While cannabis isn’t federally approved to treat any of the symptoms of autism, it can help alleviate some of the difficult aspects of living with the condition. For example:
Soothing repetitive behaviors
Reducing social isolation
Calms state of hyperactivity
Cannabis can be used to calm hyperactivity. While it is not a cure for autism, cannabis can help many autistic patients. This is because cannabinoids released by CBD are able to cross the blood-brain barrier and bind to receptors in the brain that are responsible for controlling mood and anxiety levels.
When you think about this, it makes sense: after all, most clinical studies have shown that cannabinoids work best when combined with other medications (such as anti-psychotics) to help manage severe symptoms of schizophrenia or PTSD. It’s no different for children with autism; some parents may want their kids on one medication while others prefer an alternative treatment like cannabis oil instead. In fact, many parents are open to try cannabis on its own, as it has potential to work, plus it also being a healthier option for the patient than pharmaceuticals.
Soothes repetitive behaviors
The repetitive behaviors seen in autistic patients can be harmful to the patient. These include self-harm behaviors, seizures, and hyperactivity. Cannabis has shown promise in treating these symptoms in autistic children. For example:
- One study showed that CBD could help reduce self-harm behaviors by up to 50%.
- Another study showed that cannabis helped reduce seizure frequency in epileptic patients by up to 95%.
Reduces social isolation
- Reduces social isolation: While cannabis has been shown to increase socialization in patients with other mental health conditions, it also has a positive effect on our autistic friends. As we mentioned above, many autistic people suffer from social anxiety and/or depression—both of which can lead to isolation and loneliness.
- Helps them connect with others: Because cannabis helps reduce these feelings of fear or lack of confidence in social situations, it can enable autistic patients to better interact with their peers and loved ones.
Stops self-harm behaviors
Self-harm behaviors are very common in autistic children. These include biting, head banging, scratching and hitting themselves. Cannabis can help reduce these behaviors by calming the mind and focusing attention on other things besides self-harm.
Cannabis can also help communicate feelings that may not be able to be expressed verbally when suffering from autism. This allows parents and caregivers to better understand their loved ones’ needs, which is especially helpful for children on the spectrum who are unable to verbally communicate those needs themselves.
Reduces seizures and other physical manifestations
Cannabis is an effective treatment for seizure reduction, as well as muscle spasms. While these symptoms may not seem like a big deal, they can be extremely debilitating to those who experience them regularly. It’s important to note that cannabis may not be the best option for all physical manifestations—if you feel it’s right for you, talk to your doctor about how much and what ratios are best suited for your needs.
Even if you don’t suffer from seizures or spasms yourself, it’s possible that someone you love does—in fact, there are countless cases where children have found relief through cannabis after years of suffering on pharmaceuticals that didn’t work very well (or at all).
Cannabis can help treat some of the more challenging aspects of autism.
While cannabis is not a cure-all for autism, it can help treat some of the more challenging aspects of autism. The effects of cannabis on autistic patients are numerous, including the following:
- Cannabis reduces anxiety and stress.
- Cannabis increases appetite, which is helpful for children who struggle with eating disorders or have an increased need to eat due to metabolic issues resulting from their disorder.
- Cannabis provides energy to individuals with low energy levels caused by their condition or medications they may be taking.
Cannabis has been shown to be an effective treatment for some of the most challenging symptoms of autism, including hyperactivity, self-harm and seizures. The best part is that it’s a safe and non-invasive method of treatment—though there are some limitations to keep in mind when using cannabis with children. It’s important to note that the research on this topic is still in its early stages, so there isn’t enough information yet about how best to use marijuana effectively or what dosage should be used by patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, we do know that compounds found within cannabis like THC and CBD can help calm their state of hyperactivity as well as reduce repetitive behaviors like hand flapping or rocking back and forth (which tend to happen more often than average among those with autism).
Ask your doctor if medical cannabis is right for you. You may be pleasantly surprised on all the benefits this plant has to offer.