Survey Shows Autism Caregivers Give Their Child CBD to Help with Autism Symptoms

Autism Parenting Magazine recently published the results of a survey it emailed to its 160,000 subscribers that explored CBD use with autistic children. Survey questions asked respondents to indicate whether they use CBD with their autistic child, which autism symptoms they use CBD to manage, how often they use CBD with their autistic child, what type of CBD formulation they use, what type of CBD product they use, when they first tried CBD use with their autistic child, and whether they would recommend CBD to another autism parent.

The survey received responses from autism caregivers residing in the United States, United Kingdom, and other parts of the globe. A majority of respondents identified themselves as autism parents (72.4%) with the remaining indicating they were grandparents, full-time caregivers, teachers, therapists, doctors, and individuals on the spectrum. Among these, 42.9% indicated their child “requires substantial support”, 39.3% reported “requires support” and 17.9% said “requires very substantial support”.


CBD Use and the Reasons for CBD Use

Among all respondents, 18.6% reported using CBD for a child on the spectrum to help relieve various autism symptoms.

Respondents reported using CBD to relieve their autistic child’s anxiety (42.9%), challenging behavior (36.9%), for sleep and relaxation (8.1%), and seizures (4.3%). Other reasons included increasing speech and supporting potty training.

CBD Use and Its Relation to the Pandemic

The survey asked respondents if they started using CBD with their child on the spectrum before or during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nearly two thirds (31.1%) of respondents said they started using CBD during the pandemic. Among those autism caregivers that started using CBD prior to the pandemic, 16.6% said they have increased the amount of CBD they give their autistic child since start of the pandemic.

Frequency of CBD Use and Type of Formulation

The survey asked respondents how often they use CBD with their autistic child and whether they use CBD only, a combination of CBD and THC, or other type of formulation.

  • 46.4% give CBD to their child on a daily basis
  • 28.6% give CBD to their child “only occasionally” and
  • 3.6% give CBD to their child on a weekly basis.

Most respondents (76.3%) reported using a CBD product that had less than 0.3% THC.  A CBD product that contains up to 0.3% THC is typically hemp-derived and known as a full spectrum formulation.

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Type of CBD Product

The survey asked respondents to indicate what type of CBD product they use with their autistic child.

  • 60.8% use oil drops or topical sprays
  • 21.5% use gummies and topicals
  • 7.5% use capsules or tablets
  • 5.1% use lotions or balms, and
  • 1.9% use vapes

Other reported types included honey sticks and patches.

Reasons for Trying CBD

When asked why they decided to try CBD with their autistic child:

  • 21.7% said it was because their doctor recommended CBD
  • 27.4% said it was recommended by friends or family, and
  • 23.6% said it based on the recommendation of another autism parent

CBD Impact

When asked if they would recommend CBD to other parents, 82.9% said Yes.


The complete survey report, “One in Five Autism Caregivers Give Their Child CBD Products” published on September 16, 2021 by Autism Parenting Magazine can be viewed here. 


The information provided in this post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for a vet’s advice, diagnose or treatment. Always seek the advice from a vet about a question you have about your pet’s health and any medical conditions.

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