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The success of Epidiolex has led many to wonder if the drug could be similarly successful in treating seizures and other autism-related traits. The quick answer? It’s still too early to know.
Mouse models have demonstrated that blocking certain cannabinoid receptors with CBD may help reduce seizures and memory issues in individuals with Fragile X syndrome, the leading genetic cause of autism, according to research published in Nature Medicine.
Spectrum reports that a 2018 clinical trial of a synthetic CBD drug manufactured by Zynerba Pharmaceuticals demonstrated significant improvements in behavioural traits and anxiety associated with Fragile X. Additional research has shown that CBD may alleviate seizures in children with CDKL5 deficiency disorder, an autism-linked condition.
For behavioural problems, preliminary research published in Neurology found that CBD is a promising treatment option and could reduce outbursts in autistic children. Additionally, a 2019 study found that consuming cannabis oil containing 30 per cent CBD and 1.5 per cent THC improved the quality of life for some children and teenagers with autism, including fewer seizures and tics, and a decrease in depression, restlessness and outbursts.
Spectrum reminds readers that the long-term effects of cannabis consumption are not well-understood and any CBD or cannabis products that are being used medically should be pharmaceutical-grade as potency and purity can vary.