Autism and Medical Marijuana

Autism and Medical Marijuana
Autism and Medical Marijuana

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that, in some cases, influences motor skills, communication, intellectual development and more. The causes of ASD are still unknown, but researchers speculate that environmental and genetic factors may play a role in its development. Recent research suggests that medical marijuana may be a useful treatment option for someone living with ASD. Read below to learn more about how medical marijuana can help with symptoms of autism. 

What is Autism?

Someone living with autism may experience communication challenges, different behavior patterns and difficulties with social interactions. Symptoms of autism appear at an early age, but one can be diagnosed later in life. There are various subtypes and severities of autism, so the condition is categorized as a spectrum disorder. For example, someone living with ASD may have sensitivities to certain foods and textures, difficulties with social skills, or repetitive behaviors. However, some people living with ASD may have mild symptoms. Each person living with autism experiences separate and distinct sets of strengths and challenges. 

Medical Marijuana for Autism

Research on cannabis and autism spectrum disorders is still in its infancy; however, feedback from prescribers, patients and caregivers suggests that medical marijuana may be a beneficial treatment option for patients looking to alleviate symptoms. Typically certain pharmaceuticals are prescribed to help with symptoms of autism but are often ineffective or result in undesirable side effects.

Medical Marijuana may help with symptoms such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Aggression
  • Word expression or communication
  • Insomnia
  • Self harm

TXOG Patients Living with Autism 

Callen was diagnosed with autism, ADHD, hypotonia and absence seizures at a young age. Before trying medical cannabis, navigating social settings was tough for Callen and his family. Since starting treatment with medical cannabis, he has been removed from all AEDs (anti-epileptic drugs). Callen was once non-verbal, but medical cannabis has helped tremendously, allowing his speech and use of sign language to increase. He now even says 'I Love You' to his parents!

In addition to Callen, James is another Texas OG who has found relief with medical cannabis for autism. James began having seizures and showing signs of autism at a young age. He was unable to play with other kids because he would become aggressive. He also felt overwhelmed in social settings, so going out to lunch or dinner with his family was impossible. Since starting medical cannabis, James can now participate in plays at school, go to the beach with his family and live a better quality of life. Last month marked two years seizure-free for James. He also celebrated going from taking 22 pills a day to 0 with the help of medical cannabis.

Become a Patient

As of 2019, autism is a qualifying condition under the Compassionate Use Program. Interested in becoming a patient? Click the button below to learn more.