Some families have found medical marijuana (Marinol) to be nothing short of miraculous. Some of the symptoms MMJ has ameliorated include anxiety--even severe anxiety--aggression, panic disorder, generalized rage, tantrums, property destruction and self-injurious behavior.
One mother's comments:
"I know it's not the end all answer but it's been the best answer for the longest time for us in regards to ALL the other medications. I cannot tell you how many months we would go on a medication wondering if it was doing anything, anything at all. Here we can see the difference in 30-60 minutes guaranteed."
"My son (who is almost nine years of age) has been on medications to address his severe autistic behaviors including aggression and throwing fits over trivial issues in the environment. He has been difficult to instruct due to these behaviors. None of the medications has ever made a difference, except for making his behaviors worse. He has been through the whole range starting at three and a half with ritalin and dexedrine, and going through prozac, paxil, clonidine, naltrexone, adderall and risperdal. Finally, we gave up on medications and decided to manage his behaviors through behavioral techniques. We had mixed results.
A few months ago we tried the prescription drug Marinol and noticed a drop in the severe episodes, no fits and little to no aggression towards his teacher and family members on a daily basis. A few weeks ago we started him on cannabis and stopped the Marinol. He has been in a much better mood and is much easier to keep on task in the classroom now. There has not been a major fit since he started the Marinol, and the cannabis seems to work just as well with his behaviors and he is now much more easier for his therapists to manage during instruction.
It is not a cure, but just a tool to make things go smoother and prevent disruptions in his learning. He still has days when he gets angry and moody, but we can adjust the dose to help him through those days. It is such a mild medication and there are no long term side effects that can damage the body's organs. I feel much more comfortable administering cannabis) than something like risperdal.
Autism is an unpredictable disorder and even though major behaviors are constants, autistic people have different degrees of their behaviors from day to day. We can tell when he might need an extra dose to get him through a rough day, and due to the fact that there is no toxic overdose, we do not have to be overly concerned with safety issues."