Is Medical Marijuana The Missing Piece For Autism?
Some have touted medical marijuana as a “miracle treatment” and others insist adding cannabis to their child’s treatment plan was “life-changing.” Here, the team at Serenity Medical Online explore the role of medical marijuana in autistic children and adults. The future looks bright, but there remains work to do to ensure consistent and fair laws.
Facts About Autism
Approximately 50,000 teens go into adulthood and then lose the support and benefits they had before they reached legal age. Nearly one-third remain non-verbal, and another one-third are diagnosed with an intellectual disability. A few of the common denominators behind a diagnosis includes ADHD, seizures, sleep disorders and more. Once the guidance and other benefits are rescinded, it can take a big toll on families.
Autism is considered a spectrum disorder, meaning there are wide variations in the degree in which the disorder affects victims, including the way the disorder presents itself, as well as the strengths and challenges a victim experiences. That wide range might include behavior patterns, communication efforts, social skills and more. With the ongoing findings and new revelations, we now know that there are many types of autism and each is affected to some degree by one’s environment and genetics.
Can Medical Marijuana Help With Autism?
Many people associate marijuana with smoking, but there are many forms in which marijuana is prescribed and used. For autistic patients, often cannabidiol (CDB) oil is used over other methods of ingestion. This is certainly true for children and luckily, is legal in the state of California.
CDB oil is considered marijuana’s primary non-psychoactive compound. Thus far, this has been the best solution over any other treatment for children with autism. It’s been proven as the better choice against other chemical drugs. Consider the fact that there are only two drugs that are FDA approved for the symptoms of autism. They are both antipsychotic drugs and unfortunately, are just as likely to be ineffective as effective. Cannabis, on the other hand, has proven to be a remarkable treatment option.
Israel as the Pioneer in Medical Marijuana and Autism
The Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem has had an ongoing study that includes 120 participants between the ages of 5 to 29. This study found that medical marijuana, delivered in the form of two drops of cannabis oil, is being called “miraculous” and life-saving.” In fact, there are some autistic children who are speaking for the first time in their lives.
The reality of the situation surrounding medical marijuana can be challenging. While there are new laws being introduced every day in the United States, the roadblocks are significant. That’s truly unfortunate because lawmakers and “big pharma” have their reasons for complicating the situation. For example, currently in Israel, there are more than 100 studies being conducted, including the Shaare Zedek study mentioned above. The findings thus far have all been similar to the Shaare Zedek study – both remarkable and promising. A report in USA Today notes, “in a drastic comparison, the U.S. has blocked almost all clinical trials of cannabis…there has been $1.4 billion spent on marijuana research since 2008, but $1.1 billion of those funds went to studying addiction, withdrawal and drug abuse rather than treatment options.”
If you are a parent of a young autistic child, you know how difficult these diagnoses can be. Many of our clients have been in the exact situation as yourself. Often, developmental delays are part of the reality, though early intervention efforts can greatly influence a child’s quality of life and their emotional and communicative growth.
Because there have been some changes in the laws, many states now allow medical marijuana for use in helping those diagnosed with autism. This is where Serenity Medical Online can help. We invite you to contact our offices and explore the options you might have for your child or older loved one in dealing with an autistic diagnosis. You might be surprised how something so minimal can have a such a huge impact on you and your loved one’s life.