Although cannabis shows early promise in the treatment of Down syndrome, it does have some side effects. These tend to vary depending on whether you’re using a THC- or CBD-heavy preparation.
In recent years, parents have reported improvement in children with Down syndrome’s inattention, speech problems, and other symptoms after using CBD oil.
There’s also evidence that cannabis may help relieve other GI symptoms. One 2011 study of people with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) found that cannabis was commonly used to relieve symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhea, and bloating . Similar results were reported by a 2019 study . Additionally, the pain-relieving effects of cannabinoids are supported by a large body of evidence.
Medical studies on Down syndrome and cannabis
Yet another way that cannabis can help with Down syndrome is by protecting the brain against beta-amyloid plaques and neurodegeneration . These plaques may play a role in the cognitive deficits seen during development and aging in people with Down syndromes. The neuroprotective effects of cannabinoids have been demonstrated in several studies:
This all amounts to a patchwork of evidence that cannabis-based medicines can help children and adults with Down syndrome by improving some symptoms and protecting against amyloid plaques and neurodegeneration. However, it’s too early to say anything more substantial. More research is needed, particularly human studies of cannabis-based medicines in people with Down syndrome.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) exists in all vertebrates and helps regulate crucial functions such as sleep, pain, and appetite. The human body produces its own cannabinoids, which modulate and activate its various functions, but as its name suggests, the endocannabinoid system can also be modulated and activated by cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Because the entire system was only discovered in the past 30 years, scientists still have much to learn about the myriad ways cannabis affects the human body.
Although more human-based studies are sorely needed, current findings highlight the potential of cannabis-based medicines in DS. Here’s what the research says.
The ECS plays a big role in cognitive health and function, particularly through the activity of the cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptor. These CB1 receptors are abundant in the brain and ECS dysfunction has been linked to depression and other neurological disorders.
Some common physical features of Down syndrome include: 
Types of Down Syndrome
People have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that exists in all vertebrae throughout the body. It helps regulate crucial functions such as homeostasis, sleep, appetite, and pain. The body produces its own endogenous cannabinoids, which modulate and activate the ECS’s various functions, but it can also be modulated and activated by cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.
People with Down syndrome usually have an IQ in the mildly-to-moderately low range and are slower to speak than other children. Physically, people diagnosed with Down syndrome have very similar features.
Cannabinoids have been found to protect against a range of other Down syndrome symptoms- from impulsivity to gastrointestinal issues, sleeping problems, and seizures.