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CBD and management of Fragile X syndrome

Fragile X syndrome is a fairly common genetic condition that can make everyday life very difficult for those who have it. As a result, they and their loved ones are always looking for ways to make things easier. There are many resources out there for people with the condition. But recently, there have been studies that suggest another potential aid is out there: cannabidiol (CBD).

What is Fragile X syndrome?

If you sought out this article, it is more than likely that you already know what Fragile X syndrome is. However, it never hurts (and is often beneficial) to go over the basics again.

Fragile X syndrome (also known as Martin-Bell syndrome) is a genetic disorder that exists on the X chromosome. Because of its location it is more likely to affect males than females, as females have a second X chromosome to make up for the deficiency in the other X chromosome. The condition is usually diagnosed when it becomes clear that a child has developmental delays, trouble with learning things, and/or behavioral issues.

There are many symptoms that those who have Fragile X Syndrome have to deal with for their whole lives, including speech impediments, autism, impulsive behavior, anxiety, hyperactivity, and seizures. This list of symptoms is just a brief example of the potential issues that people with Fragile X syndrome may have to struggle with. Clearly, Fragile X Syndrome can make life difficult, so what help is there?

Learning more about CBD

Before we can talk about the potential benefits of CBD, we need to explain what CBD even is.

CBD is one of over 113 of a specific kind of chemical compound known as a cannabinoid. Cannabinoids are found in abundance in cannabis plants, including hemp and marijuana. Most cannabinoids are virtually unknown to most people, but the two that are famous are CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). 

Cannabinoid fame comes from the effects that they have on people. An important thing to remember is that these effects are different for each of the cannabinoids. THC has a psychoactive effect on its users. That means that it creates the intoxication, normally referred to as a “high,” that is associated with cannabis. CBD does not have a psychoactive effect. It will not get anyone high. It may have some very beneficial effects, which we will cover in the next section.

Because CBD comes from cannabis plants, you may have some questions about its legality. However, that does not need to be a concern. As of late 2018, hemp and hemp-derived products are legal across the United States. This includes CBD products, because most CBD manufacturers use hemp to extract the cannabinoid. This preference for hemp is not just because it is legal and marijuana is still federally illegal (although that does factor in), it is mainly because hemp is bred to have more CBD than THC. In fact, for it to be legally classified as hemp it needs to have less than 0.3% THC content, which is not enough to get anyone high.

Can CBD be used to help manage Fragile X symptoms?

There are many symptoms that those who have Fragile X syndrome have to deal with that CBD cannot do anything for. However, recent studies have suggested that CBD may be able to increase quality of life for those suffering from Martin-Bell syndrome.

One of the effects that CBD is best known for is its ability to help its users achieve a greater sense of calm. This study looked at how CBD may be able to help people with Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder. The researchers concluded that the CBD was greatly able to help soothe the test subjects’ feelings of anxiousness. This study, as well as others, points to CBD’s potential to help create a greater sense of calm. Seeing as people with Fragile X syndrome often struggle with social anxiety, this could be a potential benefit for them.

It is not uncommon for Fragile X syndrome to cause hyperactivity, not unlike Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This study tested CBD in a preclinical ADHD testing model to see if it would help produce calmness. The researchers found that not only did the CBD help reduce hyperactivity, but it did not diminish the rats’ social interactions. This could mean that CBD may be able to help keep hyperactivity to a minimum without having a dulling effect on someone’s personality.

Another area that many researchers have looked at in their studies of CBD, is the cannabinoid’s effect on seizures. One study found that CBD was able to help calm induced seizures in their animal models of the temporal lobe. Another study looked at the effect of CBD on human test subjects that had epilepsy. Seven out of the eight test subjects reported few seizures. These and the many other studies that have been done on CBD and seizures have shown so much promise in this area that the Food and Drug Administration approved the country’s first pure CBD based medication, Epidiolex, which is aimed at reducing seizures. As mentioned above, seizures are a potential side effect of Fragile X syndrome. CBD could offer some potential relief in this area.

As CBD is studied more and better understood, the more potential benefits for those with Fragile X syndrome may make themselves known. For now, even the few aids that CBD has to offer could potentially help people quite a bit.

How to take CBD

If you want to start using CBD to help regulate you or your child’s symptoms of Fragile X syndrome, you have a lot of options. The right kind of CBD product for you or your child depends on personal preferences. Let’s talk about what options there are.

Topicals

This category of CBD products includes things like lotions, cremes, and salves. These products offer a more localized effect. That means that the CBD will not move much beyond where it is applied, as it does not enter the bloodstream. They are not likely to provide the more overall effect that many of the other products may have. This also means that they may not work as well for aiding with achieving a sense of calm or for calming hyperactivity. However, there is not much evidence to say that CBD topicals would not help with those at all, so they may be worth trying.

Tinctures & oils

These CBD products are a bit more basic than most of the other CBD products. They are just CBD extract mixed into a carrier oil, like palm oil. Often, they include essential oils to help with the taste. These products you can mix in with food or drink. But they work best if you use them by placing a drop directly under the tongue. The skin beneath the tongue tends to be thin allowing for the CBD to absorb into the bloodstream more easily. This method allows the CBD to start working more quickly as well. However, oils and tinctures often have an earthy flavor that is not uncommon for cannabis products. As mentioned, many tinctures and oils are made with other oils for flavoring, but if the person taking the CBD is a picky eater, these may not be the best option.

Capsules & tablets

CBD, when made into pill-like products, is usually made into soft gel capsules and sublingual tablets. The soft gel capsules tend to digest quickly, so they get to work fairly rapidly. They are also flexible which makes them easier to swallow. However, there are still many people who struggle with swallowing pills and may have a hard time with the capsules. CBD tablets may be a better option for those who have a hard time with swallowing pills. These you place under your tongue and allow to dissolve. As mentioned above, the skin under the tongue is thin, so the CBD in the tablets enter the system faster.

Edibles

CBD edibles are anything that you eat or drink that has been made with CBD. These are one of the more popular CBD products out there. It is easy to control how much you take, as each serving tends to have the same amount of CBD in it. They also taste great, so if the individual taking the CBD is a picky eater this may be the perfect product for them. The main downside of edibles is that they take the longest to start working out of all of the CBD products.

Fragile X syndrome can be very hard to deal with on a daily basis. It can cause all kinds of complications for those who have the condition and their families. Luckily, there is a lot of help out there, including the potential help offered by CBD. It will not solve all of the issues caused by Fragile X syndrome, but it may be able to help with many.

If you are new to the world of CBD, it is likely you have a lot of questions. You may not even know where to start in finding the right CBD product for you. Well, no worries because you are on the perfect site for starting your CBD exploration. On the Panacea Life Sciences’ website, you can find articles answering just about any question you may have about the cannabinoid. We also have many high-quality CBD products that are perfect for beginners. If you have any comments, questions, or concerns let us know through our site or email us at [email protected]