For parents whose children have an autism spectrum disorder, finding a way to make their children’s lives easier is a big priority. So can medical marijuana help kids with autism? Luckily, medical marijuana is offering a bit of hope to these families to help children with communication, repetitive behaviors, social skills, and overall quality of life. Here’s what you need to know about medical marijuana and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?
Autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, is a condition related to the development of the brain. It can impact how someone socializes with others and perceives the world around them, causing problems with social communication and interaction. It can also encompass repetitive patterns of behavior, difficulty controlling anger or mood, and even self-harm behaviors.
Asperger’s syndrome and autism are two of the most well-known diseases on the autism spectrum, but there are a variety of disorders that fall under the ASD umbrella.
Medical Marijuana And Autism Spectrum Disorder
There have been many studies done to explore how medical marijuana can treat adolescents with ASD, and the results are quite promising.
The body’s endocannabinoid system works to regulate things such as excitability, anxiety, hunger, and pain. Cannabinoids such as MMJ and CBD oil can give the endocannabinoid system a boost to help restore balance to the system and prevent some of the symptoms of ASD.
In some studies, medical marijuana has been found to help alleviate some issues adolescents with ASD deal with, such as seizures, flares of temper, and angry outbursts. Cannabis-based products and medical marijuana can help to reduce erratic actions and calm those who suffer from these issues. The reason MMJ works to calm children with ASD is that it helps them to relax and focus on what they’re doing.
Medical marijuana is a tool that can be used to promote the safety and health of patients with ASD and improve their quality of life.
Cannabis And Autism: What Symptoms Of ASD Can Be Treated With Medical Marijuana?
Medical marijuana has been found to ease certain symptoms displayed by those with ASD, such as:
- The tendency to cause self-harm
- Communication issues
- Problems sleeping
- Repetitive behaviors
- Social communication
Medical marijuana can also help adolescents with other sensory issues such as food acceptance and other feeding issues.
How to Use Medical Marijuana For ASD
When used in a young person’s medical treatment, medical marijuana shouldn’t be smoked. Luckily, there are several ways to use medical marijuana for ASD that don’t require smoking anything.
Some other ways to deliver MMJ to an adolescent include:
If the child doesn’t have issues with food due to sensory problems, you can create edibles for them. Most medical marijuana dispensaries carry edibles such as brownies, cupcakes, or even gummies and chocolates that deliver marijuana to the system.
Cannabis sprays come in a wide range of flavors to help deliver the marijuana directly into the mouth.
It’s quite simple to blend a medical marijuana tincture with fresh fruit juice or put it in a smoothie.
Vaping is a way to get medical marijuana into the system as fast as possible, and it’s not as bad for the lungs as smoking.
For many medical marijuana users, including people with ASD, the focus is on overall health and wellness. That’s why there are so many delivery methods for medical marijuana – so everyone can find a way to take it that works for them.
How To Get Medical Marijuana For ASD
How to get medical marijuana depends on where you live. To get medical marijuana for ASD treatment in a state with legal medical marijuana, you must first get a written prescription from a doctor for the child in question. Finding a qualified doctor is easy to do, but ensure you check the laws in your state regarding how to qualify for medical marijuana.
Caregivers can be approved to pick up and administer medical marijuana for those who are underage. That may require a separate MMJ card, which is another reason to check the laws in your state.
Featured image by Markus Spiske on Unsplash