Using Cannabis for Autism Spectrum Disorders
While the use of oral cannabis to treat children and adolescents with autism remains controversial, some doctors and parents are embracing cannabis as a treatment method to calm agitated and violent autistic children.
What is Autism?
Autism is a mental disorder characterized by the individual being extremely withdrawn and absorbed with fantasy. The individual suffers from impaired communication and social interaction skills, and activities and interests are very limited. Autism can also be described as a state of mind characterized by self-absorption, disregard of external reality, daydreams, and hallucinations.
Early infantile autism is a disorder appearing in the first three years of life marked by self-absorption, unresponsiveness to other people, ritualistic behaviors, and failure in language development.
Autism is actually one of several conditions, including Asperger’s syndrome, which make up the autism spectrum of common developmental disorders. Asperger’s does not interfere with language, however, but it does share the lack of social interaction with autism. Evidence shows that autism spectrum disorders run in families. Controversial evidence shows that exposure of pregnant women and infants to certain drugs and chemicals may increase the likelihood of developing autism spectrum disorders.
Historical Uses for Cannabis and Autism Spectrum Disorders
In the early 1960’s, Bernard Rimland conducted research on childhood neurobehavioral disorders, which also included autism. Later, he became an early advocate for the use of cannabis with autism spectrum disorders. According to Rimland’s Autism Research Institute, cannabis successfully reduces some autistic children’s aggression, anxiety, panic disorders, tantrums, and self-injurious behaviors.
Effectiveness of Cannabis on Autism Spectrum Disorders
Nearly all anecdotal accounts point to the calming effects of cannabis. This would therefore support the use of cannabis as a mild sedative and tranquilizing agent. In 2013, evidence emerged that the endocannabinoid system of autistic children is significantly different than the endocannabinoid system of healthy children. Individuals with autism display an average of five times the amount of CB1 receptors than those without autism. So, what does all of this mean? To put it simply, this indicates that the endocannabinoid system may prove to be an important target for future treatments of autism.
Recent research also points to variations in the gene responsible for the CB1 receptor (CNR1 gene) and CB2 receptor ) CNR2 gene) being linked to several disturbances in the brain involving emotional and social processing, including autism.
Cannabis Dosing for Autism Spectrum Disorder
cannabis doses should ALWAYS be recommended by the child’s doctor. The child’s doctor should be able to calculate the dose of cannabinoids and terpenes from analytical test results for the individual child based on the child’s condition(s), response to other medication, age, and other related factors.
How to Ingest Cannabis for Autism Spectrum Disorder
Indicated Cannabis Chemotypes for Use with Autism
Popular Cannabis Varieties for Autism
mycrene and linalool THC cannabis varieties are recommended, such as Bubba Kush and Grand Daddy Purple. Adding CBD can be accomplished by blending a pure-CBD variety such as Cannatonic 6 or ACDC with THC strains.
Breaking Through the Cannabis Stigma
It’s rather cruel and disgusting that some adults are so stubborn and set in their way of thinking, that they aren’t willing to look past the ridiculous cannabis stigma. They’re not willing to educate themselves on cannabis and it’s benefits to help these children and their parents.
It’s a given, that as parents-we should be willing to give our life to save our children? So, why is using cannabis to help treat autism spectrum disorder any different? cannabis is pure hope to these parents and no one should have the right to take away that hope. No one should have the right to take away the ability for these parents to significantly improve the quality of life for their child living with autism spectrum disorder.
It’s truly sickening to see how selfish and close-minded some people really are. It really makes you wonder if these heartless people were suddenly dealt with the same cards in life-would their views finally change? Would they finally be able to see past the stigma and actually educate themselves on cannabis? My guess is a solid yes. I most definitely think they would.