Does CBD Oil Help Autism?

Dr. Patel,

My son has Autism, which breaks down to having severe Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), sensory processing disorder, and he also has Tourette Syndrome.

Conventional pharmaceutical meds didn’t work for him because there just wasn’t a combination that would help with all of his issues. Some would help one aspect, but then trigger others. It’s like the meds caused more bad than good.

He has a hard time in school. His teachers complain that he can’t sit still, he’s loud, he breaks things, and he hurts himself. He can’t read or write. And, can’t be in a regular classroom without the help of an aide. It pains to to me thinks that he’s the weird kid nobody wants to be around.

I have read that CBD helps Autism. I want to give CBD oil a try for my son. Do you have experience treating a child with Autism? Has CBD Oil helped? How has it helped?

Thank you for the work that you do.

In much appreciation,


Boston, MA

Giovanni, I have in fact treated patients with Autism. Before I dive into the results my patients experienced, I want to tell you about some research that was released fairly recently. In 2018, in fact. I think you’ll find the results of the study very relevant.

CBD Oil for Autism: The Results

In this particular study, 60 children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) were treated with a high Cannabidiol (CBD) & low Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) medication for at least 7 months.

The kids ranged in age from 8 to 15 years, and the average age was about 11 years. 77% of the kids were considered low functioning. And, 83% of the kids were boys.

The most important thing to know about these kids is that their condition had not improved with conventional drug therapy. 95% of the kids received medications for behavioral problems prior to the start of the study.

  • 72% used antipsychotics
  • 17% received mood stabilizers
  • 12% received benzodiazepines
  • 7% received SSRIs
  • 7% received stimulants
  • 3% clonidine
  • 3% propranolol

At the end of the treatment, the children’s parents filled out questionnaires to assess the change in their condition. The parents were asked whether they had noticed a change in their child’s behavior, the extent of their child’s anxiety, and whether their child’s communication abilities had changed.

Following the high CBD/low THC treatment, it was reported that

  • Behavioral outbreaks were much or very much improved in 61% of the kids.
  • The anxiety problems were much or very much improved in 39% of the kids.
  • The communication problems were much or very much improved in 47% of the kids.
  • Disruptive behaviors were improved by 29%.
  • Parents reported feeling less stressed.

Now when it came to the medications that the kids were on,

  • 33% received fewer medications or lower dosages
  • 24% stopped taking medications
  • 8% received more medications or higher dosages

One girl in whom higher Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was used had a transient serious psychotic event that required treatment with an antipsychotic.

Overall, this preliminary study supports the feasibility of high CBD/low THC as a promising treatment option for children on the Autism Spectrum with behavioral problems who are tolerant to conventional medications.


So there is something I want to point out. In the study, they used a high CBD & low THC combination extracted from marijuana, but note that it is also possible to for you to use a high CBD & low THC combination extracted from hemp because remember hemp naturally has high amounts of CBD and low amounts of THC. With the amount of THC, it’s less than 0.3%

CBD Oil for Autism: The Results

When it comes to results, remember that the symptoms of Autism are on a spectrum. So, for some, the symptoms are mild and for others the symptoms are severe.

As you can imagine, the results that patients experience with the use of CBD Oil varies by the degree of the symptoms they started with. So, what I’m going to do is walk you through the range of results my patients and their parents and teachers experienced with the use of CBD Oil.

Parents and feedback from teachers of my patients noted that they,

  • Made more eye contact
  • Showed more animated facial expressions
  • Had improved focus
  • Had improved attention
  • Listened better
  • Had improved language
  • Were more present (as opposed to being lost in their own world)
  • Were more engaged with others
  • Initiated contact with siblings and other children
  • Were able to sit for an extended period of time without losing interest
  • Reduced self-harm
  • Reduced aggression
  • Had fewer out-bursts or tantrums
  • Showed reduced Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior
  • Had reduced Anxiety
  • Slept better
  • Were more receptive to help

You can imagine overall seeing these improvements in their children helps parents be less on edge. And, so the quality of life for the family oftentimes is reported as being better too.

In terms of medications, much like was reported in the study, I’ve had some patients come off of their prescription medications completely, others reduced the number or dosages of their medications, while the rest continued to take the medications they were on.




Research Referenced: