Research on CBD has shown it is useful in treating various conditions, such as reducing stress, anxiety, and aggression. These are common traits related to people with Asperger’s syndrome. Although not a cure, some already use cannabidiol to manage Asperger's syndrome. Is it an effective way of managing this condition? If yes, how does it work? The following article will help answer this question.
What is Asperger’s Syndrome?
Asperger’s syndrome is a developmental disorder that causes people to have difficulty relating to others socially and their thinking patterns to be repetitive or rigid. Young people with this condition have difficulty understanding social situations and various forms of communication like body language, sarcasm, and humor. They might also be interested in talking about things and interests they only enjoy and would want to partake in a small range of activities.
The name Asperger’s syndrome has been changed officially to ASD as its symptoms are similar to that of the condition named Autism. ASD is short for Autism Spectrum Disorder. The causes of Asperger’s syndrome condition are unknown. Experts classify it as a neurobiological disorder as genetics and brain abnormalities might be the cause, although not fully understood how.
There are three main symptoms of Asperger's syndrome, including minimal or inappropriate social interactions, conversations that are self-obsessive and rarely revolve around others, and not understanding basic emotions or giving fewer facial expressions than what is typical for others. Finding proper treatment for the management of this condition can be challenging. There are ways that CBD can help.
CBD for Asperger’s Syndrome
The body is made of endocannabinoids that help function the brain for homeostasis. One of these endocannabinoids is anandamide. It synthesizes in parts of the brain responsible for processes like memory and motivation. Most people with Asperger’s syndrome have lower levels of anandamide.
According to Maroon& Bost (2018), CBD optimizes the levels of anandamide in the body by inhibiting its breakdown while at the same time increasing its release rate. This helps reduce stress and anxiety levels and regulate one’s overall mood. In other words, CBD boosts anandamide production. Also, some people suffering from Asperger’s syndrome suffer from seizures. However, Pauli et al. (2020) stated that a CBD-based pharmaceutical medicine has been found most effective; Epidiolex has been shown to reduce seizures and is available on prescription.
As explained above, one of the common traits of a person with Asperger’s syndrome is addictive or obsessive behavior. This person can be completely indulged in one task and can mostly not divert their attention elsewhere or is obsessed with a stimulation-inducing activity like watching a specific television program or playing with a particular toy. Experts believe that the possible cause for this reaction is dopamine release.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter or feel-good hormone. People with Asperger's syndrome have low dopamine levels. CBD is believed to help this dysfunction by optimizing dopamine release, allowing the patient to experience the body's reward response. O'Sullivan et al. (2021) showed that CBD interacts with a part of the brain responsible for integrating cognitive information. This helps reduce stress and anxiety-related disorders, common traits for people with ASD. There are different methods of using CBD for this condition, for example, sublingual or consuming CBD under the tongues or oral consumption in the form of gummies, capsules, or CBD tinctures.
The dosage of CBD for the condition varies from one person to another. This is because of the different factors involved, like the severity of the symptoms and the treatment method used. The best approach is to start low and increase the dosage gradually until the desired effect is achieved. Lipps (2022) reported that a mixture of oral and sublingual CBD consumption achieves the benefits while managing symptoms of Asperger's syndrome.
Side effects of using CBD for Asperger’s
The benefits of CBD to one's health, as discussed, have shown to be beneficial to one suffering from Asperger’s syndrome. However, there are several side effects to look for if one uses CBD. These are nausea, dry mouth, dizziness, vomiting, and drowsiness.
Guidelines To Consider for Choosing CBD For Asperger’s
Choose a product that has low or no traces of THC but contains a high CBD amount. Remember to check for the optimum amount should not be more than 0.3% of THC if any, as regulated.
Always buy products from a company that has done third-party testing. This is done to ascertain that the product does not contain terpene profiles, contaminants, and heavy metals.
Ensure that the company you are buying from is reputable.
Choose CBD full-broad spectrum CBD extracts or CBD isolates. This is because they contain no THC traces or have an optimum of 0.3%. Silva et al. (2021) showed that THC lowers anandamide levels which can worsen the symptoms of a person with Asperger's syndrome as they already have a low level of anandamide. It is therefore important to conduct thorough research before purchasing any CBD product.
Asperger’s syndrome patients do not have similar traits but behavioral characteristics that are the same. There is hope that CBD may be able to manage Asperger’s syndrome by managing some of the causes of the traits. In summary, these different ways are managed using CBD by relieving anxiety and stress levels, thus increasing social interactions, promoting a feeling of relaxation, easing aggravation and thoughts of self-harm, and helping reduce the frequency of seizures. Different treatment methods will work for different people, and no one method fits all. Remember that CBD is not a cure for the condition but helps manage the condition. Remember to consider the guidelines mentioned above and talk to a doctor before starting any CBD medication.
Lipps, C. S. (2022). This is my story.
Maroon, J., & Bost, J. (2018). Review of the neurological benefits of phytocannabinoids. Surgical neurology international, 9.
O'Sullivan, S. E., Stevenson, C. W., & Laviolette, S. R. (2021). Could cannabidiol be a treatment for coronavirus disease-19-related anxiety disorders?. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 6(1), 7-18.
Pauli, C. S., Conroy, M., Vanden Heuvel, B. D., & Park, S. H. (2020). Cannabidiol drugs clinical trial outcomes and adverse effects. Frontiers in pharmacology, 11, 63.
Silva Junior, E. A. D., Medeiros, W. M. B., Torro, N., Sousa, J. M. M. D., Almeida, I. B. C. M. D., Costa, F. B. D., ... & Albuquerque, K. L. G. D. D. (2021). Cannabis and cannabinoid use in autism spectrum disorder: a systematic review. Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy.