Cannabis Oil – A Miracle Treatment for Autism?
Cannabis oil could become the new miracle autism treatment, according to a unique trial on 120 autism patients in Israel. Conclusions look positive – researchers have hope for autism sufferers, where before there has been no cure.
What is Autism?
The new name for Autism is Autism Spectrum Disorder because it is such a complex disease. Doctors call it a neurobehavioral condition and they think it starts in the early stages of life, or in early childhood. Autism is therefore:
- a form of ill health that affects child development and can last forever
- a condition that influences the way a child experiences everything happening around him or her
- about deficiencies in the way a child socialises, speaks, writes and communicates
- the development of characteristic symptoms including stiff, monotonous behaviour, anti-social performances and more.
Treatment for Autism
There has been no cure for autism for decades, since autism was first diagnosed. Research is ongoing, and professionals use all kinds of medications and strategies to try to assist children with autism. Special educational techniques do help to reduce the intensity of disruptive behaviour in children with autism. Also, the children feel more independent and accepted if they can do things themselves.
The complexity of autism, however, means that there is no single symptom to look out for. There is thus no single treatment that will cure the condition. Professionals start with recognising the individual’s one-of-a-kind strong points. They then look for so-called areas of improvement or weakness. Finally, they try to find the treatment that suits the symptoms.
American specialists say that autism is one of the most rapidly developing diseases in the world. Nearly 2 million people in the USA have autism. Only two approved drugs for the disorder exist, with terrible side effects.
Using Cannabis Oil as a Miracle Treatment for Autism
In Israel, researchers studied the effects of cannabis oil on 120 children and youths, between the ages of 5 and 29. They all suffer some form of autism. A pediatric neurologist led the study. The first experiment with antipsychotic drugs caused negative side effects. There was no real proof that cannabis oil improved autism symptoms in these 120 trial patients.
Meanwhile, there is proof that cannabis oil helps patients with epilepsy. Children with epilepsy experienced fewer and less intensive seizures when given cannabis products. Their behaviour also improved. The Israeli doctor running the cannabis oil and autism trial claims that 70 of his autistic children improved when they took cannabis oil.
How is the Cannabis Oil Used to Treat the Autism?
Researchers gave their patients 2 different kinds of cannabis oil mixed with food. The cannabis oil contained minimal levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the cannabis cannabinoid compound that usually causes a high in users. Children taking the cannabis oil were able to go back to school to work with their peers. They stopped throwing tantrums or trying to hurt themselves. Others were able to communicate better. It seems that anti-psychotic drugs doctors prescribe for autistic children are far more damaging than cannabis oil, especially when it comes to brain development.
The research is ongoing: Israel’s government is behind the medical cannabis research as it has benefits for children with autism. Israel is more open-minded regarding cannabis research than the USA is. It has permitted the use of medical cannabis since 1992. In the USA, however, authorities are far stickier, despite anecdotal evidence that the plant can work wonders with the human body and mind.
Could cannabis oil be the miracle treatment for autism? Watch this space!