Down syndrome is a genetic condition that occurs when a person has an extra chromosome, although the main cause of having the extra chromosome has not been identified. A person living with down syndrome is highly susceptible to infections, tends to have behavioral impulsiveness, suffers a short concentration span, has slow learning abilities, and makes poor judgments. As such, people wonder whether CBD oil can relieve symptoms of the condition. There are many uncertainties about CBD oil as a remedy for down syndrome. While some studies suggest that the cannabinoid may help with down syndrome, the claims have not been scientifically proven, nor has the FDA approved CBD oil for this condition. This article does not represent our take on CBD oil for helping down syndrome patients but only shares light thoughts of what other studies have claimed.

Understanding CBD Oil

CBD( cannabidiol) is a hemp extract and one of the hundreds of active compounds in the cannabis plant, collectively known as cannabinoids. Unlike THC, that’s also quite studied, it does not have the ‘high’ or psychoactive effects. CBD oil is known for helping with many problems, including down syndrome symptoms. Health, beauty shops and stores stock CBD products in the form of topicals, edibles, capsules, tinctures, vapes, and more. Besides, CBD brands have launched every other day to meet the increasing demand and needs for CBD products that are fast-growing among populations.

How CBD Oil Interacts with the Human System

CBD oil and its use have not been well understood, including how it works, and this remains a mystery. Generally, it is believed that the body has a network of receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes in a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which interacts with CBD and other cannabinoids when one takes cannabinoid products. The ECS is believed to affect many important processes and functions in the body, including sleep, satiety, anxiety, moods, stress, immunity, and more. Because of this interaction, studies believe that CBD oil could help with almost any problem, including symptoms of down syndrome. These claims have not been scientifically proven, which is why the FDA has not approved CBD oil for most of these claims.

CBD Oil May Help with Damaged Neurons and Amyloid Plaques

The continuous damaging of neurons and amyloid plaques affect the cognitive abilities of down syndrome patients, learning functions, and much more. One study by Maroon & Bost, (2018) suggests that CBD oil may help with neuron damaging and amyloid plaques, helping the down syndrome patient manage the symptoms better. The study claimed that CBD and THC prevent or slow down the breakdown of anandamides into beta-amyloid plaques, which would increase the amyloid plaque count. However, CBD studies have many knowledge gaps, and this point does not represent our position because the studies have not been proven true by other scientific studies.

CBD Oil and Other Cannabinoids May Help Slow Down Excess Endocannabinoid Function

It is suggested that down syndrome has something to do with the endocannabinoid system due to hyperactivity. Some studies believe that slowing down endocannabinoid hyperactivity in specific brain areas can help correct down syndrome symptoms. For instance, a study by Navarro-Romero, et al., (2019) involving mice concluded that mice with down syndrome had more endocannabinoid receptors (CB1) in the brain’s part called hippocampus than non-down syndrome mice. The study suggests that slowing down endocannabinoid activity by CBD products or gene therapy could help down syndrome patients improve neurogenesis, synaptic plasticity, and memory. However, this study only involved animals and not human beings, and scientific studies have not proved that the results can be translated 100% to human patients with down syndrome.

Existing Challenges of CBD Oil for Down Syndrome Symptoms

While the studies seem promising and suggest that CBD oil or cannabinoids could help improve down syndrome symptoms, several challenges present themselves. For example;

  • The studies only seem to point out that down syndrome symptoms have something to do with the endocannabinoid systems and that correcting the challenges might result in some remedies. However, science has not proven the relationship between the ECS and the condition.
  • There are still doubts about whether human beings have an endocannabinoid system, and if it does exist, the extent to which it can affect genetic conditions has not been established.
  • Most studies herein quoted involved animals. They are not the best indicators in scientific studies because there is no certainty that results registered in their tests will be 100% replicated to human beings should the same tests be administered to human beings.
  • There are knowledge gaps in CBD oil, and while the cannabinoid is claimed to help with any condition, scientific studies do not back up such claims. In fact, the FDA has not approved CBD oil for most of the conditions it is claimed to help with, including down syndrome symptoms.

What CBD Oil Should One Take for Down Syndrome Symptoms?

CBD oil or its products are not recommended for down syndrome symptoms. However, if one decides to take CBD products to relieve down syndrome symptoms, consult the doctor beforehand, to know the ideal dosage to start with. CBD brands are unreliable and many people misrepresent information, especially THC and CBD potency. Consequently, one may take more or less CBD oil than intended and may consume THC without planning to do so.


Down syndrome is a genetic condition that results from one having an extra chromosome and results in physical and mental disabilities. Low concentration span, slowed down learning abilities and reduced performance are some of the down syndrome challenges so people opt for CBD oil to relieve these conditions. However, scientific studies do not support this approach or the claims of CBD oil helping with down syndrome symptoms. Besides, many knowledge gaps surround CBD oil studies, and administering the cannabinoid for down syndrome is a risky approach.


Maroon, J., & Bost, J. (2018). Review Of The Neurological Benefits Of Phytocannabinoids. Surgical Neurology International, 9.

Navarro-Romero, A., Vázquez-Oliver, A., Gomis-González,

M., Garzón-Montesinos, C., Falcón-Moya, R., Pastor, A., … & Ozaita, A.

(2019). Cannabinoid Type-1 Receptor Blockade Restores Neurological Phenotypes In Two Models For Down Syndrome. Neurobiology Of Disease, 125, 92-106.

Ieva Kubiliute is a psychologist and a sex and relationships advisor and a freelance writer. She's also a consultant to several health and wellness brands. While Ieva specialises in covering wellness topics ranging from fitness and nutrition, to mental wellbeing, sex and relationships and health conditions, she has written across a diverse range of lifestyle topics, including beauty and travel. Career highlights so far include: luxury spa-hopping in Spain and joining an £18k-a-year London gym. Someone’s got to do it! When she’s not typing away at her desk—or interviewing experts and case studies, Ieva winds down with yoga, a good movie and great skincare (affordable of course, there’s little she doesn’t know about budget beauty). Things that bring her endless joy: digital detoxes, oat milk lattes and long country walks (and sometimes jogs).

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