Marijuana has been used to treat various medical conditions for centuries. In recent years, there has been a great deal of interest in the potential use of marijuana to treat autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This article will explore the current research on the use of medical marijuana to treat ASD and provide an overview of the pros and cons of this treatment option.
Keep reading to learn more.
What is Autism and What are the Symptoms?
Autism is a developmental disorder that impairs social interaction and communication. It is a neurological disorder that affects how a person perceives the world and relates to others. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the most common form of autism, affecting 1 in 68 children in the United States.
Common symptoms of autism include delayed language development, difficulty with communication, difficulty with social interactions, repetitive behaviors or rituals, and sensory sensitivities. Some people with autism may also have intellectual disabilities, seizures, or difficulties eating or going to the bathroom.
How is Medical Marijuana Used to Treat Autism?
Medical marijuana is used to treat autism by helping to improve communication and social skills, regulate moods, and reduce anxiety. It can also help with sleep problems and reduce self-injurious behavior. Some parents report that medical marijuana has helped their children with autism to make significant progress.
Medical marijuana is not a cure for autism, but it can help manage some of the symptoms. It is important to work with a qualified physician to determine if medical marijuana is right for your child. Some states have laws that allow for the use of medical marijuana for treating autism.
Benefits of Using Medical Marijuana to Treat Autism
Medical marijuana has been shown to help with a variety of symptoms associated with autism, including:
– Reducing seizures
– Helping improve communication skills
– Reducing anxiety and aggression
– Improving sleep
– Increasing appetite
Side Effects of Medical Marijuana
While there are many potential benefits to using medical marijuana to treat autism, it is important to be aware of the possible side effects. These can include:
– Increased appetite
– Dry mouth
It is always important to consult with a medical professional before starting any new treatment, and to make sure that you are aware of the potential risks and benefits.
Medical Marijuana and Autism Research
There is some evidence that medical marijuana may be beneficial for people with autism. A small, preliminary study published in 2016 found that medical marijuana was associated with significant improvements in behavioral symptoms in people with autism. The study participants were all given a specific strain of medical marijuana that was high in cannabidiol (CBD), a compound that is known to be therapeutic for a variety of conditions.
While the study was small and did not include a control group, it suggests that further research is warranted on the potential benefits of medical marijuana for people with autism. CBD has been shown to be particularly beneficial for people with autism, and it may help to improve communication skills, social interactions, and anxiety levels.
Still, always be sure to consult your doctor before trying any new medications, including cannabis.
Dr. Nicholas Marsh has been a respected board-certified anesthesiologist in Northern Virginia for over 35 years. Recognized as a top doctor by FindaTopDoc.com, his vision for providing top-quality medical services is driven by his passion for patient comfort and dignity.