Cannabidiol in Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Case Study

Cureus. 2022 Aug 26;14(8):e28442. doi: 10.7759/cureus.28442. eCollection 2022 Aug.


This case study aims to demonstrate the use of cannabidiol (CBD) with low-dose tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in managing symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to increase the overall quality of life for these individuals and their families. ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting cognitive development, behavior, social communication, and motor skills. Despite the increasing awareness of ASD, there is still a lack of safe and effective treatment options. The study includes a nine-year-old male patient who was diagnosed with nonverbal ASD. He exhibited emotional outbursts, inappropriate behaviors, and social deficits including challenges in communicating his needs with others. Since the patient was unable to attain independence at school and at home, his condition was a significant burden to his caregivers. The patient was treated with full-spectrum high CBD and low THC oil formulation, with each milliliter containing 20 mg of CBD and <1 mg of THC. CBD oil starting dose was 0.1ml twice daily, increased every three to four days to 0.5ml twice daily. Overall, the patient experienced a reduction in negative behaviors, including violent outbursts, self-injurious behaviors, and sleep disruptions. There was an improvement in social interactions, concentration, and emotional stability. A combination of high CBD and low-dose THC oil was demonstrated to be an effective treatment option for managing symptoms associated with autism, leading to a better quality of life for both the patient and the caregivers.

Keywords: adolescent cannabis use; alternate therapy; autism spectrum disorder (asd); autism spectrum disorder and anxiety disorder; cannabidiol (cbd); cannabis (marijuana); child and adolescent psychiatry; pediatrics neurology; psychiatry; tetrahydrocannabinol (thc).

Publication types

  • Case Reports