Autism Awareness Month

Autism and Hemp-Derived CBD Oil

Over the course of Autism Awareness Month (April), Plants Not Pills has been gathering research from our network of physicians to help spread awareness of a developmental condition that affects one in every 58 children in America. We invite our readers to gain a better understanding of a condition that remains an enigma to much of the public and medical community.

What is Autism?

Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning that symptoms and their severities can vary greatly from one person to another. The symptoms as defined on The Autism Awareness Centre website, include the following:

  • Insistence on sameness; resistance to change
  • Difficulty in expressing needs; uses gestures or pointing instead of words
  • Repeating words or phrases in place of normal, responsive language
  • Laughing, crying, showing distress for reasons not apparent to others
  • Prefers to be alone; aloof manner
  • Tantrums
  • Difficulty in mixing with others
  • May not want to cuddle or be cuddled
  • Little or no eye contact
  • Unresponsive to normal teaching methods
  • Sustained odd play
  • Spins objects
  • Inappropriate attachments to objects
  • Apparent over-sensitivity or under-sensitivity to pain
  • No real fears of danger
  • Noticeable physical over-activity or extreme under-activity
  • Uneven gross/fine motor skills
  • Not responsive to verbal cues; acts as if deaf although hearing tests in normal range.

Autism is a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), one of a group that includes Asperger’s Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD), Rett’s Disorder, and PDD-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). Each of these disorders are diagnosed by unique criteria set out by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Most cases of autism are diagnosed in children after the age of 4 years old, but a diagnosis can be reached in children as young as 2  years old.

What Causes Autism?

Several environmental and medical factors have shown to augment the risk of autism. The first formal studies from the 1970s observed that the disorder was 200 times more common in cases where children were exposed to congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) while still in the womb. This came following the largest Rubella outbreak in US history in the mid 1960s. In addition to rubella, encephalitis, herpes simplex and a host of other conditions are also thought to be causal factors of autism. Environmental factors such as exposure to certain medications and toxins can also increase the risk of autism for children both in the fetal and infant stages. As with many developmental disorders, genetics play a large role and over 90% of individuals diagnosed with autism possess a genetic mutation that can be traced through a family member.

Autism and CBD (Cannabidiol)

Although research into the efficacy of cannabinoid therapy on autism only dates back a decade, anecdotal evidence suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), both principal compounds of the cannabis sativa plant can help with symptoms related to autism.

THC has shown to significantly improve hyperactivity, lethargy, irritability, stereotypy and inappropriate speech when regularly given to an autistic child (Kurz & Blass, 2010). THC’s activation of the CB2 receptors may be able to help restore neural communication and proper cell function (Foldy, Malenka & Sudhof, 2013) and (Maccarrone M, et al. 2014). In addition, with nearly 1 in 4 autistic children developing seizures, it is worth noting that CBD has demonstrated the ability to reduce or even eliminate intractable seizures (Blair, Deshpande & DeLorenzo, 2015), (Rosenberg, Tsien, Whalley & Devinsky, 2015), (Szaflarski & Bebin, 2014) and (Devinsky, et al., 2014).

Full Spectrum CBD Oil and Autism

Here at Plants Not Pills, we have heard from several parents who are using our full spectrum Revive oil in 1200 mg and 2400 mg variances who have noted a significant improvement in symptoms related to their children’s autism. This organically cultivated CBD oil for autism contains less than 0.2% THC, enough to benefit from the cannabinoid’s positive therapeutic effects without any of the “high” or euphoria typically associated with THC.

If you or a loved one is affected by autism, we encourage you to browse our selection of CBD products at Should you have any questions on what product may aid in the reduction or alleviation of a certain symptom, feel free to email or call us directly at 888.247.3420