Posted in: Health

Marijuana Affects Autism, But Not How You’d Think [Study]

A new study on how marijuana affects autism will undoubtedly fuel the flames of the debate over medical cannabis, particularly given its implications on the uncharted use of pot in kids for medical conditions.

The study on how marijuana affects autism is not the first to suggest cannabinoids can be helpful not only to older people with conditions like cancer, glaucoma, and even AIDS, but younger people who we’ve spent decades trying to “protect” from the supposed deleterious effects of weed.

That marijuana affects autism in a possibly therapeutic way adds to the chorus of parents of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) who have suggested the mild sedative can supplement or even negate the need for stimulant and speed-like drugs commonly used to treat the condition. (Such as Ritalin, Adderall, or any of its high-potency brethren.)

The study, published in the journal Neuron, examines how marijuana affects autism in children and the possible therapeutic applications of the drug in such a context.

Researchers have examined the effect of marijuana on mice in similar fashions, and The Joint Blog quotes earlier research:

“Danielle Piomelli of UC Irvine and Olivier Manzoni of INSERM, the French national research agency, treated mice exhibiting symptoms of Fragile-X Syndrome, a disorder that causes autistic symptoms, with novel compounds that correct the signaling of endocannibinoid transmitters in the brain [which cannabinoids can do]. The mice showed dramatic behavioral improvements in maze tests measuring anxiety and open-space acceptance.”

University of Maryland neuroscientist Bradley Alger did not participate in the most recent research on marijuana’s autism effects, but says that the study opens more doors in drilling down the mysteries of autism:

“It’s a very stimulating finding which could be a real turning point in understanding tonic endocannabinoids and how this otherwise mysterious lipid signaling really works.”

Researchers say much more study on how marijuana affects autism is needed before considering the therapy a practical application for the condition, particularly in children.

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Comments

19 Responses to “Marijuana Affects Autism, But Not How You’d Think [Study]”

  1. Alex Bekkerman

    This is a very good example of why marijuana should be legal everywhere, it's just the most useful plant in the world!

  2. Jose Gonzales

    The Autism Industrial Complex is not the least bit happy with this development. This will result in another faction fighting to keep it illegal.

  3. Nicole Ramage

    As the parent of an autistic child with ADHD, I would much rather allow my child to smoke pot then pump him full of drugs. The rate at which a doctor is willing to pull out the prescription pad is ALARMING. To prescribe drugs like adderall, sleep drugs, and other heavily sedating drugs to young children is more than a little disturbing.

  4. Mark Elrod

    Until we escape from the death grip of the "United Corporations of America," marijuana will never be completely legal. There are so many reasons that corporations want to keep it illegal, which all boil down to putting a dent in their profits.

  5. Cannabis for Autism

    Mark Elrod or better still, check out Idrasil – the marijuana pill.
    A balanced mix of THC, CBD and CBN, I believe.
    Pure THC can be one hell of a ride and there is a *rumour' it might slightly increase frequency and severity of seizure activity in some at-risk children with autism.

    For most with autism, I'm sure pure THC is ok but please don't take the risk without being seriously well-informed :)

  6. Toni Ann Hanskett-Mills

    Medical cannabis comes in SEVERAL forms and many are not smoked and MANY do not have the psychoactive effect that comes with smoking or vaporizing. Our pediatric patients don't smoke joints, they use oils, tinctures, lotions etc. ;) Almost 28 yrs in the health care field and 14 of those years Medical cannabis has been used with patients. Not 1 patient that I have worked with has died due to the effects of medical cannabis! NOT ONE~ I can not say the same about many of the pharmaceutical medications the Providers I worked for scripted out. That is a fact that no one can ague with!

  7. Mark Elrod

    Cannabis for Autism Well, I am sure, as with most medications, you shouldn't give them to children without consulting a doctor, first.