with autism. Medication is often only prescribed if a patient has symptoms of extreme anxiety, self-harm, depression, compulsive or aggressive behavior .
The Lebanese researcher Dr. Abou Khalil suggested in 2012 that CBD could theoretically play a role in future treatments of autism . In 2015 Bou Khali made an additional statement on this when he noticed that desperate parents seized his suggestion to treat their children with cannabis. Bou khali emphasized that autism is currently a “non-curable disease” and that his earlier suggestion was intended merely to start a theoretical discussion in the scientific world . He also points out the possible negative impact that it may have when children are given cannabis.
Having said this, it is nevertheless interesting to consider what Bou Khali suggested in 2012. This suggestion is based on previous research, which showed that the hormone oxytocin has a positive effect on certain symptoms of autism, especially in picking up social cues and interpreting them. Possibly the TRPV2 protein plays a role in stimulating the release of oxytocin. Laboratorial studies have shown that CBD stimulates TRPV2. CBD could therefore theoretically stimulate the production of oxytocin via TRPV2 and thus have a positive effect on the symptoms of autism. The same applies to a lesser extent on THC and CBN.
Advice for the use of cannabinoids against autism
Autism can’t be cured by treatment or medication. In theory, some cannabinoids could have a positive effect on the symptoms of autism. There is, however, no scientific study that has actually examined this possibility. We therefore can’t give advice on the use of cannabinoids against autism. Click here to read more about safe use of cannabinoids in general.
- autisme.nl (vereniging voor autisme).
- Bou Khali, R. (2012) Would some cannabinoids ameliorate symptoms of autism? European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 21: 237-238.
- Bou Khali, R. (2015) Why Is It Important to Protect Children with Mental Disorders from Medical Cannabis? Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 36(9): 766.