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Autism Spectrum Disorders

Posted by Mark Sircus - Director on 07 February 2012

Medical Marijuana

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On the very last night before my staff put my book, Medical Marijuana, into production for publication, I read an incredible story by Steve Davis about a man and his wife who “cured autism” in their daughter with cannabis. It’s not really incredible; it is exactly what one would expect.

It is important for the entire autism community to wake up and take on the cause of legalization and use of cannabis for autism spectrum disorders. If one studies the pharmacological profile of cannabinoids, it’s easy to conclude that cannabis is the ideal medicine for autistic children and others with neurological conditions. In terms of safety it makes criminals out of the doctors and psychiatrists who administer exceptionally dangerous pharmaceuticals.

Doctors told the couple that their daughter was near the most severe end of the autistic spectrum and offered little help or hope that the girl could even partially overcome the condition. “We were desperate. We got a high-CBD tincture,” said the father, referring to the marijuana compound called cannabidiol, known for its sedative rather than intoxicating effects. “We gave it to her. Within an hour, she was in deep sleep for the first time since we noticed the autism, or maybe the first time in her life.”

Medical marijuana helped their daughter calm down, have a better appetite, and relate emotionally in a warm and caring way, not typical of severely autistic children. “When the medical marijuana takes effect and she is so present and happy, I have tears in my eyes,” the girl’s mom explained. “She is beating autism. She now looks us in the eyes. She smiles. She plays with our cat. She started getting along with other kids. The autism would not let her do that before, but with the medical marijuana, she can do that.”

You can count on one hand the number of American doctors willing to recommend medical marijuana for children. Most doctors and social workers say marijuana is always bad for children, including autistic children.

I had already written about Mieko Hester-Perez who went public on television about giving medical marijuana to her autistic son Joey. She says it saved his life! I published a few years ago the words of an extremely experienced doctor in the autism area:

“It seems to me if one is going to need to use drugs, one ought to consider a relatively safe drug, like marijuana,” said Bernard Rimland, Ph.D., formerly of the Autism Research Institute. “The reports we are seeing from parents indicate that medical marijuana often works when no other treatments, drug or non-drug, have helped.”

Writing in Neuroendocrinology Letters and the European Journal of Pharmacology, Dr. Ester Fride of the Behavioral Sciences Department of Israel’s College of Judea and Samar says, “A role for the endocannabinoid system for the human infant is likely.” She notes that in animals, the endogenous cannabinoid system fulfills several important developmental functions including: embryonal implantation (which requires a temporary and localized reduction in the production of the endocannabinoid anandamide), neural development, neuroprotection, the development of memory and oral-motor skills, and the initiation of suckling in newborns.

Dr. Fride strongly recommends the use of cannabinoids in pediatric medicine. She notes that “excellent clinical results” have been reported in pediatric oncology and in case studies of children with severe neurological diseases or brain trauma, and suggests that cannabis-derived medicines could also play a role in the treatment of other childhood syndromes, including the pain and gastrointestinal inflammation associated with cystic fibrosis.

Steve Davis concluded, “Medical marijuana helped their daughter calm down, have a better appetite, and relate emotionally in a warm and caring way not typical of severely autistic children. Not only that, it was less expensive and far more effective than the pharmaceutical medicines it replaced.”

Calm down is the right description of one of the general properties of cannabis—it helps people calm down and relax and shed off some of the stress without any of the severe problems and side effects of pharmaceuticals sold for this purpose.

In case you are out of touch or have your head buried in the ground, stress is a growing problem in every corner of the globe and it affects our health enormously. Everyone is in reality needing to calm down or stay calm, because stress is heading only upward.

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According to the National Sleep Foundation 27 percent of Americans
are having difficulty sleeping because of losing their jobs, the economy
and their own personal finances. Stress is increasing and will get
worse as the world economy contracts. Thus I recommend
magnesium chloride always be used with cannabis.

The involvement of free radicals in tissue injury induced by magnesium deficiency causes an accumulation of oxidative products in heart, liver, kidney and skeletal muscle tissue, and in red blood cells.[1] Magnesium is a crucial factor in the natural self-cleansing and detoxification responses of the body and it certainly helps people sleep better than any pharmaceutical. Nothing will de-stress one’s cells faster than raising one’s cellular magnesium levels.

Conclusion

“Because of the drug war, tens of thousands of autistic children and adults will remain locked in by autism, and unable to get a medicine that really works,” the mom says, “Closed-mindedness prevents researchers and parents from openly exploring the healing effects of medical marijuana…. a plant that gave us our daughter back.”

The closed-mindedness this mother speaks of is a silent type of violence. People would stagger under the psychological weight of knowing how horrible our institutions really are. We are a violent and vicious race and I think that statement is sustained no matter how much we all think good of ourselves. The war on drugs is just one terrifying example, and the childhood vaccination programs, in which the vast majority willingly participate, is another.

Medicine is in its darkest days and the entire human race is suffering for it. Medicine and industry made a devil’s bargain and the arrogance of professional men just gobble it up as they earn their gravy.


[1] Martin, Hélène. Richert, Lysiane. Berthelot, Alain Magnesium Deficiency Induces Apoptosis in Primary Cultures of Rat Hepatocytes.* Laboratoire de Physiologie, et Laboratoire de Biologie Cellulaire, UFR des Sciences Médicales et Pharmaceutiques, Besançon, France. 2003 The American Society for Nutritional Sciences J. Nutr. 133:2505-2511, August 2003