Autism is a general name for a rainbow of situations characterized by a developmental-neurological disorder that makes it difficult for the person to interact socially and communicatively. It is a clinical syndrome that is characterized by a disorder in the field of interpersonal relationships and the social, linguistic, and communication sphere, stereotypical and repetitive behaviour, and disorder of social skills, and is included in the autism spectrum.

The autism spectrum disorder or ASD, also known as autism spectrum or abbreviated autism, is a sequence of syndromes that have a clear common denominator with classic autism. Today, DSM-5 under the autism spectrum contains both classic autism and close syndromes such as Rett syndrome, ascensional autism, Asperger’s syndrome, and fragile X (in cases of autism) but does not include the pragmatic disorder in social disorder.

The autism sequencing impairments are neurological impairments (impaired in complex and conscious thought processes) and conceptual (primary sensory information processing procedures), which sometimes combine developmental delay with developmental withdrawal (in a certain type of autism). About half of autism cases have a hereditary genetic link, but the second half of cases result from a new genetic mutation (de novo) however it is not a simple Mandalay heredity but in about three hundred different genes, now known to science, that can be involved in the phenomenon.

CBD as a treatment for Autism Spectrum Syndrome:

In the past decade, increasingly, parents of children with severe autism, frustrated with lack of choices, are seeking cannabidiol treatment (CBD). Many of them have heard anecdotal stories of success. Some have read about the positive results of CBD in clinical studies in children with epilepsy. Some turn to the CBD as a “last option”. You can find many blogs and videos of parents who guide from other parents’ experiences.

For years, scientific and medical research has been known to show encouraging results in the treatment of a large number of medical phenomena and conditions, some of which have been considered incurable to this day. The best-known properties of cannabidiol are the protection of nervous system cells, prevention of seizures, suppression of inflammation, sedation, and balance of the entire body, in addition to its ability to treat anxiety, depression, and dependence on opioids drugs.

No comprehensive and large clinical study has yet been carried out on autism and CBD treatment and there are no clearly proven medical findings. However, in recent years several pioneering clinical studies have been conducted in the field and they raise a lot of hopes. The study, which still has a major impact, was conducted in Israel in 2017-2018, and its results illustrate the relationship between autism and epilepsy and other symptoms.

This study was led by the director of the Pediatric Neurology Department at Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem, Dr Adi Aran, who treated 60 children with CBD in a high daily dose (CBD 20% THC 1%) for 7 months. After the period of treatment, the parents of the children filled out an evaluation questionnaire to characterize the condition of their child. Children with ASD commonly have comorbid symptoms such as aggression, hyperactivity, and anxiety. There is an increase in the use of cannabidiol in children with ASD. Based on parents’ reportsץ The study results suggest that cannabidiol may be effective in improving ASD comorbid symptoms; However, CBD efficacy and safety should be further evaluated in children with ASD in large-scale clinical trials Questions were asked about behavioural changes, anxiety levels, and communication abilities. These are the findings: 80% of parents noted a decrease in problematic behaviour, of which 62% reported a significant improvement in their child’s behaviour. 50% of the children improved their communication skills. 40% reported a decrease in the level of mental stress and anxiety.

Relevant links:


Less than 2% of the general population suffers from epilepsy, but about 33% of those with autism also suffer from epilepsy. This is a very high rate that indicates a clear, although still not fully explained link between autism and epilepsy. It is widely hypothesized that abnormal brain development in autistic children causes the formation of pathological neural circuits that cause epilepsy attacks.

In 2018, the FDA approved the drug “Epidiolex” for the treatment of epilepsy. It is the first drug to contain cannabis-derived CBD.

The role of cannabis in the treatment of seizures goes back in time but only recently have scientists demonstrated the efficacy and safety of cannabidiol and indeed one of the biggest effects on the field of autism treatment and epilepsy was the approval given by the US FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Epidiolex, a CBD oil-based pharynx aerosol {produced by the British developer (GW Pharmaceuticals for the treatment of two types of epilepsy in children – Dravet syndrome and Lennox- Gastaut Syndrome}. The clinical research proved the positive medical effect of the drug and confirmed the absence of serious side effects. Something interesting has happened, and since many of those suffering from epilepsy also suffer from autism sequencing syndrome, the CBD treatment which is designed to calm seizures and convulsions has also shown improvement in other behavioural indicators. Parents who noticed an improvement in their children passed on the information and other parents and created public opinion that asked the government ministries engaged in the field to begin a professional examination in this promising direction.

Study to Explore Whether Cannabis Compound Eases Severe Symptoms of Autism.

Safety is another important consideration in deciding the use of any pharmaceutical drug or product – Do No Harm, first!

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) agree that CBD is “generally well tolerated and has a good safety profile” and studies have found no special side effects.

Although the study examined and found the high level of safety of CBD in the treatment of children with autism, there may be problems not observed in the study. One of the main problems is determining the exact and appropriate dosage for this unique population. It should be noted that CBD manufacturers may try to influence parents and consumers by inaccurately displaying the medical potential of the CBD as a result of the economic gain.

We believe in full transparency and presentation of the discussion on all its various relevant components. Each customer has the right to receive the safety information of the product presented to him at any given time and the manufacturer must provide up-to-date information. Discussions with the family, the will of the child himself (if possible), and consultation with the attending physician are also essential for the process,

Some rules to show the complexity of the topic:

  • Doctors treating people with autism should be updated and repatriated in the field of the endocannabinoid system and CBD in particular. This will be an acknowledgement that many families tend to try at least one alternative treatment in parallel with the familiar treatment. Parents considering consulting their child’s doctor about CBD treatment may be recoiled from encountering a lack of knowledge and a negative attitude.

  • Doctors and therapists can begin to establish a non-judgmental relationship with parents by listening to their observations about expectations of CBD treatment for their children.

  • After the initial trust is established, it is useful to make a list of phenomena that are objective and measurable compared to those that will be difficult to evaluate.

  • It is worth reviewing together the updated scientific literature on the subject and the reports and testimonies of many other individuals.

  • All side effects and symptoms that may accompany treatment should be responsibly considered.

  • If parents decide on CBD treatment, it is recommended to design together, doctors, caregivers, parents, pharmacists, and children on a common treatment framework that is agreed upon by everyone.

  • It should be recognized that there are no unambiguous clinical findings on improvement in autism in children as a result of CBD treatment and the existing research is still limited.

Autism Spectrum Disorder and Cannabidiol: Have We Seen This Movie Before?

Medical cannabis treatment should be separated from adults with autism from CBD treatment in children both in terms of the presence of THC in an uncertain amount in medical cannabis and due to the age of the patients. These are two different treatments and should not be compared to strengthen one side or another.


The combination of CBD in the treatment of autism is still relatively new, but already results can be seen from human studies that prove its effectiveness in reducing disorders such as anxiety, hyperactivity, and attention deficit disorders, some of which are common among those with autism. Due to the many legal and constitutional easing grants granted in the past year, particularly in the United States and Canada, several new studies are planned in cannabis and cannabidiol in particular in the treatment of autism.

It is important to remember due to the great sensitivity of providing medication to a person who is in varying degrees of cognition and functioning. The process must be carried out with the utmost responsibility while sharing and transparency with the entire care and family environment.

Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS)

Also known as Lennox syndrome is a form of epilepsy that is difficult to treat. LGS erupts in childhood and often appears between the ages of two and six. This epilepsy is characterized by frequent seizures and different types of seizures and is often accompanied by mental retardation and psychological and behavioural problems.

Dravet Syndrome

A rare and difficult form of epilepsy in childhood. Also called general epilepsy with heat seizures. The syndrome occurs in normally developed children.

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