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Medical Cannabis Resources

Medical Cannabis is becoming an increasingly more popular treatment with the recent legalization of its use in many states including Maryland. While cannabis is not being prescribed specifically for Autism, the cannabinoids (including THC, CBC, CBD, CBG and CBN) are being used to treat symptoms commonly experienced by patients with Autism. In Maryland, qualifying medical conditions include cachexia, anorexia, wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, severe or persistent muscle spasms, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or another chronic medical condition which is severe and for which other treatments have been ineffective.


What is Medical Cannabis and how does it work on the body?

Medical cannabis (marijuana) uses the cannabis plant, or the chemicals found in the plant, to treat various conditions in the body. Every human body possesses a network of receptors and molecules called the endocannabinoid system or ECS. This network helps carry out the chemical and physical processes that maintain health–functions that range from regulating sleep and managing stress, to fighting pain and curbing appetite. If the body is unable to produce enough endocannabinoids or regulate them properly, the endocannabinoid system may break down, which can alter how our memory, pain management, immune system and other physiological processes function. The cannabis plant consists of numerous naturally occurring cannabinoids, which can step in to revive the ECS. The two main ones are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is psychoactive (affecting the mind), and strains containing THC have been used for pain, nausea, sleep, and stress disorders. Strains that emphasize CBD may help alleviate pain, inflammation, and seizures associated with epilepsy.*

PFA Tips: What is Medical Cannabis?

 


Maryland Resources

Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission
This site contains information including:

  • the Maryland medical cannabis laws and regulations
  • the application process to obtain a patient medical cannabis card
  • registration events
  • lists of registered providers and dispensaries
  • information for caregivers

Who is eligible to register as a patient?
Any Maryland resident whose provider recommends medical cannabis as a treatment option for a qualifying medical condition is eligible to register with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) as a patient.  Qualifying medical conditions include cachexia, anorexia, wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, severe or persistent muscle spasms, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or another chronic medical condition which is severe and for which other treatments have been ineffective.

PFA Tips: Medical Cannabis: Process for Applying in Maryland

 


Research Studies

New Study on Cannabis and Autism Supports Parents’ Longtime Claims
A recent study out of Israel, which approved cannabis research in 2007, gives parents new evidence to back up those claims. Published Jan 17, 2019, in the journal Nature, the study found that yes, cannabis can relieve some of the symptoms suffered by many autistic people, including seizures, restlessness, and rage attacks.  The study, “Real Life Experience of Medical Cannabis Treatment in Autism; Analysis of Safety and Efficacy,” followed 188 autism spectrum disorder (ASD) patients over a six-month period. The subjects were mostly male (81.9%) and had a mean age of 12.9 years, with 14 of the participants younger than five, 70 patients between six and 10, and 72 patients between 11 and 18. Their autism symptoms included “restlessness, rage attacks, agitation, speech impairment, cognitive impairment, anxiety, incontinence, depression and more.”

U.S. Study to Explore Whether Cannabis Compound Eases Severe Symptoms of Autism
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine are preparing a first-of-its-kind, multidisciplinary investigation to determine if and how cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant, provides therapeutic benefit to children with severe symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Children with autism needed for medical marijuana study at CHOP
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is seeking patients to participate in an observational study of medical cannabis. The study will not provide marijuana products to participants. Researchers want to partner with families whose children have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and are already consuming medical cannabis from state-licensed dispensaries

 


Online Support Groups and Other Additional Resources

Facebook Group – Whole Plant Access for Autism Support Group

Whole Plant Access for Autism

Patient Resources from the Society of Cannabis Clinicians

Patient’s Guide to CBD from Americans for Safe Access


*Source: Curio Wellness

**Pathfinders for Autism (PFA) does not endorse any specific treatments or therapies. Information provided is not meant to serve as medical advice. PFA urges individuals exploring any treatment to work with their treating physician to make the best decisions for their own care. Patients considering the use of medical cannabis need to be aware of Maryland’s law and regulations. PFA supports the need for more scientific research on cannabinoids for autism related symptoms.

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