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CBD and Autism – Who Uses It and Why?


In a survey sent out by Autism Parenting Magazine to more than 160,000 email subscribers around the world, 18.6% of respondents confirmed they use CBD for a child on the spectrum to help relieve a variety of autism symptoms. Breaking the data down further, 22.16% of USA-based caregivers use CBD versus 14.29% of UK caregivers.

A total of 72.4% of 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 participants use CBD only, 13.7% use CBD/THC combination, while the remaining 10% use “Other” forms including Hemp, CBD/THC & Epidiolex (just CBD), and CBD with Terpenes, among others.


When asked to identify the primary reason for using CBD with their child, 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.

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.

When asked if they started using CBD during the COVID-19 pandemic, a whopping 31.3% said yes. Meanwhile, 16.6% have increased the amount of CBD they give their child since the pandemic began.

Another interesting find was that only 20.1% have adoctor’s  prescription for CBD usage. Despite this, 21.7% reported it was their doctor who recommended trying CBD. Meanwhile, 27.4% were recommended by a friend or family member and 23.6% were recommended by another autistic parent. The remaining respondents selected “Other” with many saying usages stemmed from their own research.

When asked if they would recommend CBD products to other parents on the spectrum, a huge majority of 82.9% said they would.


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.

Responding to how often they use CBD products, 46.4% said “daily”, 28.6% replied “only occasionally”, 3.6% said “weekly” and the remaining participants gave “Other” responses including mentioning they no longer use CBD or do so infrequently.

It is clear from the survey data, as well as multiple other studies on CBD usage for children on the spectrum, that more and more parents are considering CBD products. Initial results showing the impact of CBD on autistic children are encouraging, with anxiety, challenging behaviors, and sleep issues all appearing to reduce for those that try these products.