In September 2016, Israeli doctors became the first in the world to seek medical permission for treating Autism with Medical Marijuana in a clinical trial. Currently some autistic children are being treated with it in an officially sanctioned and doctor monitored program.
Autism is a complicated brain development disorder that normally starts to appear in children with less than three years of age with boys being four times more susceptible to the condition than girls. The disease commonly impacts communication & social skills causing repetitive, restrictive & stereotyped patterns of behavior making patients to often be over- aggressive to people around them.
So how does medical marijuana help with the treatment of Autism?
First autism is not a specific disease. it includes various conditions that are medically labelled as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).Most types of autism are believed to be as a result of insufficient production of natural endocannabinoids by the body which are similar to phytocannabinoids such as THC & CBD found in Marijuana.
There has been a growing number of anecdotal evidence that shows medical marijuana is helpful for adults & children with different forms of autism. Parents with autistic children who have been brave enough to try-out/experiment with medical cannabis have reported notable and long lasting improvements in their children. Studies from The Autism Research Institute (ARI) show that many symptoms of autism can be reduced and controlled through the use of properly dosed marijuana. ARI has pointed out that autism is a highly treatable condition with the efficacy of using medical cannabis varying from one patient to another because there are different types & severities of autism.
In the US, there are a lot of advocacy groups which are campaigning to have autism listed as an eligible condition in medical cannabis states. California is one of the 14 US states that currently allow the use of medical cannabis with a doctor’s prescription. In Pennsylvania, autistic patients are allowed access to the herb which is believed to help them manage aggressiveness and self-harm. Although this product seems to work, parents in many countries in the world still face limitations of using it. There is a clinical research currently ongoing in Israel and hopefully the findings will be able offer quality scientific assertion to match the claims and lead to medical legalization of marijuana in treatment of autism. Meanwhile parents & patients around the world will have to wait until the research is completed in 2018.