The chemical in marijuana, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can stimulate appetite. The use of medical marijuana as a treatment option for children is considered controversial due to the inherent nature of the drug and minimal research available.
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Marijuana Treatment for Autistic Children Dr. Travis Stork: -- to save to life especially the life of your children. Is there anything you wouldn’t do to keep them alive? The mom in that video, Mieko is here with us today and you know Mieko you’ve been in the middle of a media firestorm and obviously become such a proponent for anything that will help your son what has been the hardest part in all of this for you? Mieko: I have opened the door to a whole new alternative treatment that has been successful with my son. Dr. Jim Sears: Mieko in addition Joey doubling his weight because of this treatment, did you also notice some other positive changes? Mieko: Joey has had an awakening and that is truly what has happened to my son. I lost him at 16 months, he was saying “mom.” I feel like I have my son back. I have the son that I lost at 16 months that was saying mom. Dr. Lisa Masterson: As a mother and I’m a mother and a doctor. We would do absolutely anything for our children and what you’ve done for your child and seeing this awakening is just -- I think going extra mile is just fantastic true. Dr. Jim Sears: I think any mom with a son with autism to see the child awaken like that that’s the number goal to see your child awaken. Mieko: Yeah, my son is now making sounds. He is mimicking my one-year-old he has a personality. It’s almost like I’ve given birth twice to Joey. And when we started him on the brownies, he was in the 5% aisle of his growth chart as of yesterday he's in 70% aisle of his growth chart. This has been a miracle. Dr. Lisa Masterson: That’s fantastic. Dr. Travis Stork: Well sitting next to Mieko right now is Joey psychiatrist Dr. Rebecca Hedrick she’s a faculty member at UC Irvine. How long has Joey been on them? That’s one thing I’ve been curious about? Dr. Rebecca Hedrick: We’ve started the medication in April and I mean there were recommendation those not actual prescription. Dr. Travis Stork: Okay. Dr. Lisa Masterson: It’s a difficult choice for a doctor. Dr. Rebecca Hedrick: Yeah, I was very nervous about it. Dr. Travis Stork: So who prescribes the marijuana then? Dr. Rebecca Hedrick: There’s a specialist who specializes in using medical marijuana for several different disorders. Dr. Andrew Ordon: Have you’ve made this recommendation before or was this sort of a new thing in your practice. Dr. Rebecca Hedrick: Well I’ve made the recommendation before but never in someone so young. Dr. Travis Stork: And you notice immediate changes. Dr. Rebecca Hedrick: Yeah, I was. I mean our main reason for starting medical marijuana was because he was starving. He was only 43 pounds and just completely cachectic I mean his cheekbones are just completely sunken in and his eyes we’re hallow. When he would come into my office, he would kind of just maybe accidentally make some eye contract and just treat as if I was an object me and Mieko just looking at us like we were a chair or something else having no interest in us as people. After starting the use of medical marijuana, he interacts with us and he makes eye contact and gets really excited and instead of being so consumed with all the other objects, he -- the last time he came in it was so exciting he kept on making this really funny sound. And looking at me and laughing and really wanted me to laugh back at him which to me was ground breaking. I mean we don’t have any medications right now that treat autism. We have two FDA prove medications that treat the irritability side effect of autism but nothing that treats this disinterest and personal relationships. Dr. Travis Stork: Marijuana is used in the state of California. It is a license medication. The reason it’s use for appetite whether you inhale or you eat it in something like brownies. The chemical THC travels to the brain and what it does is it actually signals the brain, increases your appetite in a lot of people whether they're cancer patients or as Joey as seen in his own story. But there is certainly a lot o

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