Medical Cannabis & Autism – You Asked My Opinion (The Blog I’ve Been Avoiding)

Over the past year that I’ve had my blog people have been emailing asking for my opinion on the use of cannabis or marijuana as a possible treatment for Autism.

To be perfectly honest with you, all of my readers, I have been avoiding this topic.

Here is why – I don’t have first hand experience with this so I don’t feel like an authority on the subject. I don’t live in a state that allows Autism to be listed as a qualifying medical condition so this option is not available to me. I need to write about what I know and I don’t know enough about this.

What I would like to share is that parents have reached out to me to let me know that they have had some amazing results. Other parents email to ask if I know about this treatment but all I can say is this – I am not a doctor and cannot give medical advice.

So once again, I am not a doctor and can not give medical advice so please do not take anything I say as such.

If you want my opinion on medical marijuana and Autism all you have to do is search “cannabis autism” on YouTube.

Watch the videos, especially the ones with severely affected Autistic children.

If you can not stop crying while watching those videos than you know exactly my position on this issue.

I am deeply troubled that there might be people missing out on one thing that might help ease extreme suffering, especially when many drastic things have already been tried.

Those videos may hook you in and after that you may find yourself watching the videos about medical cannabis and seizures. I can’t watch these videos either because I know many children with severe seizure disorders, who are not helped by mainstream medications, die at a young age.

I am also saddened by medical refugees and people stuck without access.

I can’t watch these videos any more. The truth in them is so penetrating that it makes me physically ill. People say Autistic people don’t feel things but as an adult I feel them more deeply than a lot of people. It is beautiful and painful all at the same time.

That is my opinion on medical cannabis for Autism – I am heart broken.

Heart broken about all the suffering that’s happened over the years in relation to this plant for no good reason. People are sick, dying, in prison, families torn apart. There has to be a better answer.

Can I advocate for medical marijuana as an Autism treatment? I don’t know. I am not a scientist or a doctor.

What I can advocate is everyone doing their own independent research. There is still a lot we do not know about this plant. One thing I can say is it doesn’t seem to be as dangerous as people wanted us to believe back when they made it illegal.

I know cigarettes kill people and alcohol is much worse but is a big part of our culture.

Just facts. That’s all I’ve got since I can’t make this one more personal.

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32 thoughts on “Medical Cannabis & Autism – You Asked My Opinion (The Blog I’ve Been Avoiding)”

  1. My son is both autistic and epileptic (pharmacoresistant). I have asked his neurologist about this so many times that she thinks I want it for myself!LOL But seriously she said they are doing research but there still isn’t enough known about interaction with other medications to even consider trying it yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My son has Dandy-Walker, Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum (often misdiagnosed as autism), and a seizure disorder. His seizures are status epilepticus. Diazepam does nothing to stop them. From what I’ve read, cannabis seems to have a positive effect on such seizures. His neurologist and I are keeping watch regarding the use of the drug to help treat him.

    Cannabis seems to offer so many benefits. It’s frustrating that we, as a society, are so reluctant to explore and embrace the benefits of the plant.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. liked your post. that said, this is still a fig leaf– like in the newtons.

    although i imagine if youre using medical cannabis, you could go for some fig newtons right now. jokes aside though, great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. For the record, I am very much for the use of marijuana to help medicinally. I find it very sad that it’s still illegal (or that it was made so in the first place) and that they still haven’t done enough studies on it. It can help with the treatment of a wide variety of things.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I love this post for so many reasons. Our government/culture has vilified a plant…that can literally HELP people..it is totally ridiculous when compared to the way alcohol, not to mention pharmaceuticals, are used in our country. If your doctor is not willing to engage you in a conversation about how it could actually help your son, I would get a new doctor who is willing to have any type of conversation with you. Good luck to all.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Fascinating post. Living in a state that sells both medical and medicinal marijuana, I am very grateful that it is helpful with the treatment of canine epilepsy as well as other conditions and hope other states follow suit to help people and canines. Thank you for sharing your story and thank you for swinging by the “Ranch” and for the follow. We ❤︎ visitors and wish you all the best as you seek treatment to live an enriched life.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. First: you have handled this beautifully. You are articulate and eloquent, and you express emotion in a very clear way.

    Second: if one witnesses the depths of desperation of which individuals in the Spectrum are capable of, one starts seeing that there has to be some solution other than legal drugs. A point comes when the anxiety, the stress, the internal suffering would require so many different pills that it almost feels like one is trying to keep the person “doped up” to control them. I don’t want J to disappear under the prescription drugs that are legally available to him, and I often fear that -should we go deeper than the minimal amount of Risperdal we are back on- it could happen. More research needs to happen, and it has to be serious and dedicated.

    There are greater outrage and activism addressed to the causes than to the management of what is existent in each individual in the Spectrum. I believe, yes, that it would be GREAT to know WHY, and HOW, but I also believe that there is a culture of “well, you got it…deal with it.” Parents are often at sea after a certain amount of years into trying to help their children. The services dwindle, the resources dry up, and all we hear is “it was the vaccines,” or “take away the gluten,” or “cow colostrum helps.” (Yes, I heard that cow colostrum helps………)

    As you well know, “if you got it…deal with it” is like d-uh, but when the hands get tied now, and then the feet, and then the hands are free, and then you’re told the path is that one, and your feet are unbound and then you start limping…it’s hard to deal when your options are constantly being removed, reduced, reassessed, redefined, reassigned…

    But I digress…

    Third: I always have had doubts about the notion (assertion) that individuals with ASD don’t feel. I think it’s more of a matter related to expressing the feeling, the emotion, the empathy that poses a difficulty. If J picks up whatever vibe I am/we are feeling (and he DOES,) and echoes it clearly, resonantly back at us…why do people think he doesn’t feel? Maybe he cannot react in the way we expect (because we are more attached and conditioned by social conventions,) but the feeling is obviously there. Some things are too abstract for him to grasp immediately, and he cannot translate them into the emotional symbols he recognizes, but he feels.

    Fourth: I would like to remind you, for whatever it is worth, how powerful your influence is, how clear your voice, and how strong my admiration.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. WOW! First THANK YOU for sharing. Also, you humble me. If only my words came out of my mouth with such clarity. Very glad I learned to write because you are correct communication IS the problem. I don’t express emotions the way people expect me to and they don’t like it. I laugh at the wrong moments or look serious when I am happy or thinking. My body language sends the wrong signals so I am “cold and standoffish” but that is not me at all, as my readers know. Really I just have a lot of anxiety.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. Citing you are not a doctor is not good enough anymore to not answer a question. HOWEVER, using the fact that you have not tried it, is the best fact for an answer. I made a youtube post about how talking about weed is pointless. This is a capitalist society. Meaning, there are no cures because a cure means the money stops, and so-called less deserving people live, or live longer. There are too many strains, and processes of weed to figure it out in a week. HOWEVER, with just as many strains as there are types of people, I’m sure something will help someone. Avoiding this was not best. We listen to you. You’re informative; even on tiny things. Don’t hold back. Converse with us. We don’t judge. We just sit and listen. I wish I had that draw appeal like you. Never silence yourself, and never hid an answer on something social. We’re here for and with you. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Anna, you’ve been pretty consistent about autism not actually being a disability, but a “neurodiverse” condition. Autism doesn’t need (or have) a treatment. You’ve mentioned seizures in this blog, and possibly marijuana could help somebody’s epilepsy, but that’s treating a comorbid condition, not autism. When you mentioned “severely affected” kids, what are you referring to? I don’t think you are referring to a severe autistic condition, because marijuana wouldn’t help; e.g., non-verbal kids.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you watch the videos you will understand. I don’t have a better word. These kids are violent to themselves and others because they are in pain and suffering. They cannot tell us the problem and they are in agony. I am not sure what comorbidity causes them to suffer so much but you can see the suffering in them and it breaks my heart. A lot of Autistic kids have these issues – not all. Someone needs to help them.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheri, I was asking Anna for clarification by what she meant by “severely affected”. Since you have a specific case. then I can ask you the question directly; how would your daughter’s autism be improved by “medicinal cannabis oil”? Autism is currently described as a condition affecting two functions of the brain; (1) social communication, and (2) restrictive interests and repetitive behavior. Do these two conditions need to be treated, and how is marijuana going to “help”.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There are severity levels for autism spectrum disorder. you can see the DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria Table 2: Severity levels for autism spectrum disorder for yourself at: https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/diagnosis/dsm-5-diagnostic-criteria
        Autism is called a spectrum disorder for a reason. My son is on the spectrum. He would be at level 1. At a level 1 he requires minimal support. My daughter is also on the spectrum. She is at a level 3. At a severity level 3 she requires very substantial support. I won’t divulge her personal details.. because.. to put it frankly it’s none of your business. However, I will quote DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria for Autism in table 2 Level 3 Communication: Severe deficits in verbal and nonverbal social communication skills cause severe impairments in functioning… Level 3 Restricted, repetitive behaviors: Inflexibility of behavior, extreme difficulty coping with change, or other restricted/repetitive behaviors markedly interfere with functioning in all spheres. Great distress/difficulty changing focus or action. ( https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/diagnosis/dsm-5-diagnostic-criteria )
        Now to answer your questions: (1)Do these two conditions need to be treated, and (2)how is marijuana going to “help”
        (1) In my daughter’s case (level 3) the answer is yes and it is no for my son (level 1)
        My daughter is currently prescribed psychotropic medications through her pediatric psychiatrist. Through blood work the level of one medication has to be monitored carefully and adjusted so that the least amount possible is used to be effective. A medicine that carries a black-box warning because it can cause serious liver damage that could be fatal, especially in children. I hate it. But she can not safely function without it.
        (2) Will medicinal cannabis help her? I do not know if it would or not. But I would like to see her be able to legally and under medical supervision be given the chance to try. It has been shown to be very effective for other children. Cannabis helps ameliorate symptoms, especially the most severe symptoms like self-injury or aggressive behavior and can also help improve communication and cooperation.(https://www.mammausa.org/testimonials.html ) As far as side effects goes medicinal cannabis can not possibly be any more dangerous than the medications she has already been prescribed.

        **Anna I sincerely apologize for this lengthy reply.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. ” will quote DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria for Autism in table 2 Level 3 Communication: Severe deficits in verbal and nonverbal social communication skills cause severe impairments in functioning… Level 3 Restricted, repetitive behaviors: Inflexibility of behavior, extreme difficulty coping with change, or other restricted/repetitive behaviors markedly interfere with functioning in all spheres. Great distress/difficulty changing focus or action. “…”Cannabis helps ameliorate symptoms, especially the most severe symptoms like self-injury or aggressive behavior and can also help improve communication and cooperation.” Level 3 autism is non-verbal and repetitive activities; nothing there about self-injury and/or aggressive behavior. My original point is that medicinal marijuana is not a “treatment” for autism. There are almost always comorbid conditions with autism, especially with more sever forms of autism; these are the conditions that might be treatable with medical marijuana, not autism.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. We will have to agree to disagree Dave. Your argument just doesn’t mesh with what I am experiencing. The medications she is currently on is prescribed are appropriately labeled for autism. Medicinal cannabis, if ever approved, just might do the same thing without worrying about her liver being damaged.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I’m gonna add my two cents…the treatment wouldn’t be for autism pre season because autism us not a disease that needs treatment. When my kiddo gets upset/anxious his fight or flight goes into overdrive. If he can’t run away (very unsafe) he will fight. Blindly raging at everything and everyone around him. We are considering talking to his pediatric physiatrist about medical cannabis. It is legal in my state.

            Liked by 1 person

  10. Ive always found it unfreaking believable that cigarettes and alcohol are legal and yet they dont only killl the person using them they kill innocent others from second hand smoke and drunk driving.
    I am on the list as it has just become legal. In my state but it is a 3 month wait. Hopefully by the time my 3 months is up my brain wont be scrambled by seizures!

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I’m firmly on the side of legalization, although I also have no direct experience with it. The reasons for endorsing legalization are: (1) there are no scientific studies establishing harmful effects. One of the hallmarks of science is the ability for a different researcher to duplicate the research and achieve the same findings. That hasn’t happened to my knowledge. Instead, we have research driven by ideology. (2) The parallels with alcohol and cigarettes are valid. Both of those have proven harmful effects and are legal. (3) Human bodies vary. What works for one person may not work for someone else. That’s why for each disease there are multiple medications. The only way to establish what will work for a specific person is trial and error. If there are no proven harmful effects, people should be allowed to try any resource available that might help.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Use of cannabis or marijuana invites cognitive decline as it is said in society where some persons are enjoying these products. Working mechanism of human brain is affected when motor or rational centers are dumped by marijuana. Autism gives pain in life but we can convert it into pleasure through the intuitive practice of brainpage imaging and the learnography of knowledge chapters. Thank you very much for genuine writing.

    Like

      1. Sorry, English is not my first language. I am working on learnography, the brain science of learning mechanism. My comment is based on the writing of applied neuroscience. I appreciate your suggestion that I will use simple phrase of words to be understood in common reading. This is the feature of good writing but it is difficult to express scientific words in common language. Thank you very much.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Thank you for making the effort to answer. Obviously, it was only partly your use of English that kept me from understanding you. It was my unfamiliarity with the concepts themselves. (I understand English is difficult to learn. Congratulations to you for learning enough English to express yourself.)

          Liked by 1 person

  13. The historical reasons for criminalizing a weed are damning and have nothing to do with health effects. I live in a state where you can still go to prison for possession. While in Colorado, I acquired medical marijuana in chocolate form. Half a dose can save me from crippling insomnia — no side effects. I know a man who takes it for rhumatoid arthritis. He had to get off his prescription medication after it caused liver damage. Though the FDA has saved lives by regulating prescription medicine, the federal government has demonized a life saving medication. Whose interests are served?

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I started smoking to relieve the anxiety and stress caused by my seizures, before I was against marijuana for recreational use until I tried it out for myself. Certainly now I use it both recreationally and medicinally and wonder what it is people think they are doing with their lives by only taking X Y or Z pill that has only been synthesized in the past several years. Its a similar subject as birth control/supplements or any pill, it’s a ‘new’ drug at least relative to the history of cannabis and yet is so widely needed that why wouldnt someone use this or that pill when they are specifically synthesized for that purpose. Somehow this always begins to become a topic of religion, surely God cannot do alllll of these things, how can this being be capable of unworldly feats when man is most intelligent. Surely Cannabis cannot be capable of healing all of these illnesses, how can a plant do such a thing when man is able to mix the elements together himself. Is this a tool or a weapon, oh my, whoa is me. I must now seek advice from my peers that are just as capable as myself to decide yay or nay.

    All in all it is very unfortunate that people are left to decide for themselves how they must treat their child or sibling or sickly parents, but at the cost of substances that are only now being tested, I must ask if the care takers themselves don’t have some forelm of brain damage preventing them from opening doors that may help themselves and others. Really where is the faith when it is science that synthesizes the medicine only to require more untested medicine to replace it as a future treatment.

    Believe what you want people, God or scienece, when discussing health and wellness whatever you are most comfortable using to sustain your own life is what’s right.

    Natural or Synthetic supplements that is all you should concern yourself with and if you have a specific concern for synthetics then filter organics through the same concern, but you should also do vice versa to shed light on the pills being ingested already.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I feel for those truly trapped by this reality though, trying to do what’s right becomes very difficult when the patient is not yourself. Best wishes to all facing this question, find your own peace.

    Liked by 1 person

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