Cannabis May Help Treat Autism Symptoms In Children


Speculation about the potential benefits of cannabis for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has grown considerably in recent years, yet in the absence of any large scale clinical trials, such claims lack scientific credibility. However, a new study released by Minnesota State University has found evidence that cannabis significantly alleviates numerous core and noncore ASD symptoms, with study author Mai Xiong concluding that the plant should be considered as a treatment for children with autism[i]. Related Post The Children Who Have Inspired Cannabis Policy Changes Cannabis And Autism The new paper is a review study that looked at all previously published work concerning the effects of cannabis on autism symptoms in young people. Individually, the studies included in the review cannot be considered conclusive since they each involve a very small number of children, yet when looked at collectively, the patterns they reveal suddenly become much more definitive.Before discussing the data regarding the influence of cannabis over autism symptoms in humans, the study looks at the rationale that underlies the use of cannabinoids for ASD treatment. For instance, the endocannabinoid system is known to regulate emotional behaviours, social communication, cognition, learning, memory and a range of other factors associated with autism. Preclinical work on rodents has shown that disruptions to the endocannabinoid system produce “attention and working memory deficits, hyperactivity, repetitive behaviors, anxiety-related phenotypes, altered social behaviors, and increases susceptibility to audiogenic seizures.” The restoration of function within this system, however, was found to attenuate these symptoms.[ii] Cannabis Relieves Autism Symptoms In Children After reviewing all of the clinical data regarding the effects of cannabis on children with ASD, the researchers noted that the evidence clearly shows a positive change in the core symptom of social communication. In one study, autistic children that received treatment displayed a 30 percent…

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