Medical Cannabis Used to Treat Autism

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Medical Cannabis Used to Treat Autism

There are many parents out there who worry about their children’s autism and how to treat it. Or how not to treat it. These days, choices are broad and there is the option to use medical cannabis to treat autism. Often, the pharmaceutical drugs can do more harm than good. And children with autism who are not treated often suffer enormous social rejection and feel like outcasts.  But with medical cannabis, this can change. Treat autism with a natural therapy which has no side effects and no possibilities of addiction.

Cannabis Cannabinoids and the Endocannabinoid System

Cannabis consists of hundreds of cannabinoids, many of which hold innate healing properties, The human endocannabinoid system has endocannabinoids which assist the body to maintain a status of homeostasis (natural balance in the immune system, central nervous system, brain and spinal column). When the body is out of balance, dis-ease can occur. Taking phytocannabinoids from cannabis can assist the body to find this state of balance. Endocannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) are located in the brain and all around the body. Cannabinoids interact with these receptors to assist the body to function better. Studies have found that people with autism have excess CB1 receptors in specific areas of the brain areas which tend to become dysfunctional – the basal ganglia, hippocampus and cerebellum.

When babies develop in the womb, so too do their CB1 receptors and related endocannabinoids form in the progression of neurological development. Autism Spectrum Disorders could be the result of CB1 receptors interrupting normal brain formation. In addition, children who get autism have increased levels of CB2 receptors in their cells related to the immune system and if the development of these monocytes is disrupted, autism can occur.

What is Autism?

The full name of autism is Autism Spectrum Disorder as it refers to an array of  conditions where the child or adults experiences issues with speech, social skills, repetitive behaviours, being extremely quiet and withdrawn – and other issues unique to each individual. Autism is related to both genes and environment (nature plus nurture). If parents detect autism early on, they can get help – and it often shows up around 2 to 3 years of age.

Research into ASD has found that this condition does run in families and is related to the genes that some parents carry. Increasing the risk for autism comes when the parents are older when they have their child, there are pregnancy or birth complications or the mother has pregnancies too close together. Mothers can decrease the risk of having an autistic child if they take folic acid and sufficient vitamins before conception and during pregnancy. There is no link between autism and vaccinations.

Why Treat Autism with Medical Cannabis?

Some parents are now turning to medical cannabis to treat their autistic children. And some states in America are deciding whether to approve the use of medical marijuana for ASD. Anecdotal evidence is common now and parents are using a medical cannabis oil that consists mostly of CBD. This cannabinoid, cannabidiol, is a known health therapy for all kinds of ailments and disorders, including chronic diseases. It is a safe medication as it is not psychoactive and interacts with endocannabinoid receptors in the immune system. CBD is also free from side effects, unlike many conventional drugs. If research is correct in proving that cannabinoid receptors are stimulated during a child’s deelopment and could cause autism, then it is possible that giving CBD to a child with autism could contradict this outcome. Some stories tell of children with autism responding better to a blend of CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC may be psychoactive and illegal in most parts of the world, but when blended with CBD it loses this psychotic quality and is a powerful medication.

Different Strains Therefore Different Responses

Doctors are not keen to prescribe THC rich cannabis oils to children due to its legal status and because there is not enough research done on humans. It is important to remember that the many different strains of autism respond in their own ways to medical cannabis and each child responds differently too. Some children respond to medical cannabis by sleeping better, communicating better and being able to concentrate on tasks at hand better. Some stop hurting themselves and having huge meltdowns and many return to school as they get over their behavioural problems.

The choice remains with the parent – whether to use medical cannabis to treat autism. CBD is a known anti-inflammatory, pain killer, anti-depressant and can relieve insomnia, stress, lack of appetite, nausea and other conditions. Consult your doctor and see if medical cannabis will work for you – or your child with autism.



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