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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Illustration of a network of blue neurons overlaid with marijuana leaves.
John Hersey

Special report: How cannabis could shape future autism therapies

by  /  8 November 2021

Anecdotal reports from some doctors, parents and autistic adults have long suggested that cannabis and cannabis-derived products can ease certain common autism traits, including anxiety and aggression. Though many of these claims remain untested, research over the past five years shows that cannabis can alleviate seizures in people with autism-linked syndromes and may also benefit other autistic people.

As drug regulators loosen restrictions on cannabis use, a new era of research has opened up. This special report surveys the growing body of evidence on cannabis’ therapeutic potential for autism, as well as Spectrum’s coverage of the evolving regulatory environment.

From The Archives

Brain and marijuana leaves
Illustration of a neuron on top of a marijuana leaf surrounded by psychadelic colors.
Woman rolling a marijuana joint.
Marijuana plant
Photograph of marijuana plant in dark setting.
Gate keepers with long documents and spears in front of fortress full of marijuana leaves.
Collage illustration shows sun rising behind medicine dropper with marijuana leaves growing out of it.
Image of pots and pans hanging from the ceiling. This is meant to be a visual pun, because marijuana is also known as 'pot'.