For our continuing series this month highlighting National Austism Awareness Month we welcomed Justin Benton, founder and CEO of 101 Hemp Corporation. Father, entrepreneur, and advocate our conversation with Justin touches on his family's amazing story...
Tell us a little about the mission of your company.
I love helping others, seeing them realize their potential and being a change for good. I discovered the power of the cannabis plant in its raw form when it brought our child back to us from the fog so I committed my life’s work to pay it forward by educating the world about our story and how the hemp/cannabis plant can help billions of people around the world with its seemingly endless uses.
What is your personal story with choosing cannabis for your child on the autism spectrum?
Our son was diagnosed with severe, regressive autism and we came across some research that cannabis was helping kids with seizures and we prayed it would help our son. When we discovered raw, whole-plant cannabis high in CBDa that's when we had our breakthrough.
Our son is no longer on the spectrum and so we set 101cbd.org to pay it forward and educate the world about this miracle plant.
Do you think cannabis education for medical professionals and healthcare providers is lacking?
There is a lack of training in the medical profession in the basic functions of the endocannabinoid system and the functions of cannabis in the body. There is an especially large gap in knowledge about the hemp-extracted CBD and the raw CBDa products available in the consumer market.
As many patients turn to these products on their own for pain, anxiety, sleep, and more serious health challenges, it is important for the medical profession to keep abreast of the latest research on benefits, guidance on choosing products, and dosing suggestions.
While there has been more familiarity with THC products in medical marijuana, there appears to be a lack of differentiating the usage and benefits of CBD versus THC.
There also is a lack of awareness of the potential negative effects of recommending THC products for children during brain development up to 25 years of age and the potential negative additive effect of THC on children with current neurological problems such as autism.
What kind of research (cannabis related) is needed that hasn’t been covered yet for persons on the autism spectrum?
There is little published medical research on the benefits of hemp-extracted CBD, and cold-extracted CBDA products for persons on the autism spectrum.
The documented anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, homeostatic, and neurological regenerative properties of CBD are not well studied in relation to autism.
Larger sample sizes using CBDa in robust experimental designs for analyzing the treatment effects in more real-life settings is needed to substantiate the benefits experienced by current consumers.
Using treatment evaluation instruments like the ATEC (Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist) available online to parents and staff is one approach.
Where do you see the impact of your story being featured in this blog, that could provide optimism for another family?
We see a massive impact in helping many more families affected by autism because we offer free consultations and we even offer free products for people to see the power of the miracle plant for themselves.
What advice would you give to parents with children on the spectrum?
My best advice would be to trust your instincts. You are their only mom or dad. Do your own research and talk with experts who have direct knowledge of how this plant has changed the lives of people going through the same thing you're going through.