Cannabis and Autism: Patient Study

“This morning a mother by the name of Anne brought her 21 year old autistic son to my Irvine office to be evaluated for treatment with cannabis.   He suffers from sever autism; very agitated, violent, and is unable to speak at all.  He requires 24/7 supervised care which his parents assume.   Anne described never having any total relief from the stress of taking care of him.

Anne told me she had tried everything to limit her son’s agitation.   She routinely has to give him ativan (benzodiazepine) and he takes risperidone daily which is an anti-psychotic.

In my office he was extremely agitated, was continuously banging the desk, jumping up and down and a few times even tried to hit his mother.  I could see the desperation on her face as she said “we have tried everything and need your help.”

I went on to explain that although the lack of clinical trials with cannabis and autism that many parents have successfully used it to help their children.   Personally I think the benefits clearly outweigh the risks in treating his sever agitation.   Cannabis is an excellent sedative and tends to even out patients moods.  It seems to modify the extreme highs and lows of both depression and anxiety.

Our goal is for the patient to start with some tinctures or edibles as he is not able to vaporize.   If we can get him sleeping and calm throughout the day not only will be able to function better but Anne and her husband can get some rest and relief.  We often forget about the toll that autism can take on parents and siblings.

I am confident that this is the right direction for Anne and her son.

Stay tuned for updates on patient K and her mother Anne.

If you would like more information about cannabis and autism please feel free to contact my office at 877-721-0047 or visit my website at

I look forward to speaking with you.


Dr. Sean Breen

Medical Director, Medical Cannabis of Southern California”

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