Autism is a disability that affects those who have it from seeing the world like everyone else and therefore how they interact with others can be very different. It alters how they hear, see and feel within their environment. For those who say they have a cure for autism, they are not telling the truth. Autism is a way of life for those who have it, and they consider it as a part of their identity and it defines who they are.
There have been limited studies into the use of medical cannabis for autism therefore most of the astonishing results we hear of are based on anecdotal evidence. Just like this case of a mother (who does not wish to be identified due to potential backlash) who decided to use medical cannabis to treat her sons sever autistic symptoms.
What we do know however is that studies are showing that the combination of both THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol) provide a calming effect within the brain from the endocannabinoid system (ECS). It is suggested that the THC provides the neurological benefits but the CBD stops the THC from getting the patient high. This means more benefits and less side effects especially from the modern medications which can result in liver damage.
Joey was diagnosed with sever autism when he was very young (16 months old) which affects his ability to walk and communicate and can be fatal. After living with little relief for many years and doctors saying Joey “was very hostel and a danger to others around him”, Joeys mother decided something had to be done.
They began using modern medications prescribed by doctors, sometimes using six powerful medications at once. However most of them didn’t work very well and left Joey with some serious side effects such as liver damage, minor seizures, insomnia and even drastic weight loss (malnutrition/anorexia). These are all very troubling side effects from medications which are supposed to be making things better.
Eventually Joey’s mother stopped using the prescribed medications and decided to try medical cannabis. She gives it to her son through cookies and brownies and she has said “now he is a different boy”. After taking medical cannabis Joey’s sever side effects from prescribed medication went away and his autistic symptoms dulled, allow both he and his family to experience a better life and relationship.
Joey’s doctor (who also does not wish to wish appear on camera) said that after a few weeks she noticed a different with in Joey saying “he has cheeks again” obviously referring to Joey’s weight and overall well being.
His mother also pointed out that after taking medical cannabis his appetite improved which is helping Joey gain the much needed nutrients he requires for his basic development needs. He is also appearing calmer, less on edge and his repetitive habits have completely gone. He is also starting to make sounds to communicate which he had never done before.
Dr Drew Pinski states that there is no such thing as a bad drug when they have liabilities and the potential to help people when used properly. He points out in this situation medical cannabis “is helping a kid”. He also points out that like any medical treatment the doses and use of medical cannabis will need to be monitored to avoid overuse or potential cases of anxiety or addiction. He does highlight however it is unlikely with a child who has no history of addiction.
Both Joeys mother and Dr Pinski agree that further research is needed, which is a classic story you hear with medical cannabis due to its restrictions on testing and further research.