Can Cannabis be Used to Treat Autism Symptoms?
How is Medical Marijuana Used to Treat Autism
Recent research has shown how medical cannabis can effectively treat and manage the symptoms for many medical conditions, including cancer and cancer treatment, chronic pain, ALS, and more.
One such condition is autism, a developmental disability that impacts social interaction, communication, and behaviors. Many studies suggest that medical marijuana can provide a number of benefits for autism patients.
What Is Autism?
As studies expand and medical experts examine the effects of medical marijuana on other conditions, many patients, families, and caregivers wonder how cannabis can be used to treat symptoms of autism.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by a number of symptoms, including but not limited to:
- Repeating certain actions over and over again
- Avoiding eye contact
- Wanting to be alone
- Preferring not to be held or cuddled
- Not wanting to play pretend games
- Repeating or echoing words and phrases
- Having difficulty relating to other people
- Not expressing interest in other people at all
- Not knowing how to talk, play, or relate to others
Autism exists on a spectrum, and each person with this condition exhibits a unique set of symptoms. Severe cases can result in aggression, self-injury, and rage.
While many people with autism are self-sufficient, these symptoms can cause significant hardship, social stigma, and difficulty interacting with others.
How Can Medical Marijuana Help People with ASD?
Children and adults with severe autism spectrum disorder may benefit from medical marijuana, according to recent studies. However, these studies are small; more large-scale, wide-reaching, and placebo-controlled research is necessary.
A 2019 paper from researchers in Israel found that 30% of ASD patients treated with cannabis oil for six months saw significant symptom improvement, and 50% saw moderate improvement.
Another 2018 study saw that using medical marijuana to treat autism symptoms improved behavioral outbreaks in more than 60% of child patients.
However, some parents, experts, and autism advocates are unsure whether these studies prove marijuana could treat symptoms of ASD. The research is new and limited, and more long-term studies are required to determine the efficacy of this treatment. However, many people with ASD have taken medical cannabis and seen improvements in their symptoms.
Remember, medical marijuana may not be right for everyone. You will need to visit a medical marijuana doctor in your state who is certified to evaluate qualifying conditions and determine whether or not this treatment is viable. Some states do not have autism listed as a qualifying condition.
If you or someone you care for has autism and you believe medical cannabis can help, contact the Sanctuary Wellness Institute today. Our friendly staff will connect you to a certified marijuana doctor in your state who can evaluate your condition and determine whether or not medical cannabis could help. We will also inform you of the applicable medical marijuana laws in your state.
John DiBella is a medical marijuana advocate, owner of The Sanctuary Wellness Institute, and a writer. When he’s not writing blogs about medical marijuana, he enjoys hiking, camping and sailing.