Genny, a 16-year-old girl with autism, suffered severe seizures daily before she began medicating with cannabis. Today, not only have her seizures decreased to one every five days, her mental cognition has improved and she’s able to form small sentences. “When she recently spoke the words ‘I love mamma,’ her family was brought to tears.”
Though medical marijuana is legal in New Jersey where Genny and her family live, getting the medicine is not easy.
“There are still just five dispensaries in New Jersey, serving just over 1,500 patients. Genny’s family travels monthly, but are hoping to switch to a newly approved location [closer to home]. The cost is $12,000 a year – all out of pocket.”
Still, many families rely on cannabis to treat autism, and for good reason, says Christian Bogner, a board certified physician in Michigan, who has a child with autism spectrum disorder. “1 in 68 kids is diagnosed with autism in the US. There [are] no effective treatments that are readily available. About 3.5 million Americans are affected …and each year the incidence raises 10 percent. It is a 236 billion dollar problem in this country per year, and in 10 years it will be a 400 billion dollar problem.” He included in a petition to legalize medical cannabis in Michigan.
Learn the science behind cannabis and autism spectrum disorder in Dr. Bogner’s study, “The Endocannabinoid System as it Relates to Autism,” a 3-part series published on MedicalJane.