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Surprising Science

Herbal Remedy

A mother has been medicating her autistic son using marijuana as an alternative to sedative drugs and says it has improved his condition.

Marie Myung-Ok Lee despaired over her son J’s condition after the ant-inflammatory medication used to control his pain stopped working. His behavior deteriorated and he became difficult to handle at school and home which led to a fear that he would need to be given antipsychotic drugs like Risperday. She went to a homeopath who suggested cannabis for its use as an analgesic and anxiety modulator. They tried different methods of administration feeding J the drug via a vaporiser, baked into cookies and brewed in tea. After three months there was a noticeable improvement in his behavior – although consequently the symptoms of his autism (such as vocal outbursts) became more acute. “It’s strange that the virtues of such a useful and harmless botanical have been so clouded by stigma. Even the limited studies that have been done suggest marijuana’s potential as an adjunctive therapy for cancer. Marijuana, you need some re-branding. Maybe a cool new name,” she says.


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