Autism is a disorder that afflicts more than 700 million people worldwide. In such a scenario more and more healthcare experts are exploring the possibility of utilizing marijuana as an effective course of treatment. Research and experiments carried out suggest that cannabis does indeed go a long way in easing the difficulties created by Autism spectrum disorder. However, the number of studies is not as expansive and is certainly not proportional to the steadily increasing number of people who seek cannabis as a treatment of autism.
Marijuana as recourse to autism
Since there is no known cure for autism, all one can do is to take measures to alleviate its effects. Autism is essentially a neurological disorder that is compounded by many other factors. The symptoms usually include lack of communication, defective social skills, inability to make eye contact and compulsive acts, among others.
Cindy Perez, whose son suffers from autism, likes to help him through with doses of marijuana. She says that the change in her son was palpable when she gave him cannabis laced edibles. This is in stark contrast to conventional medications that somehow made it all worse. She says she started the course of treatment after an interactive chat with friends about the positive effects of cannabis.
Conventional modes of treatment
The medications prescribed for autism usually are accompanied by various side effects like weight gain, nausea and constipation. In essence there is no established course of medication that tackles the most primary characteristics of autism like communication lapses, social challenges and tendency to self-injure. Moreover, sometimes these medications just make everything worse and may present a condition that could be offset by the use marijuana.
Research in the field of autism and marijuana
Many parents have researched on the suitability of cannabis as an effective treatment for cannabis. Dr Bernard Rimland and Dr Lester Grinspoon founded the Autism Society of America, an organization that provides support for autistic patients. Rimland conducted research on the topic and authored the path breaking book “Infantile Autism : The syndrome and its implication for a neural theory of behavior”. In this book, Rimland elaborates on the favourability of cannabis as compared to other drugs. He also says that the benign nature of cannabis makes it ideal to be used in this context. Grinspoon further advocated the use of cannabis and said that there is considerable anecdotal evidence to back its efficacy. He says that the advantages of cannabis are that its production is not very expensive, the risks are negligible and the results are far too evident to be ignored.
What does the future have in store?
More studies need to be conducted to delve deep into the future of cannabis in the treatment of autism. Doctors also caution that autism is a condition that is diagnosed during early childhood and hence the administration of cannabis should be closely regulated. A strain of cannabis called Joey’s strain, named as a tribute to an autistic child, has been made available in Los Angeles. The makers of the strain hope to relay it to other legal states as well.
Have you or a loved one tried cannabis treatment for autism? Comment your results below!