Does your child or loved one have Asperger’s Syndrome? It can be a challenging journey, but with therapy, medication, and a strong support system, you and your family can do anything. One medication you may not have considered until recently is CBD hemp oil which may be able to help with symptoms of Asperger’s.
There is no cure for Asperger’s, but CBD oil may be able to help. Cannabidiol (CBD) interacts with the endocannabinoid system to help promote regulation in your body. Through these health benefits, CBD oil may be able to help with certain issues people with Asperger’s Syndrome face like depression, anxiety, and other illnesses that are often comorbid with this disorder.
What Is Aspergers?
Asperger’s is a developmental disorder that affects social skills and is considered to be a form of high functioning autism. Asperger’s was once considered its own diagnosis, but psychologists today put it on the autism spectrum even though there has been evidence that the two disorders show a biological difference.
The part of the brain that controls language is more curved in the brain of someone with Asperger’s, which is a distinct difference from high functioning autism. People who have Asperger’s are more likely to meet language milestones and can be more articulate than those with autism.
Asperger’s is something that your child will have from birth, but it isn’t always easy to tell at first. But some signs and signals can indicate you need to get your child checked out by a doctor to see what kind of diagnosis they may receive.
Signs Your Child May Has Asperger’s
- Not making eye contact
- Awkward in social situations
- Showing few emotions
- Only talking about themselves
- Repeat themselves often, especially on topics that interest them
- Dislikes change to the point of tantrums
- Have a lot of intensity on a single subject
Once you know your child has Asperger’s Syndrome, it is a good idea to get educated on the illness. This disorder comes with many side-effects and symptoms that can make your family’s quality of life suffer if you don’t know how to adjust.
Symptoms And Side-Effects Of Asperger’s
Many children and teens with Asperger’s have a difficult time making or keeping friends. Because of their lack of social skills, they also lack in the romantic relationship department as well. The frustration of not knowing how to express your feelings or ideas can start to become an emotional burden. This perfect storm can bring on depression in people with Asperger’s Syndrome.
People who have Asperger’s have a dysregulated amygdala, which is what controls your fear response. If your amygdala is dysregulated, it can cause you to have anxiety. The amygdala detects threats that are present, making your body become alert and you on edge. People with Asperger’s can become frustrated with this feeling and start acting out because they don’t know how to express their emotions.
Anxiety and social anxiety are very similar, but you can have one without the other. Because people with Asperger’s Syndrome have issues with their social life, they can begin to feel uncomfortable in social situations. This can lead to social isolation, low self-esteem, and depression.
Asperger’s can also come along with other disorders. The most common disorders that are comorbid with Asperger’s Syndrome are:
- Tourette’s Syndrome
- Bipolar Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Tic Disorders
Treatment Options For Asperger’s Syndrome
So what do you do when your child has Asperger’s Syndrome? There are many treatment options that you can choose from, and each have their own benefit. One thing that can be beneficial to both your child with Asperger’s and your family is therapy.
Types Of Therapy For Asperger’s Syndrome
Social Skills Training
Social skills training can be done in a group setting or one on one. This type of therapy is meant to teach children how to interact with others as well as how to express themselves appropriately. This can also be beneficial to adults with Asperger’s whoa relearning how to be in the work world.
Speech-language therapy is meant to help people with Asperger’s learn and improve communication skills; this includes learning social cues like facial expressions or body language. They can also learn how to inflect their voice when they speak instead of being monotone. Speech-language therapy can also help people with Asperger’s Syndrome learn how to keep up a two-way conversation.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is meant to help with changing the way your child thinks. CBT helps teach your child with Asperger's how to control their behavior and emotions. People who complete CBT may notice that they have less of an issue with obsessions, outbursts, meltdowns, anxiety, and depression.
Parent Education And Training
Parent education and training can be extremely beneficial for you. This is meant to teach you how to handle situations and events that can transpire at home or out in public. You can learn how your child is feeling so you can be more empathetic, learning how to deal with the situation calmly and compassionately. You can also learn coping mechanisms that you can teach your child and help them practice them regularly.
No pill can cure Asperger’s Syndrome, though there is medication commonly prescribed to manage the symptoms. Often times antidepressants, antipsychotics, and stimulants are prescribed for Asperger’s Syndrome, but you may find success in using CBD hemp oil considering it has some of the same potential benefits.
What Is CBD
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical we extract from the cannabis plant. CBD products come from cannabis plants that have no THC, making them legal in all 50 states. Unlike THC, CBD oil doesn’t get the user high because it interacts with the endocannabinoid system more indirectly.
What Is The Endocannabinoid System?
The endocannabinoid system is in charge of your body’s homeostasis. This means that it is the system that keeps everything running normally. CBD interacts with this system by elevating chemical production, opening pathways in the brain for easier travel, and stimulating receptors. One of the main ways that CBD works is by elevating endocannabinoids that bind to cannabinoid receptors.
Endocannabinoids And Cannabinoid Receptors
There are two cannabinoid receptors that are well studied that we know of today, the CB1 and CB2 receptors. You also have two main endocannabinoids that interact with both of these receptors called anandamide and 2-AG.
Both endocannabinoids bind with both cannabinoid receptors, but there are some connections that are stronger than others. Anandamide has the strongest bond with the CB1 receptor, which is in charge of neurological functions. 2-AG has the stronger bond with the CB2 receptor, which helps mediate your immune system.
How Can CBD Help With Asperger’s Syndrome?
There has yet to be any evidence that CBD hemp oil can cure or treat Asperger's Syndrome directly. Though, scientists have discovered that CB2 receptors are significantly increased in patients with autism disorders, including Asperger’s Syndrome. This leads scientists to believe that the CB2 receptor should be a focus for treating these disorders, but there isn’t a definitive answer quite yet. But studies have shown that CBD oil may be able to help with some of the symptoms and comorbid illnesses that come along with Asperger’s.
CBD And Depression
Cannabidiol has shown in studies that it may be a beneficial treatment for depression. A rodent model showed that within just 30 minutes, the rodent subjects started to experience antidepressant effects. Chemicals in the brain that are normally lacking in people with depression were elevated, and a chemical that promotes neurogenesis was elevated showing promise for future treatments.
CBD And Anxiety
A dysregulated and over-active amygdala causes anxiety, but CBD oil may be able to help. Studies have shown that CBD hemp oil reduces the overactivity of the amygdala, helping to create antianxiety effects. CBD oil also helps to strengthen areas in the brain that cause overthinking, helping to reduce any anxious thoughts that continually play over and over.
CBD And Social Anxiety
CBD hemp oil may be able to help with social anxiety in the same way it helps with general anxiety. Studies have shown that people who took CBD before speaking publicly had a lower heart rate as well as decreasing the level of discomfort.
CBD And Tourette Syndrome
Because CBD interacts with the areas of the brain affected by Tourette’s, it may have the ability to reduce the body’s compulsion to complete tics. CBD hemp oil has also shown to help with psychological symptoms that are common with Tourette Syndrome.
CBD And ADHD
CBD oil may be able to help with ADHD in several different ways. Studies show that it may be able to help improve focus and concentration, as well as reduce hyperactivity. Substance abuse and impulsivity are also common in people who have ADHD, which CBD hemp oil may be able to assist with as well.
CBD And Bipolar Disorder
CBD oil may be able to help with the psychosis symptoms involved with bipolar disorder. While studies have suggested it isn’t effective for manic episodes, it has shown to help with depressive episodes and minor mood swings.
CBD And Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
CBD hemp oil may be able to help with OCD by reducing the activity in the brain that causes the obsessing. It may also be able to help with the feeling that drives people to continue habits known as compulsions.
Talk To your Doctor
If you want to try CBD oil for your loved one with Asperger’s, make sure to talk to their doctor first. If they are on any other medications, CBD oil may interact with them in a way that makes them less effective. The doctor can also monitor their progress and check for any side-effects to make sure this is the right route to take.
Have you used CBD oil for your loved one with Asperger’s Syndrome? We would love to hear about it in the comment section below.