Can Cannabis be Used to Treat Autism Symptoms?

Recent research has shown how medical cannabis can effectively treat and manage the symptoms for many medical conditions, including cancer and cancer treatment, chronic pain, ALS, and more.

One such condition is autism, a developmental disability that impacts social interaction, communication, and behaviors. Many studies suggest that medical marijuana can provide a number of benefits for autism patients.

What Is Autism?

As studies expand and medical experts examine the effects of medical marijuana on other conditions, many patients, families, and caregivers wonder how cannabis can be used to treat symptoms of autism.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by a number of symptoms, including but not limited to:

  • Repeating certain actions over and over again
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Wanting to be alone
  • Preferring not to be held or cuddled
  • Not wanting to play pretend games
  • Repeating or echoing words and phrases
  • Having difficulty relating to other people
  • Not expressing interest in other people at all
  • Not knowing how to talk, play, or relate to others

Autism exists on a spectrum, and each person with this condition exhibits a unique set of symptoms. Severe cases can result in aggression, self-injury, and rage.

While many people with autism are self-sufficient, these symptoms can cause significant hardship, social stigma, and difficulty interacting with others.

How Can Medical Marijuana Help People with ASD?

Children and adults with severe autism spectrum disorder may benefit from medical marijuana, according to recent studies. However, these studies are small; more large-scale, wide-reaching, and placebo-controlled research is necessary.

A 2019 paper from researchers in Israel found that 30% of ASD patients treated with cannabis oil for six months saw significant symptom improvement, and 50% saw moderate improvement.

Another 2018 study saw that using medical marijuana to treat autism symptoms improved behavioral outbreaks in more than 60% of child patients.

However, some parents, experts, and autism advocates are unsure whether these studies prove marijuana could treat symptoms of ASD. The research is new and limited, and more long-term studies are required to determine the efficacy of this treatment. However, many people with ASD have taken medical cannabis and seen improvements in their symptoms.

Remember, medical marijuana may not be right for everyone. You will need to visit a medical marijuana doctor in your state who is certified to evaluate qualifying conditions and determine whether or not this treatment is viable. Some states do not have autism listed as a qualifying condition.

If you or someone you care for has autism and you believe medical cannabis can help, contact the Sanctuary Wellness Institute today. Our friendly staff will connect you to a certified marijuana doctor in your state who can evaluate your condition and determine whether or not medical cannabis could help. We will also inform you of the applicable medical marijuana laws in your state.

Call us today at (484) 346-5140 to schedule your appointment. We will gladly answer any questions you may have.

Medical Marijuana Treatment for HIV/AIDS: What You Need to Know

Human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) affects approximately 37.9 million people around the world. These chronic, life-threatening conditions can result in unpleasant, severe symptoms that impact the quality of life for the patients with this condition.

However, many states across the country have approved medical marijuana as an effective treatment for HIV and AIDS. This alternative treatment can provide a number of benefits for HIV/AIDS patients, including pain relief, nausea control, and appetite increase.

What Is HIV/AIDS?

AIDS is a condition caused by the progression of HIV, a virus that can be transmitted through sexual activity, infected blood, or through pregnancy, breastfeeding, or childbirth. HIV/AIDS damages immune systems, harming the body’s ability to fight off infection. While there is no cure for HIV/AIDS, many modern medications can help slow its progression.

Symptoms for this condition vary depending on the state of the disease the patient is at. For example, people with acute HIV may develop fever, headache, and diarrhea, among other symptoms, 2 to 4 weeks after infection. People with AIDS are more likely to develop opportunistic infections and may experience sweats, chills, recurring fever, and weakness.

Treatment for these conditions can be difficult as well. Side effects may include nausea, vomiting, heart disease, weakened bones, and emotional problems, among others.

Medical Marijuana as Treatment for HIV/AIDS

In conjunction with medication and other treatment options, medical marijuana can provide significant relief for HIV/AIDS patients. The effects of cannabis can relieve many symptoms associated with these conditions and their treatments.

For example, cannabis can help control nausea and increase appetite, encouraging HIV/AIDS patients to eat even when they are experiencing unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms. Marijuana can also relieve pain, helping HIV/AIDS patients engage in day-to-day activities without distraction.

While medical cannabis is not likely to interact with other HIV/AIDS medications, it is imperative that patients visit a physician certified in their state to recommend medical cannabis to discuss if this treatment is right for them. After a patient receives a certification for medical marijuana, they can apply for a medical cannabis card, depending on the laws in their state.

Contact the Sanctuary Wellness Institute Today

If you are an HIV/AIDS patient interested in introducing medical marijuana to your treatment program, contact the Sanctuary Wellness Institute. Our team will walk you through the steps necessary to obtain a cannabis card in your state, and connect you with a certified doctor who can evaluate your qualifying condition.

Call us today at (484) 346-5140 to schedule your evaluation.

COVID-19 Stressing You Out? Read This

Free Virtual Yoga & Meditation Classes: Now Available!

Over the past few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused undue stress and anxiety to many of us.

With the shelter-in-place orders in effect, we at the Sanctuary recognize that many of our usual stress-relieving activities are not safe to take part in, from in-person classes to outdoor exercise and every social activity in-between.

That’s why we’re excited to announce our virtual yoga and guided meditation courses, free for our community during this pandemic.

These sessions, led by Registered Yoga Teacher Charles Watts and licensed psychotherapist Anthony Yuschak, allow you to unwind, breathe, and discover your own bliss in the comfort of your own home, at no cost to you!

Join us for Online Power Vinyasa with Charlie Watts every Tuesday from 9:30am to 10:45am EST, designed to challenge, strengthen, and empower your mind and body. This course is perfect for all levels — from beginner to expert!

Our online Guided Meditation classes are available from 7pm to 8pm EST every Thursday. During these sessions, Tony Yuschak will lead you through a Buddhism-inspired therapeutic meditation exercise to help you unwind, build presence, and increase vitality.

All classes are free with the code PEACE2020. Visit our registration portal to sign up for an upcoming session! Drop-in fees are $11.

As always, please contact us if you have any questions.

We hope to see you there!

Be Well,

The Sanctuary Wellness Team

Meditation and Cannabis under the Flower Moon

By Chantal Teufenkjian

I awoke at 3:30 am this morning, after snoozing my alarm twice, to greet the full Flower Moon at its maximum altitude. My fiancé and dog were still asleep, nestling sweetly with one another – paws and hands facing in the same direction. With a deep breath and clumsy sense of purpose, I grabbed my pre-rolled joint (something I twisted in anticipation of my invented ceremony) and made my way to the backyard. The sky was a warm shade of grey; the air felt light, crisp, and calm. And as I looked ahead toward my mat on our long, unmowed grass, my peripheral vision directed me toward the ladder to my right, leading me to the roof.

During the pandemic, my backyard has been a sanctuary. A place I can lose myself in. I created a fort, to escape into different worlds. My yoga mat lays in the middle of the lawn, inviting me to raise my vibration through practice. Then there’s the roof, where my fiancé and I often like to look up at the stars. When the moon is full, we celebrate the intentions we set during the new moon. Of course, I couldn’t resist climbing up.

I sat, perched on the roof as I lit my joint and took in the stillness, inhaling deeply. I felt the potent energy of the moon and closed my eyes, hugged my knees, and effortlessly drifted into meditation. Luna’s brightness shone through my shut eyelids and raced through my body. The cannabis promoted a tranquil, yet mindful experience as it allowed me to explore the hidden territories of my mind. Different hues of color replaced thought and my spirit took over, while my feet absorbed the light chill of the tiles. I felt safe and held by the moon’s current while my high remained steady, yet playful.

An hour and a half later, the sky and moon were veiled with a translucent pink sheet. Crows hung on trees in threes, the notorious creatures of transformation. I smiled, knowing my hazy journey gifted me with a peace I hadn’t felt in a long time. For a short while, I completely forgot about our world and its chaos until I saw a woman walking her dog at a distance, wearing an animated face mask. I lit the rest of my joint as I whimsically walked about the roof. Moments later, I bowed my head in deep gratitude and descended the ladder. I then climbed back into bed, allowing cannabis to influence my pending dreams.

Meditation is a deeply personal practice that allows you to find your inherent truth and calm. Whether you’ve simply dipped your toes in meditation, or practice routinely, incorporating cannabis can enhance your experience.

Make it a ceremony! Light candles, sit in your favorite space, listen to music, or allow cannabis to guide you in the kitchen as your sous chef. Start with a few drags and increase it as needed. You can always add more. If you feel adrift, feel the ground beneath you or touch your skin, and bring your mind to the present. Remember to always stay grounded. Find what feels good and sacred to you and go deeper. You might find a few hidden gems.

Cannabis and Yoga: Elevate Your Practice

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Close your eyes, breathe in through your nose, and out from your mouth, as you finally enter Savasana (Shavasana), the final pose of your session. Feel your muscles sink into your mat and the ground below you. Feel your toes, your fingers, your breath. Consider everything you’re grateful for; everything you wish to manifest. Take another breath as you find your way back to a sitting position. Bring your hands to prayer in gratitude. Namaste.

Yoga bridges the connection between the body (creation) and the breath (the essence of creation). By introducing difficult physical challenges, the yogi or practitioner can find peace through breath alone, creating a connection and alignment with their spirit. Yoga is also about discovery and empowerment; inner peace and awareness. For many yogis, Savasana is the most satisfying part of yoga – the peace discovered in accomplishing the journey of the work. 

Yoga and cannabis have been linked together for centuries as people have used cannabis to enhance their practices, minds, and spirituality. In Hindu tradition, Lord Shiva (supreme god) gifted his people with cannabis to help them find enlightenment and inspiration. Recent discoveries have also shown that combining cannabis with yoga lifts your spirit and elevates your practice. Improved flow and visualization helps you acknowledge and manifest your intentions in meditation, creating a deeper inward connection and shift in consciousness.

Is it worth the hype? Can cannabis really elevate your practice?

The short answer? Yes. Cannabis’s healing and restorative properties are legendary among healers, as it’s said to help those suffering from a variety of ailments – including cancer, epilepsy, muscle spasms, and a spectrum of mental health conditions. This is because cannabis contains cannabinoids – chemicals that mimic those our body naturally produces, that helps promote healthy appetite, memory, inspiration, and movement. Luckily, with more states working to legalize cannabis, this powerful medicine is becoming increasingly more accessible.

Incorporating cannabis into your yoga routine can simultaneously increase your emotional and physical well-being. It allows the practitioner to fall deeper into meditation as it relaxes the frontal lobe, letting the mind experience what our muscles do – flexibility and expansion. Every movement can flow freely with grace and purpose. It can be a powerful calibration tool, helping set the mood, just as candles, incense, music, and crystals might – to motivate you and increase your vibration.

It’s important to understand that not all practicing yogis trust the combination of yoga and cannabis. Some feel as though an altered mind is unfit to live in spiritual practices whereas many other yogis believe it enhances what has been dormant in the physical body all along. It truly comes down to personal beliefs and preferences, and knowing your limits – not everyone’s tolerance is the same. Not everyone’s experience is the same. Yoga is meant to assist you into a deeper congress with your body and spirit; to see clearer, not create more haze. Be safe, be mindful. Listen.

Where will your practice lead you?