Autism & Medical Marijuana

Autism is a brain development disorder characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior.  These signs all begin before a child is three years old.  The autism spectrum disorders (ASD) also include related conditions with milder signs and symptoms like Asperger's syndrome.  Autism has a strong genetic basis, although the genetics of autism are complex and it is unclear whether ASD is explained more by multi-gene interactions or by rare mutations.  In rare cases, autism is strongly associated with agents that cause birth defects.  Other proposed causes, such as childhood vaccines, are controversial, and the vaccine hypotheses lack any convincing scientific evidence.  The prevalence of ASD is about 6/1,000 people, with about four times as many boys as girls be affected.  The number of people known to have autism has increased dramatically since the 1980s, partly due to changes in diagnostic practice; the question of whether actual prevalence has increased is unresolved.  Autism affects many parts of the brain; how this occurs is not really understood by the scientific community.  Parents usually notice signs in the first two years of their child’s life.  Although early behavioral or cognitive intervention can help children gain self-care, social, and communication skills, there is no known cure.  Few children with autism live independently after reaching adulthood, but some become successful, and an autistic culture has developed, with some seeking a cure and others believing that autism is a condition rather than a disorder.

According to the Autism Research Institute’s  website, “some of the symptoms medical marijuana has ameliorated [in autistic children] include:   anxiety–even severe anxiety, aggression, panic disorder, generalized rage, tantrums, property destruction and self-injurious behavior.”

Here’s a touching story from a mother (Mieko Hester-Perez at The Unconventional Foundation for Autism) whose experience —”after trying any number of prescription drugs” — is pretty sure that marijuana has alleviated — not cured, but ” alleviated and improved” — her son’s autism.


Medical Marijuana helps relieve many symptoms associated with Autism-anxiety, aggression, panic disorders, generalized rage, tantrums, property destruction, and self-injury behavior.

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