Cannabis and Autism

Cannabis and autism- what component of this plant helps

Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder, refers to a collection of complex disorders that affect brain development. ASD affects individuals in varying degrees, but generally a person with autism will suffer from three core symptoms:

   •     Communication difficulties

   •     Difficulties in social interaction

   •     Repetitive—sometimes self-injurious—behaviours


While some ASD children may be characterized as having an intellectual disability, some—often characterized as “high-functioning”—excel in music, math, and art. However, other ASD children are unable to speak and may engage in self-harming behaviours.

CBD is showing promising signs when it come ASD

Doctors are finding an enormous amount of evidence that Cannabis’s main non-psychoactive compound — cannabidiol or CBD — helps children who suffer from autism in ways no other medication has. There are testimonials all over the internet by parents of children with autism who discuss the benefits of CBD, primarily its effect on seizures. The therapeutic properties of cannabis help alleviate some of the negative behavioural effects of the disease, such as anxiety and epileptic seizures.

What are the doctors saying about this

Israel is a pioneer in this type of research. It permitted doctors to start prescribing and researching medical marijuana in 1992, one of the first countries to do so. It's also one of just three countries with a government-sponsored medical cannabis program, along with Canada and the Netherlands. Abigail Dar, an Israeli advocate for people on the autism spectrum, has been pushing for autism to become a qualifying condition for medical cannabis in Israel. She is also the mother of Yuval, an autistic 23-year-old. "When he was 16, he started having seizures and along with them came behaviours that make the difference between being able to live and take care of your child and giving up, hospitalizing or institutionalizing him. We lived through six terrible years where I had to use my husband and my other two boys as 'bodyguards'—never knowing when Yuval would have an outburst." She tells me about the misery and guilt Yuval would feel as a result of his actions—saying they came from somewhere that was "not him.” In October of 2015, Dar was finally able to access medical cannabis for Yuval after appealing for "mercy"—autism is still not a qualifying condition in Israel. Since then, Dar says her day-to-day is much different, with less than a handful of violent outbursts in the 18 months since Yuval began treatment. "He is so much more calm, smiling, attentive and communicative," she says.


Today we have a lot of ongoing research regarding children, where the main objective is to know if a treatment is 100% safe, tolerable, without side effects and effective. Unfortunately, there is practically no study validating the idea that cannabis is an available option for the treatment of autism yet and it is this lack of scientific data that keeps doctors from endorsing cannabis and prescribing it. The problem is that the many active compounds in cannabis make proper dosing for children difficult to pinpoint which creates controversy in the medical community over its use.

However, each day we gain some more beneficial information and we hear of more success stories regarding the treatment of autism using cannabis. There are numerous reports from parents claiming their children benefited positively after including cannabis in their treatment, such as a decline in aggressive behaviour, a significant decrease in seizures and improved speech (including children who did not speak before and achieved significant results in a short period of time after their first dose of CBD oil).

Associating CBD with autism treatment is still something very new but it does generate hope in other parents who seek comfort and a better quality of life for their children. Just remember that before using any product derived from the cannabis plant, you should find a Cannabis friendly doctor and discuss the effects.  


Check out InstaLeaf to learn more about the effects this plant can have on your life. 



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