Surge in CBD usage for children with autism since COVID-19
- December 14, 2021
- Lisa Goldberg
- Special Needs Parents
Autism Parenting Magazine has revealed 31.3% of autism caregivers started giving a child CBD during the COVID-19 pandemic, while 16.6% increased dosage.
The new data from Autism Parenting Magazine (APM) also unveiled that almost one in five caregivers to children on the autism spectrum worldwide use CBD products with their child.
APM sent a survey to more than 160,000 email subscribers, with 18.6% of respondents confirming they use CBD for a child on the spectrum to help relieve a variety of symptoms. Breaking the data down further, 22.16% of USA-based caregivers use CBD versus 14.29% of UK caregivers. The global average was shown to be 15.45%.
A total of 72.4% of global respondents identified themselves as autism parents, while the remaining participants were grandparents, full-time carers, teachers, therapists, doctors, or individuals on the spectrum.
The data revealed 76.3% of global survey participants use CBD only (less than 0.3% THC), 13.7% use CBD/THC combination, while the remaining 10% use “Other” forms including Hemp, CBD/THC & Epidiolex, and CBD with Terpenes, among others.
When asked to identify the primary reason for using CBD, 42.9% responded with anxiety relief, 36.9% stated challenging behavior, 5.1% said pain relief and inflammation, 8.1% said sleep and relaxation, 4.3% said seizures, while the remaining respondents identified “Other” reasons such as increasing speech and supporting potty training.
Oils (oral drops and topical sprays) were the preferred CBD format, with 60.8% of respondents opting to use these. Meanwhile, 21.5% use gummies and topicals, 7.5% use capsules or tablets, 5.1% use lotions or balms, and 1.9% use vape. The remaining respondents selected “Other” options including honey sticks and patches.
A large number of respondents use CBD for a teenager on the spectrum with 21.39% of CBD users confirming their child is aged 13 to 18.
Increase in CBD usage since COVID-19 pandemic
When asked if they started using CBD during the COVID-19 pandemic, a whopping 31.3% of the total participants said yes. Meanwhile, 16.6% have increased the amount of CBD they give their child since the pandemic began.
“We were not surprised to discover almost 20% of our readers use CBD as research continues to show how CBD products can help alleviate anxiety, challenging behaviours, and help with sleep. We are hearing of more doctors recommending CBD and parents tell us starting CBD has been life altering for their children,” said Emily Ansell Elfer, Editor of Autism Parenting Magazine.
“It is particularly interesting to note the sharp increase in usage since the COVID-19 pandemic. It is well-known that people on the spectrum prefer routine and many suffer from anxiety. Such a huge disruption in daily schedules, attending school and the possible fear of germs have no doubt increased the need for calming products and treatments.”
More insight into the survey, infographics, and comments from doctors and experts can be found here.