How CBD Works  -  How does CBD work for Autism

How Does CBD Work for autism?

How does CBD work for Autism
None of the statements on this website have been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration. CBD products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. A doctor's advise should be sought before using CBD products especially if you have a serious medical condition, use prescription medications, are pregnant, or are nursing a child.

 

We want to tread lightly.

 

We've written on many different issues.

 

Some of them are more straight forward like Psoriasis.

 

Others are much more nuanced and complicated like Schizophrenia and Psychosis.

 

Even these can be boiled down to distinct pathways in the brain (and even immune system!).

 

Autism is a totally different animal.

 

  • For this, we're going to rely heavily on research and try to bring together the different pieces involved.
  • We'll tackle the role of the endocannabinoid system plus many different aspects that research is pointing to.

 

We tread lightly because they're a tremendous amount of suffering surrounding the issue.

 

We'll stick to research but maybe shed some light on current thoughts that maybe haven't made it out there yet.

 

The next few years are exciting across the medical field.


We're seeing discoveries weekly now across different pathways that seemed way out of bounds just a few years ago.

 

The immune system emerges strongly as does the gut (and it's microbiome of bacteria).

 

More info on CBD and the microbiome of gut bacteria here.

 

Rapamycin and it's ability to do the brain remodeling that may have been missed earlier.

 

Finally, we look at CBD directly.

 

You can jump to any section here:

 

 

Okay..maybe we bit off more than we can chew.

 

It's too important not to!

 

Let's get started.



 

The different theories of autism

 

There are two basic theories of autism.

 

The problem is that everything we call autism, may actually be a mix and match of different components, pathways, and issues.

 

We'll start with the basics.

 

  • Social Motivation theory
  • Overly Intense World theory

 

We'll add some elements (not full blown theories) to these two overarching concepts.

 

There's a great summary here:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/neuroscience-in-translation/201803/autism-and-the-brain-what-does-the-research-say

 

Let's start with the Social Motivation theory

 

The basic premise is that a person with autism's reward center is different from other people.

 

There is less of a reward in the brain for social interaction.

 

Keep in mind that all our "drives" are a function of chemistry in the brain.

 

The key social driver is Oxytocin.

 

We'll look at this in depth below but key take-away:

 

Oxytocin, sometimes call the "love" drug, is the chemical driver of relationship-building, trust, and social seeking behavior.

 

That's sounds a tad bit relevant to the social reward theory of autism.

 

We're going to look at this in more detail below.

 

One quick reminder...it's primarily made in the hypothalamus.

 

Remember that area of the brain! We'll be coming back to it often.

 

Next up...

 

The Overly Intense World Theory

 

Basically, the theory postulates that sensory stimulus is either too intense or unfiltered for people with autism.

 

This goes to the heart of many of the behaviors exhibited in terms of sounds, smells, sights, and touch being overwhelming.

 

There are different regions of the brain involved.


The thalamus acts as a filtering gate before sensory information is forwarded to the cortex

 

More on that here:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/brain-babble/201502/is-how-the-brain-filters-out-unimportant-details


 

The Anterior Cingulate Cortex is of special importance since it acts as a relay between the emotional centers and logic centers of the brain.

 

We'll touch base on those later as well.

 

Of course, there's the Amygdala (the emotional center!) which colors our sensory perceptions with an emotional quality.

 

It's one of the old parts of our brain where the fight or flight response resides.

 

It's also intimately tied to anxiety and overly reactive fear responses.

 

Too much or too little functioning at any of these steps in the process can result in overwhelming sensory processing.

 

We'll talk about some interesting research on neurogenesis and neuron pruning below which plays into this.

 

Those are the two big theories and the brain areas involved.

 

That's all good and well but what can we do with that?

 

We need to drill down another level to the players on the field.

 

Let's start with hormones.



 

Hormones and autism

 

We mentioned Oxytocin above which is key to pair-bonding, social reward, and empathy.

 

To put a fine point on it:

A single intranasal dose of [oxytocin] in healthy humans [has also been seen to enhance] trust, generosity, and empathy."

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321967.php

 

Vasopressin is also referenced in the article as a hormone that affects similar behaviors.

 

This effect of these two hormones appear to be processed in the anterior cingulate cortex (from above!)

 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/neuroscience-in-translation/201806/oxytocin-and-vasopressin-in-autism-why-all-the-excitement

 

Separately on the hormone front, there's the over-masculanization of the brain during key times of development (in-utero and after).

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180207120622.htm

 

With all the research on hormone mimickers and disruptors in our food, beauty products, and environment, this alone could be a big reason for the jump in autism diagnosis (along with better ways to measure).

 

A key note is that there is a huge difference in oxytocin levels depending on gender.

 

Women have much more of it and it actually functions quite differently between the two genders.

 

There's a fascinating summary of this difference here

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2689929/

 

Research is getting closer:

Preliminary results show that the oxytocin receptor gene affects multiple aspects of social functioning relevant to autism.

https://www.sfari.org/funded-project/oxytocin-biology-and-the-social-deficits-of-autism-spectrum-disorders/

 

So genes specific to oxytocin may be at play.

 

Furthermore, by giving oxytocin to children with autism who already had low oxytocin levels, their social interactions improved:

Study shows which children with autism respond best to oxytocin treatment

https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2017/07/oxytocin-improves-social-abilities-in-some-kids-with-autism.html

 

Finally, a study showed that a subset of children with autism responded to oxytosin nasal sprays:

 

https://www.spectrumnews.org/news/oxytocin-spray-boosts-social-skills-children-autism/

 

Levels of these hormones vary significantly in the full population and among people with autism.

 

If the hormone levels are working correctly but the transit (anterior cingulate cortex) isn't functioning correctly, this could explain the difference.

 

There's a great introduction to this area's effect and remember that oxytocin and vasopressin do a great deal of work in this area of the brain.

 

It's the mediator between our emotional and rational brains!

 

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-04-area-brain-affected-autism.html

 

We've said throughout this site that all roads will eventually lead back to the gut and autism is no different!

 

The Microbiome is the next big thing in health (after Crispr).

 

We'll discuss how gut bacteria can affect the oxytocin levels below!

 

The hormones primarily speak to the social reward theory of autism.

 

Let's look at the other theory...sensory overload!



 

Neurotransmitters and autism

 

Let's introduce the key players.

 

As we've discussed many times on this site, the body/brain tends to use competing chemicals to affect change.

 

Push Pull.

 

In the brain, there are two that drive "activity" for lack of a better word.

 

  • Glutamate is excitatory neurotransmitter
  • GABA is the inhibitory neurotransmitter

 

Glutamate will increase activity while GABA acts as the brake!

 

That's a simplified view of very complicated systems but it still holds true.

 

This is important to the hyper excitability theory (sensory overload) of autism.

 

Some key clues:

 

  • By fixing a glutamate pathway gene in fragile-x mice, many of the autism-like symptoms went away.
  • Genetic mapping in families with autism are showing a link to GABA related genes
  • Oxytocin (mentioned above in the hormone section) affects how Glutamate and GABA are processed in the brain.

 

The general theory is that there is an imbalance between these two neurotransmitters resulting a glutamate (excitatory to neurons and synapses) overload.

 

Too much gas at all the various points in the brain!

 

Yes...that might feel like sensory overload.

https://www.spectrumnews.org/wiki/neurotransmitters/

 

This runaway excitability in the brain also explains why there is a significant association between autism and seizures.

 

Is it too much gas or not enough brake?



Some research is pointing to the brake (GABA) side.

 

Again, it may not be the level of GABA but the "processing" of it.

 

It's not that there's no GABA in the brain but there is some step along that pathway that's broken.

https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2015/12/a-brain-link-to-autism/

 

Brain scans further pointed to the GABA brake being faulty:

"GABA is not reduced in the autistic brain, but the action of this inhibitory pathway is reduced"

http://news.mit.edu/2015/altered-brain-chemistry-autism-1217

 

So GABA is present but it's not functioning correctly.

 

Just wait till we get to the gut and these chemicals with autism below!


 

Inflammation, gut biome, immune response and autism

 

Most of our modern and dreaded ills have some tie to inflammation.

 

  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Dementia, Alzheimers, Parkinson's
  • Cancer (to some extent)

 

What about autism?

 

Glad you asked.


First, keep in mind that our inflammatory response resides in the gut.

 

The trillions of bacteria down there are intimately involved in modulating this whole system.

 

They turn genes on and off in the immune cells and gut lining!

 

They also make neurotransmitters and affect hormones DIRECTLY!

 

It's pretty amazing actually and is the future of medicine.

 

Children with autism were 6-8 times more likely to have gastointestinal problems:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3981895/

 

We're back to gut!

 

Researchers are even seeing the targeted results of specific species of gut bacteria.

 

For example, one species Lactobacillus Reuteri, was added back to the gut of mice with autistic-like behavior and their symptoms improved!

By adding this bacterial species back to the guts of affected mice, the researchers were able to reverse some of the mice"s behavioral deficits, which are reminiscent of symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in humans.

https://www.bcm.edu/news/neuroscience/species-gut-bacteria-autism-related-behavior

 

That species had a direct impact on the amount of oxytocin (mentioned above for social rewards) cells activated.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27793228

 

The plot thickens.

 

There's a wonderful analysis of the powerful interplay between the most powerful neurotransmitters/hormones (including dopamine, GABA, and serotonin) in our bodies and gut bacteria!

https://academic.oup.com/femsre/article/39/4/509/2467625

 

Keep in mind that some of the bacteria have been shown to bolster testosterone production which speaks the the over-masculinated brain theory above.



 

Furthermore, there are some really bad strains of gut bacteria that have a much higher prevalence in people with autism:

Stool analysis on 13 patients with regressive autism showed a dramatic increase in titers of the abnormal and potentially toxic Clostridia.

https://www.ageofautism.com/2017/09/hormones-from-the-microbiome-implications-in-autism.html

 

So-called "regressive" autism, where a child appears to be maturing and then there's an abrupt change can be affected by antiobiotics:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10921511

 

Learn all about how the brain and gut interact for key neurotransmitters tied to autism:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4259177/

 

Researchers have found that inflammation is a key marker in brains of people with autism.

Enhanced inflammatory activity in ASD children has been demonstrated through pro-inflammatory biomarkers analysis.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6027314/

 

If this inflammation occurs in the brain, you can imagine how that would manifest itself:

Neuro-inflammation, driven by increased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, could be the principal mechanism in the pathophysiology of ASD

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6027314/

 

The above article has a great summary of inflammation, immune response, gut bacteria and autism!

 

This is pointing to a dysregulation of immune response in the gut which may have come from the mother's immune system (and antibodies):

A milestone paper detected, by means of lactulose/mannitol test, increased intestinal permeability in 37% of autistic patients and in 21% of their relatives.

 

Permeability just means that the barrier between our gut's environment and ours is compromised.

 

In some situations, bacteria can cross the barriers and go to other parts of the body (brain, organs, joints, etc).

 

It's the critical cause of autoimmune diseases.

 

Our bodies immune system then finds these wayward bacteria and attacks them where they are not supposed to be.

 

That brings us to autoimmune.

You can learn all about CBD and the Gut, CBD and the Immune system, CBD and the Microbiome, or even CBD and inflammation.


 

Is autism an auto immune issue?

 

Autoimmune just means that the above mechanisms (inflammation, gut biome, gut permeability, and immune response) have broken down somewhere.

 

The body starts to attack its own tissue or over-reacts in different parts of the body.

 

There are tantalizing clues that part of autism (or a certain type of autism) is autoimmune by nature.

 

We'll lay out the groundwork and let you take it from there with lots of research.

 

First, there's the fact that many people with autism (up to 80% in one study) have gastrointestinal issues.

 

The gut is the key to our immune response generally and auto-immune specifically.

 

Next, there's the connection to having a mother with an autoimmune disease and a child with autism:

an increased risk ratio (IRR), of ASD was observed in mothers with rheumatoid arthritis (IRR: 1.70) and celiac disease (IRR: 2.97); a familial history of type I diabetes (IRR: 1.78) was also found to increase the risk of having child with ASD

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5373490/

 

Specific genes have been tied to both autoimmune risk and autism as well.

 

The general theory is that antibodies from the mother transfers to the fetus and the immune response to these antibodies during critical development periods may cause a subset of autism.

 

They even took antibodies from a mother and injected into mice during birth which resulted in autism-like behavior in the baby mouse.

a single sample from the serum of a mother with a child with ASD was used to demonstrate that antibodies purified and developmental delay reacted to mouse neurons and when injected into a dam during gestation resulted in deficits in the exploratory behaviors in the resulting offspring

Yes, that sounds horrible but it's a powerful clue that an immune response to antibodies in the mother may cause some of the issues during development.

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5373490/

 

There's a tremendous amount of research at the link above.

 

One powerful example...

A similar study utilizing banked mid-pregnancy (prospective) blood samples also observed maternal autoantibody binding to antigens near 37 and 73 kDa was only found in women whose children later received a diagnosis of ASD

 

Specific antibodies or immune responses are now being targeted.

 

This would speak to the growth of autism over the past few decades.

 

Learn all about auto-immune history and CBD here.

 

There's also a layman's guide to this aspect of autism here:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321566.php

 

Let's look at one more aspect...we promise!



 

Brain pruning, Rapamycin, and autism

 

Maybe a separate cause or just a result of a development process by autoimmune or environmental factors (more on that below), but there's a distinct difference in the balance of brain tissue tied to autism.

 

The brain goes through 2 very distinct "remodeling" jobs. One at around age 2-3 and another one at puberty.

 

During this time, it significantly reduces the neurons in certain areas.

 

It prunes back entire areas of the brain so that the remaining areas can function more efficiently.

 

It's quite amazing actually.

 

For example, THC was just found to interfere with the pruning of Amygdala tissue from a single use at age 14-15.

 

The amygdala is our fear, emotional, and impulsive part of the brain.

 

It needs to be pruned back a bit for us to become a functional adult!

 

THC actually thickened it which can make an adult prone to fear and anxiety responses.

 

Like we've said elsewhere, THC has some issues (see CBD versus THC).

 

This pruning process comes into play with autism as research has found that this process might not be functioning correctly

A newly published brain-tissue study suggests that children affected by autism have a surplus of synapses, or connections between brain cells.

https://www.autismspeaks.org/science-news/brain-study-finds-evidence-autism-involves-too-many-synapses

 

This then points to interesting research on rapamycin.

 

Rapamycin gained fame when it was shown to help with longevity (the old red wine sirtuin story).

 

It directly affects a whole system in the body called mTOR which is responsible for proper cellular growth and removal (both very important).

 

mTOR literally means the "mechanistic Target Of Rapamycin".

 

Just remember mTOR for now....it will come back around later with CBD!

 

If mTOR is the root of a class of autism, there was groundbreaking study:

A recent study by Sato et al reported that rapamycin reverses impaired social interactions associated with autism spectrum disorder in a mouse model of TSC.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3972801/

 

A subset of autism may be a result of genetic differences in how the mTOR pathway works.

 

Next, a section that has a direct bearing on the type of CBD. 

 

Histamine response and autism

 

One final stop before the endocannabinoid system and CBD.

 

Histamines!

 

You can learn all about Histamines and CBD here but essentially...

 

It's a major part of the immune response in our body in charge of getting foreign things OUT of the body quickly!

 

It can over-react and that's allergies.

 

But what if it overreacts in the brain or nervous system where we do indeed have mast cells (which release histamines!)

 

Is there a tie there with autism (or a subset of it)?

 

Researchers are saying yes!

 

They are finding increased markers in the brains of people with autism for histamine release relative to people not on the spectrum:

The findings indicate that levels of pro-inflammatory molecules interleukin (IL-1B, IL-6, IL-17) and tutor necrosis factor (TNF) are elevated in the brain, spinal fluid and blood of autistic patients and increase when the individual is under stress

https://wakeup-world.com/2017/04/12/groundbreaking-research-links-autism-with-histamine-and-mast-cell-activation/

https://healinghistamine.com/autism-spectrum-disorders-linked-to-mast-cell-activation/



Look, we don't expect you to memorize all those markers but just make a mental note for when we get to CBD (going to be very exciting).

 

Like everything, there's a gene somewhere that's at the root of all physical manifestations above.

 

Genes tied to our histamine system have even been associated with autism risk:

Preliminary studies suggest that antagonism of histamine receptors 1 reduces symptoms and specific behaviors in ASD

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5534955/

 

Basically, by stimulating genes to turn off or downregulate the histamine pathway, symptoms of Autism lessened.


It also has a big effect on what TYPE of CBD we want to use.


Finally, let's get into CBD's world.

 

We'll start with the system it works in.

 

The endocannabinoid system and autism

 

We all have an endocannabinoid system.

 

It's roughly 600,000 years old and we share it with most animals.

 

It spans almost every type of tissue in the body except for red blood cells.

 

All the various chemical and tissue pathways we discussed above have interactions with this system.

 

Here's a quick visual:

 

how does CBD work



 

Research is showing that it's tasked with balancing key systems in the body:

 

  • Nervous system - including neurotransmitters like glutamate and GABA
  • Endocrine system - including hormones like Oxytocin and Testosterone
  • Immune system - including inflammatory response and cellular birth/death

 

Those systems are at the heart of autism in the body and brain!

 

That's a good start.

 

Let's begin with the easy questions...do researchers show that the ECS (Endocannabinoid system) even affect the behaviors associated with autism?

The endocannabinoid (EC) system represents a major neuromodulatory system involved in the regulation of emotional responses, behavioral reactivity to context, and social interaction.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5618565/

 

Since genes are always at play, are there endocannabinoid gene variants which display in autism?

 

The first sign came from animal models.

 

They essentially exposed rats to a chemical which results in autism-like behavior.

They found that a powerful endocannabinoid (naturally in our body) called 2-AG was not synthesized in certain parts of the brain (hypothalamus from above) due to reduced gene expression.

https://aran.library.nuigalway.ie/bitstream/handle/10379/5051/thesis D M Kerr 2014.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=n#page=192

 

This lead to a cascade effect of altered levels across different endocannabinoids.

 

Another gene tied to autism was shown to result in reduced endocannabinoid signaling.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0896627313002250

 

Some of the genes associated with autism risk may actually have an immune system element plus endocannibinoid effects (the two work closely together).

GcMAF treatment was able to normalize the observed differences in dysregulated gene expression of the endocannabinoid system of the autism group.

 

More importantly, they were able to treat this dysfunction of macrophages (the GcMAF above - part of the immune system) that resulted from the endocannibinoid systems not working correctly.

 

One final piece shows the powerful connection between endocannibinoid gene mutations and autism.

 

Autism-associated neuroligin-3 mutations commonly disrupt tonic endocannabinoid signaling

https://www.the-scientist.com/daily-news/a-link-between-autism-and-cannabinoids-39472



We could spend hours looking at genes.

 

Let's move up the scale a bit!

 

To the endocannabinoid system itself.

 

First, activity at the receptors of this system (called CB receptors) showed reduced activity in people with autism:

Consistent with this, reduced CB1 receptor expression was found in postmortem brains of individuals with autism

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5618565/

 

Remember that powerful neurotransmitter GABA above which acts as the brake for activity in the brain? (the hyperactivity or sensory overload theory)

 

EC-mediated responses at GABAergic synapses of the dorsal striatum and hippocampus are enhanced in Fmr1 knockout mice.

They found that the endocannabinoid system was at the heart of this activity level.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20393458

 

That hippocampus brain area is critical.

 

They then found similar endocannabinoid effects on the glutamate system (the excitatory brain neurotransmitter):

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23011134

 

Those are the two big players on the neurotransmitter stage for autism!

 

Maybe more importantly for CBD and autism, they were able to calm the symptoms by stimulating the CB receptors:

In addition, modulation of either CB1 or CB2 receptors was shown to ameliorate some of the behavioral signs of Fmr1 knockout mice

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23542787

 

There's a growing thought that a subset of autism may result from exposure to toxins or infection during key points of development in-utero or shortly after birth.

 

Two key models in mice are used to investigate these models.

 

It turns out that 2-AG, Anandamide, and FAAH (all endocannabinoid) levels and signaling are all affected in these models.

 

Again, more importantly, they can lessen the symptoms by changing levels of those naturally occurring chemicals:

Indeed, systemic administration of the FAAH inhibitor PF3845 at the dose of 10 mg/kg attenuated the deficit in social behavior observed in VPA exposed male animals

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27592249

 

A similar finding occurs for prenatal infection (bacteria or viral) with an immune response from the mother.

 

We're going to translate this after but it's really important:

Early-life inflammation induced by a single LPS injection at postnatal day (PND) 14 decreased adolescent social play and non-play behavior both in male and in female rats. LPS-induced social deficits were associated with reduced CB1 receptor binding, elevated AEA levels and, surprisingly, increased FAAH activity in the amygdala.

 

So they gave a single does of what is essentially an infectious bacteria just after birth. This resulted in impaired sociability and behavior mimicking autism like behavior.

 

These results were shown to be due to endocannabinoid receptors not functioning correctly in the amygdala (important brain area of emotion and other factors)!

 

Again...what's really important is this part:

Oral administration of the FAAH inhibitor PF-04457845 at the dose of 1 mg/kg prior to the social interaction test normalized LPS-induced alterations in social behavior.

 

They block the FAAH and the social behavior improves!

 

This aspect of autism basically says that the behavior is a function of endocannabinoid system levels being out of balance.

 

The synopsis that matters to us:

The EC system is involved in the modulation of many of the cellular functions and molecular pathways altered in ASD, such as imbalanced GABAergic and glutamatergic transmission, oxidative stress, altered energy metabolism, immune dysregulation

 

It's a Who's Dunnit of autism from our laundry list above (inflammation, neurotransmitters, autoimmune, etc).

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5618565/

 

Really look through this and ask us for any clarifications.

 

It's so fascinating!

 

We could spend all day here.

 

Another great article on the endocannabinoid system and neuroinflammation can be found here:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5535348/

 

This is the intersection of immune cell pruning in the brain and faulty inflammation response.

 

Let's look at CBD specifically.



 

How does CBD work for autism based on research

 

We're going to have to look at CBD's effects on the various pathways of autism we mentioned above.

 

Why?

 

Because there's no real research on CBD directly with autism.

 

There are countless pieces of anecdotal stories on CBD and autism.

 

Some of which are pretty amazing.


We like research. NIH research.

 

Until we get that, we'll focus on the research to specific to each pathway.

 

We'll address these key avenues for autism:

 

  • CBD and Neurotransmitter imbalance (GABA and Glutamate)
  • CBD and Hormone imbalance or reduced levels (too little oxytocin and too much testosterone)
  • CBD and Neural pruning
  • CBD and Neuroinflammation
  • CBD and Autoimmune response in the brain
  • CBD and Histamine Storm and response

 

That's a lot to cover.

 

We're going to hit the highlights as it pertains to autism and refer to other articles for more detail.

 

Let's get to it.



 

CBD and Neurotransmitter imbalance (GABA and Glutamate)

 

Remember that GABA is the brake and Glutamate is the gas for brain activity.

 

The current theory is that GABA is not processing correctly in the brain which leads to hyper excitability (the over-sensitized effect of autism).

 

CBD's role in the the GABA pathway was found during research into its positive effects for both seizures (highly correlated with autism) and anxiety.

 

CBD helps to boost GABA signalling:

Finally, the anxiolytic effects of systemic CBD partially depended on GABAA receptor activation

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604171/

 

We just covered how an excess of FAAH (naturally occurring endocannabinoid in our body) can cause social issues similar to autism in animal models.

 

CBD inhibits FAAH activity at a concentration that does not interact with receptors commonly associated with schizophrenia, such as dopamine, GABA, serotonin and glutamate receptors.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5342457/

 

The above article is interesting as it also goes through the effects of CBD on glutamate and NMDA.

 

CBD activates the CB receptors and we'll leave it to researchers to describe it's effect:

The activation of these signaling pathways by CB1 receptors and the high levels of these receptors on presynaptic terminals indicates that endocannabinoid stimulation of CB1 receptors suppresses neuronal excitability and inhibits neurotransmission.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5938896/

 

Key words there are "suppress neuronal excitability".



 

CBD and Hormone imbalance or reduced levels (too little oxytocin and too much testosterone)

 

The second big system that CBD helps to balance is the endocrine system.

 

You see its effect everywhere from weight and energy to diabetes and sleep.

 

Let's look at Oxytocin specifically

 

First, there's a direct connection between Anandamide (the largest endocannabinoid found naturally in the body) and oxytocin levels:

They further suggest that oxytocin-driven anandamide signaling may be defective in autism spectrum disorders, and that correcting such deficits might offer a strategy to treat these conditions.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4653148/



 

Guess what boosts Anandamide signaling in the body and brain?

 

CBD!

 

Cannabidiol enhances anandamide signaling and alleviates psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3316151/

 

Let's go on to neural pruning.



 

CBD and Neural pruning

 

We mentioned the mTOR pathway in the body and brain..


It's the system that governs cell birth and death.

 

In the brain, it's key to remodeling as needed.

 

Very important.

 

CBD directly impacts the endocannabinoid system's control over this process:

Cannabidiol reduces neuroinflammation and promotes neuroplasticity and functional recovery after brain ischemia.

 

This is why they are looking at it after stroke and for other issues where brain loss are critical (Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Dementia, Migraines, PTSD, etc).

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27889412

 

Let's make you the most cutting edge person in your circle.

 

We'll introduce you to astrocysts.

 

They're just the most numerous kind of cell in your central nervous system.

What do they do?

 

Research during the last two decades has shown that they actively participate in brain development and activity, and maintain tissue homeostasis

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5578059/

 

That sounds important.

 

Here's where it gets interesting

 

In healthy brain, astrocytes regulate neuronal growth and synapse formation and pruning, support neuro-signaling (e.g., by forming the so called (“tri-partite synapse"¯), regulate glutamate, potassium, and calcium release and uptake, and modulate synaptic potentiation and learning

 

Put simply, these cells helps keep brain tissue, signaling, and toxin removal in balance!

 

That's all.

 

We'll touch on the inflammatory response and toxin removal later but the pruning is key.

 

CBD directly affects neurogenesis and neuron balance:

CBD promotes hippocampal progenitor cell proliferation and cell cycle progression by increasing endocannabinoid tone and via CB1/CB2 receptors.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23298518

 

Finally, we discussed mTOR above (how cells are made in the body).

 

While studying MS, researchers found that CBD helped to balance this pathway:

Target regulation of PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway by cannabidiol in treatment of experimental multiple sclerosis.

 

Next...maybe most importantly...inflammation in the brain.

 

CBD and Neuroinflammation

 

There's a great summary of research on neuroinflammation in the brain here:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5535348/

 

Remembers, subsets of autism may be a result of infection or toxic exposure to the mother during pregnancy.

 

Neuroinflammation had been shown in postmortem brain specimens from ASD patients.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15546155

 

Another tell-tale clue, the more inflammatory response, the more severe the disease:

In addition to neuroinflammation, there are alterations in the systemic immune responses that are associated with disease severity.

 

There are multiple pathways and tissues in the brain by which CBD exerts its antinflammatory effect.

 

Check out CBD and inflammation here.

 

This brings up the general of our inflammatory response....the immune system!



 

CBD and Autoimmune response in the brain

 

We mentioned how autism may have characteristics of autoimmune diseases and definitely has an association with autoimmune in the mother.

 

Check out CBD and autoimmune here for more detail.

 

Let's go right to CBD and autoimmune diseases of the brain.

 

MS and Encepholomyelitis.

 

Brutal diseases of the central nervous system.

 

This was a first clue of CBD's power not only for autoimmune but for the inflammatory actors in the brain (astrocysts and glial cells primarily).

Treatment with CBD caused attenuation of EAE disease paradigms as indicated by a significant reduction in clinical scores of paralysis, decreased T cell infiltration in the central nervous system, and reduced levels of IL-17 and IFN.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6085417/

 

CBD might get at the heart of our immune response (or over-response)...so called Treg cells.

 

They have their finger on the button.

 

They scan the environment and decide on the appropriate immune response.

 

This may be the heart of autoimmune!

 

What does CBD do here?

 

the Us/o + CBD-induced CD4+CD25+ Tregs robustly suppressed responder T cell proliferation, demonstrating that the mechanism by which CBD is immunosuppressive under low-level T cell stimulation involves induction of functional Tregs.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5327652/

 

To translate, CBD supports Treg function which causes a reduced immune response as required!

 

Good lord...every other advertisement on TV is for autoimmune disease!

 

Most with terrible side effects!

 

Why does this matter for autism?

 

Altered T cell responses in children with autism

Induced cytokine production was associated with altered behaviors in ASD children such that increased pro-inflammatory or TH1 cytokines were associated with greater impairments in core features of ASD as well as aberrant behaviors.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3039713/

 

Basically, they looked at children with autism and their Treg cells are significantly off-balanced.

 

The more dysregulated they were, the more severe the symptoms!



Again, learn all about CBD and autoimmune here.

 

One last stop.

 

CBD and Histamine Storm and response

 

Mast cells are part of our immune response.

 

They're the root of our allergic response to foreign entities.

 

Some people have genetic predispositions to over-react to foreign entities.

 

Mast cells release histamine which is the allergic response (swelling, running, constriction, etc).

 

Learn all about CBD and Histamines or Mast Cells here.

 

Histamine is even more fascinating in the brain.

 

It's tied to wakefulness, focus, feeding behavior and it controls a host of neurotransmitters (just serotonin, dopamine, and epinephrine...feeling good, driven, and energetic).

 

It's even associated with a desire to travel! (try to unravel that in brain chemistry).

 

CBD ability to calm the histamine response is well established.

 

It started with the usual suspects for allergic reaction:

Histamine induced responses are attenuated by a cannabinoid receptor agonist in human skin

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12835895

 

Scientists went on to find how CBD moderates the histamine response:

the results suggest that CBD may induce activation of PPAR in mast cells leading to secretion of G-CSF and consequent MDSC mobilization.

 

PPAR is a pathway that regulates mast cell function and release of histamine.

 

That's a mouthful but histamines are very important to the type of CBD to use for autism.

More on that here.

 

The best CBD for autism

 

Of course, there are basic requirements

 

3rd party tested free of:

 

  • Pesticides
  • Solvents
  • Bacteria
  • Mold
  • Heavy metals



It needs to be organically grown in the US and processed with CO2 extraction.

 

We screened for these at the CBD comparison page.

 

Furthermore, we want ZERO THC (issues with brain pruning and allergies PLUS addiction).


 

There's one more key concern.

 

Everyone is pushing Full Spectrum CBD.

 

We have read 100's of NIH studies and they're all on CBD itself.

 

Not full spectrum or hemp oil.

 

Until we see research, that's all just great marketing.

 

Learn all about Full Spectrum CBD versus Isolate here.

 

There's another reason we want CBD isolate for autism.

 

It's the histamine issue!

 

Histamine IS inflammation and excitatory (hence the wakefulness effect) in the brain.

 

We want to reduce inflammation and excitability.

 

For that reason, CBD isolate makes the most sense.

 

Here are two best priced options for CBD Isolate that passed our screening:

 

IndigoNaturals 2000 CBD Isolate for allergy and  histamine issues     Pharma xtract 30 ml 2500mg



 

We really put everything we had into this article because we know there is suffering out there.

 

Let know your results. Let's help each other.


 

 

You can also find the best priced CBD oils for Autism here:



Buy CBD online

 

Let us know what works, at what dosage, and with what results.

 

Let's help others learn from your experience!


 

Shop and Compare CBD Oils here from brand with 3rd party testing

 

  Email us your CBD story for others to learn

 


 

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