For the first chapter of his young life, Maxwell Clemmons was a model child. Loving, sweet and affectionate, he was more than the apple of his mother’s eye; the two shared a close friendship as well as familial bonds.

Then puberty happened and all hell broke loose.

“The aggression was so much and the anxiety,” said Maxwell’s mom, Jade Clemmons. “It was punching walls, hitting himself, biting himself, hitting me.”

The situation was compounded by Maxwell’s inability to communicate what was going on inside of him. Born on the autism spectrum, he had been nonverbal from birth, but his mother could see past the physical manifestations of what was raging within her son

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“You don’t spank these kids; they don’t understand that, all that does is make them afraid of you,” she said. “And even though he understands, I would say, 90 percent of the things I say to him, we can’t have a conversation about it. He can’t tell me his side. We can’t talk through this.”

“You felt bad for him because you can see it in his eyes that he cannot help it. He had no other way of dealing with it.

Maxwell’s outbursts happened at school as well as at home and at 6”0”, 220 pounds, the 14-year-old was capable of unintentionally inflicting a lot of damage. And even though Maxwell was under the care of experienced physicians, the situation was growing increasingly dire.

“We took him to his doctor, she started us on blood pressure medication,” Jade said. “They put him that because in addition to regulating the blood pressure, they’re supposed to just take some of the edge off, just help calm you.”

“We started on one, worked for about a week a little bit, not very much. Then we added another one to it and those two together worked for about a month and then they stopped working. The next step was literally to put him on the heavy meds, the shit that comes with the bad side effects.”

Jade was concerned about starting Maxwell on heavy medications, but she didn’t see any other way to moderate his outbursts. That is, until she visited her chiropractor, Brady DeClerk of Omnis Rehab in Little Rock who told her about a possible alternative.

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“We started talking about it and he was telling me how he was going to start carrying this particular brand of CBD,” Jade recalls. “I had already thought about CBD, looked into it, wasn’t sure. You hear so many things back and forth, you know. But I trusted Brady.”

DeClerk not only told Jade about CBD but pointed her to another expert on CBD she could talk to to get her questions answered.

“The rep for Tree of Life Seeds happened to be there at the same time I was there. We talked about it and I was convinced that I was gonna try it,” she said. “I had absolutely nothing to lose at that point.”

Jade was true to her word and when DeClerk started carrying the CBD products, she bought some 500mg drops and hoped for the best. It was not a move made in vain.

“Instantly, from the first time I gave it to him, I was like, OK, he’s chillin’, this is great,” she said. “I waited about two weeks before I even told his teachers. I talk to them every day and they’d say, you know, he had a good day today. I finally was like, well, this is what I’m doing. His teacher was like, ‘Oh my God, keep doing it.’”

Turns out, Maxwell wasn’t in the minority; according to an Israeli study published just last year, CBD has shown promise as an effective therapy for children on the autism spectrum. In fact, the study found 80 percent of the children tested improved while taking CBD, children who had not shown improvement using traditional medications.

CannaHealth.org reported another study, published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, found positive changes in behavioral symptoms, communication problems and levels of anxiety. In that study, a full 61 percent of the children’s caregivers reported “much improved” or “very much improved” symptoms.

Jade didn’t need studies to see the positive effects the CBD oil had on her son’s behavior.

“His behavior has been so much better all around,” Jade said. “He went from having up to 20 outbursts at school a day — I’m talking about screaming, hitting, punching outbursts — to maybe two, one, sometimes none. He’s also interacting more, which he never did before. CBD has been a real game-changer for us.”

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Tree of Life Seeds full line of premium hemp CBD products can be purchased online at www.treeoflifeseeds.com or from a growing list of retail partners including Arkansas Spine & Pain, Arkansas Pain Centers, Meridian Medial and NWA Pain Centers.