I wanted to write about my daily cannabis schedule/how it makes me feel to hopefully provide some insight for parents into the affects of medical cannabis used for an autism spectrum disorder. I can only imagine it is stressful and scary at times to give your child a psychoactive substance, especially if they are nonverbal and cannot tell you how they feel. My hope is that I can help others feel less intimidated by cannabis.
Disclaimer: As always, one person with autism is just one person with autism. I cannot speak for every person on the autism spectrum and may experience things completely differently than your child does. The products that work best for me may not be what works best for your child.
Autism Related Symptoms:
I’m usually okay at home without cannabis, but when I go out it gets tough. At best the sensory world is exhausting, at worst I’ll have a meltdown and start crying in public for what looks like no reason. Coping with the sounds/lights/feel of the world is painful without cannabis. I’ll get really irritable and violently shake my hands because it feels like there’s too much energy in my body. A slight change in my day or an impromptu plan can cause me to absolutely shut down.
I take 1ml of the Ilera Shine (1:1) tincture with my other medications and vitamins. It’s a reassuring ritual and the taste is pleasant. By the time I get to work it has kicked in and I feel stable. The light reflecting off the pavement outside doesn’t bother me and I settle in at my desk. I feel confident and focused. It’s easy to make eye contact and small talk with the morning customers.
By the time my morning tincture starts to wear off I’ve usually settled into my routine for the day, and I go ahead and use 1ml of Ilera Ease (1:10). I’m not sure if it’s just a placebo effect but I think it works. It definitely doesn’t make me high at all, but it seems to help me stay stable. If I’m having a bit of a tough time (usually if there’s a change to my schedule or if work is unusually noisy/chaotic) I’ll step outside and vape either Harlequin 1:1 or AC/DC 2:1, both are sativa dominant with high amounts of CBD. The vapor dissipates quickly and to the world I’m just another person taking their work day smoke break.
Now that I’m done working it’s THC time. I’ll vape any hybrid if I’m going to do yoga, if I’m going to lift it’s Harlequin or AC/DC again. If I have social plans I’ll use a sativa. Tonight I have bible study, so sativa it is. I’ve begun hosting it at my place. Normally I get really anxious about having lots of people in my house (it’s my space and I don’t want people to touch my things or break anything), but my friends are respectful and thanks to cannabis I float through social scenarios as a good hostess, greeting people, catching up with friends, and serving food. The cannabis helps me be more self aware and I practice having proper 2 sided conversations instead of just talking at people. When we wrap up about 2 hours later I still have a slight buzz and am able to comfortably hug my friends before they head home.
1ml of Ilera Dream is my nighttime go-to, and I take it with my medications and vitamins. I relax in bed for a while, reading, checking emails, and cuddling with my cat, Sagwa. If I’m lucky she’ll lay on top of me, the pressure is relaxing and helps me sleep. After about an hour I’m drowsy enough to pass out.
*Once I run out of my Shine and Ease tinctures I will be switching to Hope 1 in the morning and Hope 2 after work.
Andi Moritz is a high functioning woman with autism. She is a valued member of the Pennsylvania Hope Grows for Autism group. She recently started working at the Herbology dispensary. She is interested in helping others with autism.