12/18/19 By DAN ULLOA
(Originally published on Freedomleaf.com)
Author Laura Lagano says CBD works for her daughter Isabella’s case of autism. A registered dietician and cannabis consultant, she’s trained to understand the role of integrative food and nutrition in improving an individual’s health.
With its potential to effectively manage health conditions, Western medicine struggles to address, cannabidiol (CBD) use has exploded. Among other things, CBD has been found to be especially beneficial in helping children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a condition that can severely impair an individual’s ability to communicate and socialize.
Lagano, who believes autism is a confluence of symptoms that affect the whole body rather than merely a neurological disorder, has employed “alternative options for Isabella since she was four and now she’s 23,” she said.
Initially, pharmaceutical drugs made Isabella’s behavior worse. By the time she was four, she was on three medications. So Lagano took action, and in 2014 began including CBD in Isabella’s regimen. She adds it to her smoothies.
“My daughter took me on this journey,” Lagano says. “She’s the reason why I decided to explore cannabis. Motherhood is a bumpy ride.”
Isabella was born with a case of ASD that caused her to have seizures that sometimes lasted for 50 minutes when she was just nine months old. Typically, they were very quick. CBD, which can be ingested in a number of ways, including capsules, oils, lotions, balms, foods, and beverages quelled Isabella’s anxiety, increased her ability to focus and helped improve her
language skills (they were impaired due to apraxia).
Lagano emphasized that a one-size-fits-all approach with regard to diet and CBD doesn’t work and results differ from person to person. CBD is not known for treating speech issues and Lagano considers this a pleasant side-effect. Even with her health regime, Isabella was in an intense speech therapy program several days a week while growing up.
Many clinical testimonials point to the benefit of using CBD to treat health conditions. But, while CBD has not been sufficiently studied for many scientists to declare its benefits, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has been very wary of CBD, approved Epidiolex containing CBD last year to treat seizures associated with epilepsy in infants, after a study led by Dr. Orin Devinsky was completed. Devinsky is now conducting a study to determine the efficacy of using CBD to treat autism in children.
Last year, a study conducted in Israel found that 80% of the children participating benefited from using CBD to treat their autism-derived symptoms. Disruptive behavior, communication issues, anxiety, and stress were all found to be reduced by varying degrees. However, the CBD used in the study contained 1.5% THC while CBD is only legal in the United States when it has 0.3 percent THC, an insufficient amount to actually get high.
To legally obtain CBD with such a high amount of THC, parents of children with autism would have to register them as medical marijuana patients to obtain it at a medical dispensary. Autism is not an accepted condition in New Jersey, though anxiety is.
“I enjoy my mother helping me with my food and supplements because I feel better,” Isabella said. “When I take CBD I feel less anxiety. It helps me throughout my day.”
The Power of a Good Diet to Treat Autism
Along with CBD, a nutrition-focused food plan led to vast improvements in Isabella’s condition. Her diet changes constantly, based on a number of factors, including the season and her behavior. It’s free of added sugar and soy, and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. At times, Isabella consumes goat and sheep dairy and is currently grain-free. In addition, she takes supplements, though that periodically changes as well.
Isabella recently turned 23 and hasn’t had a grand mal seizure since she was four. She lives a normal life and is currently working at a supermarket near where she lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.
“She loves to socialize and is very personable,” Lagano proudly reported. “She’s always loved people.”
Lagano currently consults multiple child patients on these issues. She believes CBD only works as part of a holistic approach combined with diet and other practices, such as aromatherapy.
Each patient has their own individual plan. One of the more difficult challenges Lagano faces is how hard it is for patients to hear they need to change their diet. Most only do so gradually.
“I have to intuit what they’re interested in and how quickly they want to make changes,” she explained. “We all know people coughing up a lung and diagnosed with emphysema and aren’t quitting smoking.”
Lagano emphasized that a one-size-fits-all approach with regard to diet and CBD doesn’t work, and results differ from person to person. She’s also adamant in her belief that people seeking to treat a medical condition are best assisted by a medical professional.
Lagano is the author of The CBD Oil Miracle: Manage Pain, Improve Your Mood, Boost Your Brain, Fight Inflammation, Clear Your Skin, Strengthen Your Heart, and Sleep Better with the Healing Power of CBD Oil, which touts the benefit of using CBD to cope with medical conditions.
In the book, she details how CBD may or may not be used to treat various conditions including Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, diabetes, PTSD, schizophrenia, heart issues, osteoporosis, colitis, hormonal imbalances, inflammation, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and skin issues, among others. CBD, with its low level of THC, only works up to a certain point. Those dealing with chronic pain would benefit from using cannabis with THC. The book also details the history of CBD and the science behind it.
“Autism is a whole-body disorder impacting the gastrointestinal and neurological systems,” Lagano, who also co-founded the Holistic Cannabis Academy, concluded. “Once you apply food and nutrition to manage the gut, the brain follows. The two-way communication between the gut and the brain is a superhighway directed by the endocannabinoid system.
So, it’s no surprise that cannabis impacts autism. This ancient plant can change the lives of individuals with special needs.