Most autism parents at some point come across the idea of cannabis. Whether it is presented to them as a cure if they’re still looking for one or they’re willing to try it to help them cope with some of less pleasant aspects of autism. And by that I mean improve quality of life of the family, not merely get high and be carefree for a while, what one might have thought reading the previous sentence. Let’s investigate a bit.
Cannabis has been around for ages. During last decades it has gained various colloquial names, most commonly it is called weed, marijuana, pot and the list goes on and on. However, Cannabis is merely a genus. What we are more interested here is its species. One is called Cannabis Sativa, the other is called Cannabis Indica and the two are not to be mistaken for each other.
Youngsters often attempt to express their rebellion while using cool lingo and therefore they glorify Cannabis Sativa. Which is funny because Cannabis Sativa is basically just industrial hemp. The plant that is grown for manufacture of ropes, cloth, cosmetic products and even food. It is also found as a weed in poorly nurtured gardens. The plant that is used for getting high is called Cannabis Indica.
I will not get into the various ways how the two plants are used or consumed. I will only try to clarify and explain the difference between both.
The difference between the two is in their pharmacology. They both contain over 500 constituents, among which are two more widely known: THC and CBD (click for more on CBD and autism). The first one, tertrahydrocannabinol (THC), is the psychoactive component of the plant, while the latter, cannabidiol (CBD), is not. Both components are present in both species, but in different concentrations. Cannabis Sativa has higher concentrations of CBD, which is known and widely used for its medicinal effects. It is used as a dietary supplement for treating various diseases and alleviating symptoms. It contains a low concentration of THC, but that still doesn’t make it psychoactive. Recently has been proven that CBD even blocks the effect of THC in the nervous system. Cannabis Indica on the other hand has high concentration of THC and low concentration of CBD. So if you smoke a joint after you have read about the benefits of CBD, you really don’t need to smoke anything. You’re already dellusional without THC. On a more serious note, both plants are used for medical purposes. Hemp (the one with CBD) can be widely used as a dietary supplement, while marijuana is used as a perscription only drug with numerous restrictions and only in certain cases.
To sum up, I still stand strong that autism does not need a cure. However, everyday life can sometimes be a struggle and some comorbidities can appear. In dealing with that, natural remedies like CBD can be helpful. And to answer the opening question, if you haven’t figure out by now: you can’t. The only way the industrial hemp will make you feel elated is when you will be laughing at people thinking they can get intoxicated by it. And that’s the only high anyone should strive for.