Contributor: KC Scannell
It is obviously no secret that marijuana is one of the most beneficial, naturally-growing medicines available. The laundry list of benefits that this miraculous plant can produce, along with its scant, hardly damaging “side effects” (sleepiness, increased hunger, etc.) make it one of the most sought after forms of medicine today. However, with our federal government being the collection of bumbling idiots that they are, the amount of research that can be done on cannabis, and its various mediums, is at a stand-still.
This is mostly due to their criminal mis-categorization of cannabis as a Schedule One substance. Being a Schedule One substance means, in the eyes of the federal government, it’s dangerous, possessing absolutely no medicinal properties, and extremely illegal to partake in. All of which, as you can plainly see, are grossly inaccurate. Advocates are working tirelessly to reverse this ruling, and help the federal government see the error of their ways, but as of now, there has been little to no improvement on the matter.
Autistic Children Are Using CBD To Deal With Their Symptoms
Which means we have to look elsewhere for cannabis research. One of the more positive pieces of research to occur in recent months came out of the Middle Eastern country of Israel. Their study focused on autistic children and how CBD – the non-psychoactive form of marijuana – could potentially help them. What they found was truly astonishing.
These poor children, up to this point, had been taken an onslaught of prescription drugs. All of which were “designed” to help with specific ailments they were enduring on a daily basis. But, those promises of relief were all for naught, as the vast majority of them felt little-to-no improvements in their conditions from this pill-based routine that they were on.
When these Israeli researchers administered some CBD to these children, a whopping 80% experienced major improvements in their conditions. Such a discovery is not only life-changing for these children, but it has the chance to change the world, should more concrete evidence be found during the course of this study.
To be more specific about the intricate details about this story, Dr. Adi Aran of Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Hospital, treated 60 autistic children with a CBD oil regimen for at least 7 months. After, the parents of these children were sat down and given a lengthy interview. In which, they were asked specific, pointed questions pertaining to any and all changes in their child’s anxiety levels, behavioral changes, and things of this nature.
First off, half of the children were reported to have drastically improved their personal communication skills. Which is something most autistic children struggle with the most. On top of that, 40% of these children were said to have dramatically lessened their anxiety levels. Also, 80% of the parents said that the usual “problematic behaviors” their children would have on a regular basis decreased in a major way.
This collected data, as you can already guess, is a tremendous victory for not only families with autistic children, but for the world, as a whole. For those unaware, autism numbers have been on the rise recently, with no real prevention for the disease being found. To put it more in perspective, in 2018 the odds of your child being born with, or soon developing, autism was 1 in 59. Back in 2004, those numbers were 1 in 166. Obviously, these cases have become way more prevalent in recent years, which has increased the demand by patients and families for a better way to treat this debilitating disease.
Typically, when a physician is presented with an autistic child, they don’t even entertain the idea of natural medicine, such as CBD. Instead, they do what most doctors do, and prescribe them a litany of pills and opioids. However, not only are these pills often ineffective, they have a plethora of damaging side-effects that could ultimately make things even worse. So, to say that we are in need of a more gentle form of medication, would be a drastic understatement. It’s a must.
This may have you wondering, “Well, if it’s so harmless and proven to work, why aren’t more parents using CBD?” Which is a very fair question. If tasked with trying to answer that difficult, layered inquiry, I would have to assume that it has a lot to do with the lingering negative stigma that surrounds cannabis. In other words, parents are very wary about having their autistic child be subjected to marijuana, specifically CBD, at such a young age. However, I would argue that this mentality would cease to be, should the federal government actually realize how beneficial cannabis is – especially for diseases, such as this.
Perhaps, that tide is starting to change. While the federal government largely disapproves of cannabis and its various forms, there was a study conducted by the FDA back in 2015 that showed a lot of promise. Back then, they approved a CBD oil elixir from British developer, GW Pharmaceuticals, called Epidiolex.
This elixir was proven to be very helpful for children dealing with epilepsy. Also, it should be noted that most children with autism also suffer from epilepsy, too. If companies like this can get approval from the FDA, chances are it could start a trend amongst other CBD companies who are devoted to helping people get the relief they so desperately need (and deserve).
In New York, there’s a neurologist named Dr. Orrin Devinsky. He works at NYU and, other than Dr. Aran in Israel, he’s the only other doctor currently conducting research on CBD and its effectiveness on children with mild-to-severe autism. Seeing as how epilepsy is a common occurrence with children suffering from autism, he chose to use the acceptance of Epidiolex as a jumping off point for his research.
As courageous and important as these two doctors are, we need more. We can’t simply rely on two people to change the world with their studies. Because, as we’ve seen time and time again, the federal government needs more than just a few series of studies to even entertain the idea of allowing cannabis use of this nature to be acceptable in this country.
All across the globe, millions of autistic children are yearning for some relief; something to alleviate their stresses and anxieties. And CBD is right there, ready and willing to help out. But, due to the negative stigma surrounding cannabis, and the federal government still dragging its feet on nationwide legalization, many families are skeptical about this route of medicine.
Hopefully, the scientific community will step up and help Dr. Devinsky and Dr. Aran with their vital studies in this field. The more eyes on this study, the better. Plus, that will result in even more positive data that will ultimately be too glaring to ignore. Before too long, the federal government will feel obligated to not only allow the use of cannabis from coast to coast, but encourage it. Especially given how the opioid crisis is slowly tearing this country apart. These children need all the help they can get, and soon, more and more of them will be able to experience relief through the implementation of CBD into their daily routines.