CBD and Autism study shows improvement in several features

This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 12-week clinical trial of 60 children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ages 5 to 11 (87% boys). It was published in Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy in May 2022.

The study used a CBD liquid extract with a concentration of 0.5% (5mg/mL), with a 9:1 CBD:THC ratio. The doses ranged from 6 drops per day to over 70 drops per day, based on caregiver titration (slowly increasing the dose to obtain optimum benefit) oversight - usually administered several times a day.

The average dose in the cannabis group was 47 drops per day. Based on an average of about 20 drops per mL, this is roughly equivalent to 12mg CBD per day total on average (or 4mg CBD 3 times per day). The range of effective doses was very wide, so titration is important. The adverse side effects were considered mild: "Adverse effects experienced by a few of the children were mild and transient".

Significant results were found for improvements in the following symptoms or features of ASD:

  • social interaction
  • anxiety
  • psychomotor agitation
  • number of meals a day
  • concentration (only for those with "mild" ASD)

A quote from the authors:

"children who received the CBD-rich cannabis extract showed a significant improvement in psychomotor agitation, started to accept more meals a day, much improved social interaction and were less anxious, when compared to children in the placebo group, suggesting improvement in some symptoms associated with the ASD condition"

The abstract and link to the PDF paper is here.