Marijuana for Autism

Photo Credit: PlusLexia.com

Photo Credit: PlusLexia.com

Autism is a developmental disability that may benefit from medical marijuana use. Although research surrounding medical cannabis for autism is lacking, interest is growing within the medical community, anecdotal evidence, and preclinical trials suggest medical marijuana may be able to help.

One 2017 study found the endocannabinoid system plays an important role in regulating neuroinflammation, something that would have a large impact on autism spectrum disorder. Researchers explain, “We postulate that modulation of the ES in ASD could prove a valuable tool to prevent or delay the progression of disease.” Because marijuana has the ability to interact with the endocannabinoid system and bind with its receptors, it could be a way to target the system and help those with autism. Another study found, specifically, that the CB2 receptor could be a potential target for pharmacological care for autism. Another study from Stanford University found altering the endocannabinoid system could contribute to autism pathophysiology. That said, these studies have been conducted on animal models, and so there should be caution before implementing medical marijuana as part of your treatment regimen until there ave been trials translating these effects to human models.

To try medical marijuana for autism, the dosing method is extremely important. Too large of a dose can exacerbate symptoms, while too little may not provide relief. Parents who have anecdotally attested to marijuana’s powers in autism treatment often start with high-CBD low-THC strains, and then titrate from there. Cannabis may also produce negative side effects in those with sub-diagnoses of autism that involve streptococcal infections and/or gastrointestinal and bacterial gut issues. Our journaling tool can make finding the right dose easy! With our app, you can enter the information of your dose, including the ratio of cannabinoids, the amount, how often you take it and the methods of intake, and then keep track of the results, so that you can monitor which combinations provide the best relief! Journaling daily is the most accurate way of keeping track of your regimen.

This information has been provided in part by Leaf Science, and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. This does not represent an endorsement on behalf of Leaf Science for our product.

Treating Autism With Cannabis Now Has Scientific Support

Photo Credit: Civilized

Photo Credit: Civilized

A new study has found CBD extract may be able to provide support for those diagnosed with autism. Many researchers attribute the symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which include problems in communication, odd social interactions, restricted or repetitive movements, to reduced inhibition in the brain. Now, in a breakthrough study, a team of researchers from the University of Washington has sought to use CBD as a way of restoring inhibition in the brain. Scientists used a genetic mouse model, in which the genes have been mutated in order to produce the symptoms of Dravet Syndrome, which includes inducing spontaneous seizures and exhibiting autism-like behaviors, to determine the effects of CBD on autism, specifically. In the model, mice were offered a choice between interacting with other mice or objects. While mice would usually prefer to spend time with other mice, the autistic-like mice usually have no preference and will split their time equally between the two. Upon receiving small amounts of CBD (about 10-20% of the anti-epileptic dose), the autistic-like mice significantly increased the amount of time they spent with other mice. Additionally, CBD reduced the urge autistic-like mice felt in escaping these social situations, and they exhibited improved performance in regards to the quality of their social interactions.

To understand these results, the researchers recorded electrical signals within the brains of the individual mice. They found CBD blocked the brain receptor GPR55 from interfering with how the brain cells communicated, thereby restoring balance and brain inhibition. The next steps will involve breaking down the barriers that exist as a result of cannabis’ Schedule I status so that researchers can test the effects of CBD on autism in large-scale human models. This information has been provided by Civilized and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Australian Biotech Company Wants to Treat Autism Symptoms With Cannabis

Photo Credit: Leafly

Photo Credit: Leafly

In 2017, the Australian biotech company Zelda completed observational trials in Chile suggesting medical cannabis extracts may be effective for treating the core symptoms of Autism, including difficulties in social interactions, language, and repetitive behaviors. The study involved 21 patients, with the median age around 9 years old, who were treated with medical cannabis extracts over the course 12 weeks. The patients were then examined by EEG, neuropsychological analysis, metabolism, and genetic tests. Of those treated with the extracts, 71.4% showed improvements in at least one of their core symptoms, and 66.7% improved overall. Additionally, cannabis extracts were more effective than the more traditional medications.Since then, Zelda has initiated the recruitment for observational trials in the USA, with 15 patients already formally enrolled for trials beginning this year. They hope this will lead to future clinical trials.

This information has been provided by Leafly and Proactive Investors, and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

MMJ Breakthrough Might Be Miracle Treatment for Autism

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

There's an exciting study underway in Israel testing the effects of medical marijuana on autism. Nearly half of the participants of the study had responded negatively to anti-psychotic medications. There has been substantial anecdotal data to support the use of cannabidiol (CBD) for autism, and this clinical study led by Dr. Adi Aran intends to determine if there is in fact a link between CBD and autism symptoms. There are 120 children and young adults between the ages of 5 and 29 who are participating in the study, all of which have a form of autism ranging between mild and severe. Participants receive drops of either a placebo, or one of two different CBD variations, which they mix into food. The study is on track to conclude this year. 

Stay tuned to see what is to come of this study. This information has been provided by High Times Magazine and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Israeli Study Exploring CBD Treatment for Autism Yielding Positive Early Results

Photo Credit: Merry Jane

Photo Credit: Merry Jane

Early results from a new study from the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, Israel, suggests CBD may be effective for children with autism. In the study, researchers gave 120 children and young adults with mild to severe autism one of two cannabis oil formulas or placebo to see if CBD could benefit the condition. While it's still too early to make any definitive conclusions about the effects of CBD on autism, lead researcher and pediatric neurologist Adi Aran says some children have already become more communicative, stopped hurting themselves or throwing tantrums, and those who could return to class had fewer behavioral problems. 

This information has been provided by Merry Jane and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. Stay tuned for the final outcomes of this exciting study. 

Can Medical Marijuana Treat Autism?

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Autism Spectrum Disorder, also known as ASD, refers to a complex range of neurodevelopmental disorders associated with varying degrees of issues with social interaction, issues with verbal and physical communication, and restricted and repetitive behavioral patterns. Some of these disorders include autism (or classical ASD), Asperger syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder. Treatments for ASD focus on skill-oriented training interventions that teach social and language skills, and they may be accompanied by medications for anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive behaviors. Now, studies suggest marijuana may effectively improve behavior and communication abilities by repairing brain function to send clearer signals.

Researchers may have found a link between autism and CB2 receptors. In one study, cell mutations in the brain that were associated with autism blocked the actions of molecules that acted on CB2 receptors. Similarly, two studies found both mice with autistic-like behavioral issues and human subjects possessed upregulated CB2 receptors. These results suggest autism may result from a disruption in the brain that prevents it from sending clear signals. Therefore, cannabinoids might interact with cannabinoid receptors to restore communication and allow for proper cell function and communication. As evidence, one autistic child was given THC for six months and saw improvements in hyperactivity, lethargy, irritability, stereotypy, and inappropriate speech. Mice who also displayed autistic behaviors similar to those of humans were less depressed and able to focus after receiving cannabinoids. Lastly, one study found boosting cannabinoids in the brain corrects behavioral issues associated with fragile x syndrome, which is the most common known genetic cause of autism. 

This information has been brought to you by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Understanding Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - Part 2

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

In the previous post, we gave you a broad overview of the cannabinoid THC. Now, we will go in depth to discuss the many conditions that can benefit from its use. 

Because THC can lower levels of amyloid-beta peptide and enhance mitochondrial function, the cannabinoid could be effective in the treatment of Alzheimer's and slowing its progression. THC may be able to delay the onset of ALS and prolong the survival of neurons, therefore slowing the disease's progression. It can also treat symptoms of the disease, including appetite loss, pain reduction, depression, and drooling. THC can also help those suffering from anorexia by aiding weight gain, stimulating appetite, and increasing the pleasure that coincides with eating.

Those who suffer from Arnold-Chiaro malformation and syringomyelia can benefit from THC by better managing their symptoms, increasing sleep, improving morale, and decreasing pain. Patients with Arthritis can benefit from THC's anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. THC also helps those who suffer from autism, not only by improving hyperactivity, lethargy, irritability, stereotypy and inappropriate speech, but also by activating CB2 receptors in order to restore neural communication and proper cell function. Activating the CB2 receptors also allows THC to sustain bone health by stimulating bone growth and inhibiting bone breakdown.

We will continue our discussion of THC in relation to various conditions in the following post. This information has been brought to you by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Juicing Cannabis for Health

Photo Credit: High Times

Photo Credit: High Times

If you're a patient who desires the therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana but do not want to feel the psychoactive effects some cannabis strains provide, you may want to consider juicing your cannabis. Juicing utilizes the raw leaves and buds of cannabis alongside other fruits and vegetables, which adds essential cannabinoid acids and other vitamins and nutrients to your daily routine.

By juicing cannabis, a patient can avoid feeling any psychoactive effects because the plant's cannabinoids have not been decarboxylated through the application of heat. In this way, THC stays in its acidic form, allowing it to provide anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic medicinal benefits without providing any head-altering effects. THCa is credited with being helpful in the treatment of ALS, autism, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and neuropathic pain.

This information has been provided by High Times and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Medical Marijuana: What the Research Shows. Part 2

Photo Credit:  REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files ( https://www.flickr.com/photos/117032936@N08/14634860422)

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files (https://www.flickr.com/photos/117032936@N08/14634860422)

Due to the fact there is no single organization that conducts research surrounding marijuana for medicinal purposes, it is hard to keep track of the information that exists. Luckily, Web MD has compiled some of the information obtained from various studies and organizations and created a summary of the different uses of medical marijuana.

One study found that synthetic THC was able to stimulate appetite and reduce agitation when used as a treatment for the symptoms of Alzheimer's. Two studies conducted on animals revealed the chemicals in cannabis could help symptoms of some forms of autism, and a human study is currently being conducted on children with autism at the University of California Irvine Medical Center. There are several studies that reveal THC and other cannabinoids may slow the growth of brain cancer, and some lab studies on human cells show there is potential for cannabinoids to slow other other types of cancer as well. Over 45 studies have analyzed the effects of marijuana on the pain associated with chronic diseases, the majority resulting in pain relief as effective as and preferable to placebo or traditional pain medications, but about a quarter of the studies showed no improvement whatsoever. 

There exists a significant amount of anecdotal and clinical evidence that suggests the cannabidiol, or CBD, found in cannabis may help reduce seizures in children with epilepsy. Personal stories and early studies suggest smoking marijuana could relive the symptoms of colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, and other digestive diseases by relieving bowl inflammation and reducing acid reflux. In addition, because relieving these symptoms allowed some patients to retain more nutrients, their diseases subsequently went into remission. Studies looking at marijuana for the treatment of MS have reported the therapy relaxed patients' muscles and reduced pain. While not approved in the U.S, Sativex, a marijuana based drug, is approved in 24 countries for the treatment of MS. Lastly, there are two clinical trials that show THC and CBD could help reduce psychosis and other symptoms related with schizophrenia.

This post comes as part of a two part series, and the information has been approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Can Cannabis Treat Autism?

Photo Credit: Whaxy

Photo Credit: Whaxy

One of the difficulties when it comes to treating autism is that autism is not a specific disease, but rather a variety of diseases under the broad umbrella Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). What all of the conditions have in common, however, is that it is a brain development disorder that effects children at a young age and impacts their communication and social skills. The conditions often cause patients to misinterpret actions, which can make them become hostile and aggressive due to this misunderstanding. Some of the symptoms associated with ASD conditions include hyperactivity, attention disorders, seizures, panic disorders, anxiety, tantrums, and self-injury, of which many believe cannabis may be able to relieve.

Studies suggest one cause of autism is endocannabinoid deficiency in the human body. According to researchers at Stanford University, autism could be the result of a gene mutation that blocks the body's production of endocannabinoids and interferes with cannabinoid communication with the brain. The Autism Research Institute says pharmaceutical drugs are insufficient when treating autism, often delivering undesirable side effects, but that cannabis is effective in treating the symptoms associated with different forms of autism. "Some of the symptoms medical marijuana has ameliorated include: Anxiety - even sever anxiety- aggression, panic disorder, generalized rage, tantrums, property destuction, and self-injurious behavior." 

Quite a significant amount of parental testimonies exist in support of cannabis as a treatment method for targeting the symptoms of autism, but until cannabis is rescheduled, it will be difficult to conduct extensive clinical trials on its use. It is important to remember that efficacy can vary due to the varying degrees of ASD conditions. For more information on the use of medical marijuana for autism, and for a detailed look at specific success stories, read Whaxy's analysis here

A Nevada Family Sees the Positive Impacts of Medical Marijuana on Their Child

Photo Credit: Whaxy

Photo Credit: Whaxy

Marijuana is classified as a schedule 1 drug, meaning it has no medicinal properties, but this classification is misleading. Unfortunately, because of this classification, there is relatively little clinical research in the U.S. due to limited access to the plant. What research does exist points to significant therapeutic value in a wide array of ailments, and we have countless testimonies from people who use cannabis to treat their symptoms and conditions that back up these claims. One such testimony exists from a family in Nevada who chose to use medical marijuana to treat their 14 year old son's autism and epilepsy. 

The pharmaceutical medications available to young Tyler Richard were ineffective in controlling the symptoms of his condition. Because of his epilepsy and autism, Tyler was unable to sleep and suffered seizures of varying strengths that sometimes caused facial paralysis. The University of California, San Francisco, recommended medical marijuana as a part of Tyler's treatment regimen, so Tyler's mom, Toni Richard, started using cannabis oil to treat her son's conditions. She immediately saw improvement in Tyler's symptoms, who was able to sleep soundly through the night and improve mentally in school.

Medical marijuana seemed to be the appropriate choice for treating Tyler's conditions, but Whaxy tells us starting Tyler's therapy wasn't an easy process for Toni. "The issue Toni has had throughout the process hasn't been with cannabis directly, but in the manner that she is forced to learn, all on her own, about the best ways to treat her son. Whether it is the appropriate dosage, where to purchase it, or what strain to buy, she has been on her own."

It's stories like these that inspired us at CannaBest Medical to create our app. We saw a vast need for information surrounding the medication for those that don't know where to begin, and we are hoping the data we collect will make the process easier for those like Tyler who want to try medical marijuana to treat their symptoms but know nothing about it. 

To learn more about Tyler's success story, read this feature from Whaxy.