CBD Oil for Autism

CBD oil in ASD (autism spectrum disorder)

CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. It is the main cannabinoid in industrial hemp. Industrial hemp was made legal federally under the 2018 Farm Bill in the United States. An industrial hemp is a form of cannabis sativa with less than 0.3 % THC, and high levels of cannabidiol.
Cannabidiol is used in seizure disorders, chronic pain, anxiety, and to relieve some symptoms of Autism when in prescription form. This article is about the non-medical use of CBD oil to relieve non-medical symptoms in individuals who have autism. Autism is treated with various medications, but non-medical complaints and lack of ease can remain and require augmentation with diet, exercise, nutritional support, and supplements like CBD.
Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid and it works by affecting receptors throughout the central nervous system and by having effects in the immune system, reducing inflammation.
CBD is now legal in all 50 states and territories of the United States. Before the 2018 Farm Bill, a product with little to no THC, and a lot of CBD could very rarely be prosecuted, but it was a legal grey area. The Farm Bill cleared that up and now, prosecutions are rare or non-existent in US territories and non-existent in US states.

CBD oil disclaimers (please read, this is important)

General Medical Disclaimer

Leaf Expert is not dispensing medical information. If you are interested in using cannabidiol for treating a medical condition, consult a doctor.

FDA Disclaimer

CBD oil is not regulated by the FDA as a controlled or prescription drug. This article is about CBD oil, not prescription forms of CBD such as Epidiolex.

Drug Screening Disclaimer

If you use a CBD oil product that is of questionable quality, it is possible that you could test positive for THC or pot. Be sure to get labs of your CBD product to be sure it is not contaminated with THC.

The Facts About autism spectrum disorder (ASD), symptoms

According to the CDC, autism spectrum disorder has the classification of a developmental disorder. Problems with an interpersonal exchange, socialization, and behavior may be present. Intelligence can range from highly advanced to severely low intelligence and abilities. Kim Peek, on whom the movie Rain Man was based, is thought to have had autism spectrum disorder, though having a gifted memory and mathematical ability. He was in many ways severely challenged inability to behave and communicate in a normal way. The umbrella of autism spectrum disorder includes the following:

  • Pervasive developmental disorder (NOS)
  • Asperger Syndrome
  • Autism

Peculiarities of ASD

  1. Behavior may be repetitive, routines strict
  2. Avoids pointing at things they are giving attention to, dead stare
  3. Not look when you point
  4. No eye contact
  5. Isolation
  6. Don’t understand the feelings others have
  7. Avoid affection
  8. Not respond to people talking to them, hypersensitive to some sounds
  9. Can’t relate to people
  10. Repeat phrases without meaning
  11. Problems talking
  12. Inability to make-believe
  13. Can’t deal with changes in routine
  14. Have hypersensitivity reactions to smells, sights, and sounds
  15. Loss of formerly held abilities

There is no medicinal test to determine whether a child has autism or not, though researchers note several biological markers, including signs of immune dysfunction.

Usual autism treatment

Much of the treatment for autism is for interpersonal exchange and behavior issues.

Applied Behavior Analysis

Applied Behavior Analysis is a type of therapy that may help a child or adult with ASD to learn good behaviors and limit negative ones.

Occupational Therapy

This is used as a way to develop and improve job skills for ASD children and adults.


Risperidone is an antipsychotic which is sometimes used to treat irritableness in person with ASD.


Children with ASD may have allergies to gluten or other components of their diet or react poorly to lots of sugar. Monitoring diet can provide symptom relief.

CBD Oil Treatment for Autism

There is some evidence that CBD can aid in the treatment of non-medical complaints in individuals with ASD. A 2019 study of oral cannabidiol for symptoms related to Autism Spectrum Disorder published in Frontiers in Pharmacology had promising results. The symptoms studied included anxiousness, hyper-behavior, and aggressiveness. Symptoms of rage, self-injury, sleep problems, and hyper-behavior improved in most of the children administered cannabidiol under doctor supervision. It may be assumed the calming effect of cannabidiol and reductions in pain and inflammation may be what is having a positive effect in the children studied.

A study in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders in 2019 found that attacks of problem behavior decreased by 61 % of those treated with cannabidiol-rich cannabis. Adverse effects consisted of mild levels of sleep problems, irritableness, changes in feeding, and one case of temporary psychotic response in a girl with a high THC form of treatment.

CBD, ASD, and Seizures

10 percent to 30 percent of persons with ASD also have a seizure disorder. This connection was among the first pieces of information which led researchers to notice that cannabidiol might be useful in ASD. Cannabidiol first became popular due to a popular news piece showing the dramatic benefits for children with rare seizure disorders. First, marijuana itself was used to reduce seizures, but due to the psychoactive side effects of the THC, cannabidiol, which is not psychoactive, was trialed and proved to have a similar ability to reduce the occurrence of childhood seizures. Some of those with seizures and ASD experience relief of symptoms when using a CBD oil product.

How much CBD oil to take for autism?

CBD hemp oil dosage for autism especially with associated seizures:
For this category, we will estimate the dosage of hemp oil that might be used for someone with associated seizures to treat non-medical symptoms such as irritability and aggression. (Contact your doctor to find out dosing used for medical symptoms. You can get a prescription product called Epidiolex which is CBD alone and used to treat seizure disorders.)

If you are treating non-medical complaints at home, you can use this rule of thumb. Research published in the Journal of Epilepsy Research in 2017 reviewed the question of how many mg of CBD oil for autism and found the following dosage helps with symptoms in children with seizure disorders:

CBD oil dosage for autism with associated seizure non-medical symptoms:
10 to 20 mg per kg of body weight per day.

For a child weighing 62 lbs., the CBD oil mg dosage for autism is 280 mg to 560 mg of CBD. It may be difficult or prohibitively expensive to get this much CBD from CBD oil so you can experiment with buying a very concentrated oil or buying a little oil and combining that with CBD isolate, which his pure CBD powder with no oil or other cannabinoids or oil. Since this dosage is for associated non-medical symptoms, children will still take their regular medications, unless the doctor orders a reduction of other medications. You will also need to consult your doctor to rule out drug interactions.

Our Pick of the Day

Koi CBD is our pick of the day. They got a top score with our rigorous research processes. They have delicious choices for children, but most of all, their products have therapeutic levels of CBD. Though there are many fun products, for proper dosing, start with the regular CBD oil.

Try Koi Naturals Full-Spectrum CBD, Lemon Lime
$39.99 – $99.99

Pros and Cons of CBD Treatment

  • It can be used to treat non-medical irritability and anxiousness without a prescription.
  • It has very few side effects.
  • Not addictive.
  • Not psychedelic.
  • Can help stop complaints of shaking?
  • Can it help stop irritability?
  • It can help with anxiety.
  • It can help with agitation.
  • It can help with aggression.
  • You need a prescription to use the prescription form, Epidiolex to treat a disease.
  • It can have side effects of sleepiness and diarrhea.
  • Some users may need preparations containing THC.
  • It does not cure autism.

CBD Treatment Reviews

Facebook review

This reviewer found CBD to help with anxiety and aggression associated with ASD and other diagnoses.

Facebook review

This Facebook user uses CBD for a child with autism to help with sleep.

Facebook user

This is from a news channel’s Facebook page, linking to a story of a mom who says CBD changed her daughter’s life. There are many of these such stories and the research is beginning to bear out the claims.

We only need the headline for this one. There are whole groups dedicated to the subject and many positive stories. There is little doubt that real, powerful CBD, at the proper dosages, with or without THC, has changed the lives of some individuals with autism.


There appears to be firm evidence that CBD can help treat non-medical symptoms such as agitation and aggression in individuals with ASD. There are a few things that must be considered. The first is the quality of the product. Review our site and our picks for companies that have the highest rating. Pick a good product such as one from Koi CBD, Mary’s Medicinals, Bluebird Botanicals, or Plus CBD. Now, pick the right dosage. Our research suggests a range of 10 to 20 mg per kg of body weight per day, which can be 300 mg to 600 for a child, and a little more than double that for an adult. Lastly the product. You should stick with CBD oil or soft gels with CBD oil in them. You can try to isolate it only if it is cheaper. Getting high doses can be expensive, therefore, start at lower doses and find the lowest dose which is effective. You can start at just 20 mg to test tolerability and raise 5 to 20 mg per day until unwanted side effects appear or symptom relief is attained. In any case, consult your physician for details and to avoid drug interactions.

Side effects can include sleepiness, lethargy. Changes may occur in mood or appetite. May cause dizziness, dry mouth, or diarrhea.

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