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December 14, 2020 4 min read

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder with a range of symptoms and severity.

Our first article introduced initial clinical and observational research on CBD as a treatment for the symptoms of Autism. Here we’ll examine research on CBD and plant terpenes for conditions that are common in autism patients.

Conditions that Can Occur with Autism

There are a number of medical conditions that ASD patients are more likely to experience. Legal only since 2018, systematic investigation into CBD has just started. We’ll look at research so far on CBD and terpenes for five common comorbidities. 

Common conditionsAutism patients may also experience include:

  • Epilepsy and seizures
  • Sleep challenges or disorders
  • Anxiety 
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Depression

Jampha uses24 different plant terpenes in its targeted CBD Tincture Collections. Here we highlight a couple of terpenes indicated for each condition.

Epilepsy and Seizures

Derived from CBD, Epidiolex is anFDA approved drug that is effective against difficult-to-control seizures in two types of epilepsy that affect children. For patients with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, this CBD-based pharmaceuticalreduces the frequency of their seizures.

Subsequent studies using CBD oil found thatpure CBD oil from hemp reduced seizures more effectively than CBD with various THC levels. This study has been repeated many times with different ages and types of epilepsy. Results consistently show CBD’seffectiveness in reducing the frequency of epileptic seizures in a percentage of patients.

The plant terpenelinalool has been effective against seizures in several animal studies.

Ocimene, derived from basil and sage, as well as hemp, works as ananticonvulsant.

Terpineol has been the subject of several recent studies showing itsignificantly inhibits seizures.

Sleep Disorders and Anxiety

Sleeplessness and anxiety can come from various sources, from PTSD to medications, physical conditions, pain, or even excessive caffeine.

Clinical evidence that CBD reduces anxiety is accumulating. A 2019 study involved 72 subjects with poor sleep, anxiety, or both. Participants took 25 milligram CBD capsules daily. After one month, almost 80 percent of the patients reported reduced anxiety levels, and 67 percent experienced improved sleep.

A study published in 2020 using 397 participants administered medical CBD prescriptions for various complaints, including pain, mental health concerns, and neurological symptoms. After three weeks, 70 percent reported improvements. Of the patients receiving treatment for anxiety or depression, all said they couldfunction better and felt less anxious or depressed.

Preclinical studies show promise for CBD as atreatment for PTSD. In one clinical study, a child with PTSD experiencedless anxiety and better sleep using topical CBD.

Pain is a common source of sleep problems, and CBD provides effective pain relief. Several studies show it helps patientsmanage chronic pain.

In patients with Parkinson’s disease with aREM sleep disorder where they act out their dreams, CBD reduced their symptoms.

Found in camphor, mint plants, and hemp, the plant terpenepulegone helped subjects fall asleep more easily. Citral, myrcene, and linalool all showsleep-inducing and sustaining properties

Gastrointestinal Disorders

The gastrointestinal system includes organs involved in digestion like the esophagus, stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. CBD and plant terpenes are specialized molecules that activate and balance the human endocannabinoid system (ECS). All of the organs of digestion interact with the endocannabinoid system.

Common gastrointestinal disorders are irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, or acid reflux. 

Studies show thatCBD reduces intestinal inflammation and pain. It also helpsreduce nausea.

CBD seems to helpmodulate the digestion system, increasing digestive motility in some participants and reducing it in others. 

The plant terpene myrcene, found in mangos, basil, and hemp,protects the cells of the digestive lining.

In a study on citral effect on obesity, the amount of each subject’sweight loss corresponded to their dose of citral. Participants who took citral had lower fasting glucose levels, better glucose tolerance, and a higher metabolic rate.

Depression

About ten percent of the general population suffers from depression, while40 percent of people with autism experience depression at some point during their lives. 

Preclinical studies with CBD show it works torelieve both anxiety and depression. CBD has apositive interaction with the serotonin levels in the body without binding to the receptors. 

A 2018 research review illustrates CBD’santi-stress, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective properties. It covers several studies showing CBD’s positive impact on some patients with depression.

Several plant terpenes help relieve the symptoms of depression, includingb-caryophyllene,geraniol,pinene, and linalool

In preclinical trials, b-caryophyllene reduced depression and compulsive behavior in mice. Geraniol reduced neuroinflammation and depression-related behaviors. Pinene and linalool both produce an anti-depressant effect.

CBD and the Endocannabinoid System: Full-Body Support

Autism is a complex disorder that seems tointeract with the endocannabinoid system. CBD’s balancing influence on the ECS may be essential to reducing many of the symptoms and comorbidities of ASD.

As research continues into autism, the human endocannabinoid system, CBD, and plant terpenes, we will better understand the mechanisms of how these molecules and systems interact. 

Jampha’s full-spectrum Organic CBD oil is derived from organic hemp grown in the USA. The terpenes in this article are in ourCalm, Relieve, Sleep, Breathe, and Detox Tincture Collections.

CBD is not a cure for autism, but it does have the potential to improve people’s lives.


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