CBD: Though stated above, to clarify, CBD extracts and products do not have psychoactive, high-inducing, or “buzzed” feeling effects. It has been proven safe in small or even larger doses, and is primarily used as an anxiolytic chemical (anxiety reducing). Further uses are for the reduction of seizures in those with epilepsy and for pain reduction. CBD oils are not only used for human patients, but as stress-relievers for dogs, cats, and some other pets. An article from the Autism Parenting Magazine expresses that “the role of CBD for autism with anxiety is twofold. Firstly, some children with autism find that using CBD oil for anxiety alleviates not only stress but also aggression, self-injurious behaviors, and trouble with social interactions. Secondly, CBD oil can help children with co-occurring seizures.” From personal experience, as someone with severe anxiety (though without autism), using a CBD oil helped reduce some of the anxiousness and allow me to perform actions (such as socializing, making a phone call, or even simple things, such as being in the same room as loud, abrupt, unexpected noises without jumping or freaking out) that would have required more deliberation and pushing otherwise. Further, it has helped my puppy take car rides without getting anxious and eventually throwing up. CBD is something that parents have reported improvement with in all sides of the spectrum regarding anxiety-induced behaviors or seizure reduction.
At Totally Social ASD, we do not promote the use of any psychoactive drugs without medical confirmation or legal informed adult use. The section below is merely to educate and explore the different viewpoints in the autism community.
THC: There are cases where autistic individuals use products that do include the psychoactive or high-inducing chemical in the marijuana plant. One of the potential conditions that allows someone to obtain a medical marijuana card is autism. This will still have the benefits from the CBD, and some find that the added high further allows them to calm down or relieve symptoms of autism related conditions, such as anxiety or epilepsy. However, along with the anxiety, seizure, and pain reducing effects, anything containing THC can cause paranoia, increased appetite, drowsiness, and the inability to operate vehicles, as it affects your state of mind. Anything including THC should never be given to a minor or someone who cannot or did not consent to using the drugs or did not know the full spectrum of effects.
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Written by Katy Evans