Marijuana and Autism

While there is still controversy about the subject of marijuana in the U.S., there’s also an increasing amount of focus being put on researching the possible benefits it could have in a medicinal setting. One area that’s being explored is marijuana and autism. Does marijuana help autism?

That’s a question increasingly being asked, and below is more information about autism, as well as more specifically the possible relationship between marijuana and autism.

Marijuana and Autism | Does Marijuana Help Autism?
While there is still controversy about the subject of marijuana in the U.S., there’s also an increasing amount of focus being put on researching the possible benefits it could have in a medicinal setting. One area that’s being explored is marijuana and autism. Does marijuana help autism? That’s a question increasingly being asked, and below is more information about autism, as well as more specifically the possible relationship between marijuana and autism.
Before looking at marijuana and autism, what is autism? Autism is also called autism spectrum disorder, and it is classified as a range of conditions. These conditions are defined by issues with social skills, exhibiting repetitive behaviors and nonverbal communication. There are many ways autism may be exhibited, and in most children, the more outward signs begin to show around two to three years old. In some children, it’s diagnosed as early as 18 months. It’s estimated that the prevalence of autism in the U.S. is as high as 1 in 68 children and it’s more common among boys than girls. Around one-third of people with autism stay nonverbal, and also around one-third have intellectual disabilities. There tend to be other physical and mental health conditions that are more common in people with autism including ADHD, anxiety, phobias, seizures and gastrointestinal disorders. Autism spectrum disorder is considered a neurological condition, and often people with ASD will want to follow a certain set of behaviors, and changes in their routine can be met with intense resistance. Since autism is a wide spectrum disorder, people with this condition are all different from one another, and some people may have mild symptoms while others may have severe symptoms. Some of the areas where a person with ASD may have trouble include feeling empathetic, physical contact and certain stimuli. There is no cure for autism, but parents of children with the disorder often research ways they can help their child. One theory that’s been floated around, particularly recently is that marijuana may be helpful for autism. So, does marijuana help autism?
As with pretty much everything involving marijuana, there is a lot of controversy surrounding the relationship between marijuana and autism. A lot of doctors and researchers are hesitant to discuss the potential to use marijuana as a medical treatment because so little research exists, but at the same time, researchers don’t want to study it because of the many variables that exist, particularly when children are involved. Currently, there’s only anecdotal evidence that looks at marijuana and autism, although there are some major research studies that are gearing up to take place. The reason more people are questioning links between marijuana and autism is because it’s believed that some types of autism may be the result of a lack of endocannabinoids, which are molecules that are naturally found in the body but are similar to components of marijuana including CBD and THC. Some researchers believe that having low levels of endocannabinoids may be one of the causes of autism. Organizations like The Autism Research Institute feel that some autism symptoms could be helped with the use of cannabinoids, but they point out that this should only be considered under medical supervision and with proper doses. Proponents of the use of marijuana to treat symptoms of autism also point out that a lot of the more accepted and traditional treatment options have negative side effects. As mentioned, since much of the information related to marijuana and autism is antidotal, parents are relying on stories from others to understand the possible links here. There is some leading-edge research on marijuana and autism being done in Israel currently, and Israel was one of the first countries in the world to allow for the use of medical marijuana. The Israel study that’s underway is focusing primarily on children and adolescents who had negative side effects from the use of drugs like psychoactive treatments. In this research and other studies like it, the children aren’t smoking marijuana or even using traditional forms of the drug. Instead, they’re given CBD which is an extract of marijuana that doesn’t have psychoactive properties, so children don’t get high from it. Recognizing this distinction is important. While there is some promising work being done on marijuana and autism, the links and the effectiveness of CBD oil aren’t completely clear right now. Parents should never try to use marijuana as a way to medicate their child, as it’s something that would require more research and close medical monitoring as well. So, does marijuana help autism? There is some research that shows that one component of marijuana, CBD, may be helpful to treat symptoms of autism, but studies are ongoing, and there currently isn’t a lot of proven evidence beyond antidotal stories.
Marijuana and Autism
How Would You Rate This Page?
Marijuana and Autism was last modified: September 4th, 2018 by The Recovery Village