Case study: Cannabis extract associated with improved autism-related behaviors

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Case Study: Cannabis extract associated with improved autism-related behaviors

Daily administration of cannabis extracts is associated with behavioral improvements in an adolescent with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a case study published in the Journal of Medical Case Reports.

A team of Canadian researchers affiliated with the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary have reported the effects of low doses of cannabidiol extract on a 15-year-old child with autism, anxiety and controlled epilepsy. The patient used cannabis as an adjunct to other prescribed medications. The patient took small doses (0.2 ml) of the extract twice a day. The plant-derived extract contained a CBD to THC ratio of 20 to 1.

The researchers reported that the patient’s symptoms improved in six months of treatment and that he maintained “positive effects on behavior, anxiety, sleep and social deficits.”

“This case report provides evidence that a lower than previously reported dose of cannabidiol-based phytocannabinoid may be able to assist in behaviors related to autism spectrum disorder, basic social communication skills and comorbid anxiety, difficulties “Further research is needed to elucidate the clinical role and biological mechanisms of action of cannabidiol extract in patients with autism spectrum disorder.”

Research published last year by researchers at Tufts University in Boston similarly reported that oral administration of cannabis-based products is associated with improvements in autistic symptoms in patients with self-harming behaviors and comorbid epilepsy. Several small clinical trials have also previously reported that herbal cannabis extracts are effective and well tolerated in alleviating various symptoms in patients with ASD, including hyperactivity, seizures, anxiety, and tantrums.