Can Medical Marijuana Help Those with Autism in Missouri?
Updated: May 24
Cannabis is improving the quality of life for more than 140,000 Missouri residents who have their medical marijuana card. The healing powers of cannabis can help patients with a vast array of medical conditions. You may be surprised to hear how many studies and first-hand accounts suggest that medical marijuana may even be able to help those on the autism spectrum.
What does it mean to be on the autism spectrum?
Autism is a very unique condition, because it has a vast array of symptoms that vary from person to person. According to The Mayo Clinic, Autism Spectrum Disorder is a “condition related to brain development that impacts how a person perceives and socializes with others, causing problems in social interaction and communication.”
There is a reason those with autism are referred to as being “on the spectrum.” That is because there is a wide array, or “spectrum” of symptoms and severity experienced by those who are living with this condition. The CDC estimates that approximately 5.4 million adults in the United States have Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Symptoms of Autism May Vary
Because autism symptoms exist on a spectrum, they may vary greatly from person to person. According to Autism Speaks, the core symptoms of autism are social communication challenges as well as restricted, repetitive behaviors.
Some of the symptoms of autism may appear in early childhood, and often go unrecognized and may interfere with daily living. Because the symptoms exist on the aforementioned spectrum, healthcare professionals often go through a checklist of criteria to determine the level of care that is needed.
Both children and adults who are dealing with autism may find they have a hard time communicating and socializing. They may not understand now to appropriately respond to spoken language, gestures, eye contact, vocal tone, facial expressions, sarcasm, and non-literal expressions.
Additionally, those with autism may have a difficult time recognizing and expressing emotions. They may feel overwhelmed in social situations and have a difficult time taking turns in conversations or appropriately assessing personal space.
Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors
Many individuals on the autism spectrum will experience a varied level of restricted and repetitive behaviors. Some of those can include body movements, such as rocking, spinning, and running back and forth, and repetitive motions with objects, such as spinning wheels and flipping levers.
They may also be susceptible to staring at lights or objects that are spinning or feel a need to engage in ritualistic behaviors such as repeatedly touching objects in a set order. Those with autism may also be resistant to any change in their routine and prefer a set daily schedule, meal menu, etc.
Caring for Someone With Autism Can Be A Challenge
It can be difficult to be a parent or caretaker to someone with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Just as the symptoms can vary widely among those with autism, so can the behaviors.
Sometimes, children with autism can act out with prolonged tantrums. They may become unresponsive or uncommunicative, and it may be necessary to get assistance in dealing with these issues. The severity of autism-related behavior varies from person to person. In more extreme cases, those suffering from autism may engage in behaviors that could hurt themselves or others. It can be frustrating to not know how to help someone that you are caring for.
How Can Cannabis Help?
Studies are showing that medical marijuana may be able to help those who are on the autism spectrum. Although the research is still ongoing, early results are positive.
Joan Fouquette’s son Ezra started experiencing autism symptoms around the age of 17 months. He became completely nonverbal and was prone to episodes of covering his ears and hitting his head on the floor.
In an interview with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta, she details years of trying various methods to help her son without success. When he was 9, she was desperate for a solution, and enrolled him in a clinical trial where he received CBD treatments. Since completing the study, her son hasn’t shown any aggression and has even started singing for the first time in his life. Fouquette said, “I’m getting my boy back!”
Early Studies Show Medical Marijuana May Help those With Autism
In a study that combined CBD and trace amounts of THC to treat patients with autism, the results were “promising in managing behavioral problems associated with autism.” The results included a decrease in behavioral problems, an increase in expressive language, as well as improved cognition and social interactions.
This may come as a surprise, but the life changing benefits of medical marijuana are far reaching. Cannabis is helping those with issues from epilepsy. Studies are even showing that medical marijuana may even be able to treat depression. It’s no wonder that cannabis may also be beneficial to those with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
An abstract published by the National Library of Medicine detailed the results of additional studies on cannabis and its effect on those with autism.
It stated that “studies showed that cannabis products reduced the number and/or intensity of different symptoms, including hyperactivity, attacks of self-mutilation and anger, sleep problems, anxiety, restlessness, psychomotor agitation, irritability, aggressiveness perseverance, and depression.”
The studies also demonstrated “improvement in cognition, sensory sensitivity, attention, social interaction, and language.“
Of course, since autism symptoms vary, it is recommended that you consult with a medical professional before adding cannabis to your treatment plan.
Everyone deserves relief.
Cannabis provides safe, natural relief to any Missouri resident with a medical marijuana card. If you’re ready to see if cannabis is right for you, our doctors are standing by to take you through a quick and easy process to see if you qualify for your medical card. Schedule an appointment with a marijuana professional online by CLICKING HERE, or give us a call at (877) 303-3117 to talk to a patient support representative.
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At Missouri Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (877) 303-3117, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
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