Some children with autism (ASD) respond well to full spectrum CBD extract

This study followed 82 children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder for 6 months to determine the effects of a single type of full spectrum CBD oil. It was published in Translational Psychiatry in September 2022.

The average patient age was about 9 years, with a range from 5 to 25. The study was done at the Shamir Medical Center in Israel. About half of the patients were taking other medications for ASD, and they continued taking them over the 6 month period. The study tracked changes over time in the following areas:

  • Social communication abilities
  • Restrictive & repetitive behaviors (RRB)
  • Adaptive behaviors
  • Cognitive abilities

The changes were quantified using the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), Vineland, and an age-appropriate Wechsler test.

"Parents received a supply of medicinal cannabis whole-plant extract infused in medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil with a CBD:THC ratio of 20:1 (Nitzan Spectrum®, Seach Medical Group, Israel) for a period of six months." One drop contained 5.7mg CBD and 0.3mg THC.

The parents started with one drop and adjusted the dosage and administration frequency (titration) individually but the final total daily dose did not exceed 400 mg/day of CBD and 20 mg/day of THC. About half of the participants (51%) who completed treatment did not show improvements in core ASD symptoms. But the 49% that did respond to treatment displayed large improvements such that the overall average was positive. 

there were overall significant improvements in social communication abilities as quantified by the ADOS, SRS, and Vineland with larger improvements in participants who had more severe initial symptoms.

These findings suggest that treatment with CBD-rich cannabis can yield improvements, particularly in social communication abilities


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