MAR 28, 2019 9:00 AM PDT

Cannabis and the Autistic Spectrum

C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE Florida CE
  • Medical Cannabis Specialist and Lecturer, Takoma Park Alternative Care
      Dr. Patricia Frye is a medical cannabis specialist and consultant who evaluates adult and pediatric patients for the use of cannabis medicine in the treatment of chronic pain and other serious, debilitating conditions, like neurodegenerative diseases, autism, seizures, autoimmune, and psychiatric illnesses.

      A graduate of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where she also completed her pediatric residency, Dr. Frye continued her post-graduate training in anesthesiology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. She then moved to Southern California where she practiced pediatrics for Southern California Permanente Group until she retired.

      In 2015, Dr. Frye was asked to consider a California cannabis telemedicine position, and it was then that she first learned of the healing benefits of the cannabis plant. Since that time, Dr. Frye has managed over 5,000 patients and provides educational consultations to patients worldwide.

      Dr. Frye is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, and professionally certified in Cannabis Science and Medicine by the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine. She is a diplomat of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, a member of the Association of Cannabis Specialists and a fellow of the Academy of Integrative Pain Management.

      In addition to direct patient care, Dr. Frye lectures extensively on cannabis medicine for healthcare provider groups, patient groups, and cannabis education organizations.

      She is the author of "The Medical Marijuana Guide: Cannabis and Your Health", a book that covers the history, politics, and use of cannabis as medicine.


    Several clinical and preclinical studies implicate abnormal endocannabinoid functioning and neuroinflammation as possible mechanisms in the pathophysiology of autism. Correcting these abnormalities may result in reducing or alleviating symptoms such as anxiety, aggression, insomnia, and self-injurious behaviors. We will also discuss the possible benefits and adverse effects that may be attributed to the use of cannabis in this population.

    Learning Objectives: 

    1. To understand how and why cannabis therapy broadly impacts maladaptive behaviors commonly seen in autistic patients.
    2. To be able to weigh the possible benefits and risks of cannabis therapy in this population.

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