Global Healthcare Conversations with Mieko Perez ft. Cannafora Founder

ByMieko Perez

Global Healthcare Conversations with Mieko Perez ft. Cannafora Founder

 By Mieko Hester-Perez

Cannafora is a medical cannabis treatment center for people with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. The center offers a complete solution holistic approach (biological, emotional, environmental) that addresses all aspects of the patient’s life.

What is your personal story with choosing cannabis for your child on the spectrum?

Yuval, my severely autistic son is 27 now. Yuval is very restless and has a lot of anxiety, so when he was 12 years old, we started giving him antipsychotic medication on the recommendation of his doctors. But he just became worse and worse.

By the age of 17 he got epileptic seizures so we had to add anti-epileptic drugs. When he was around 17, he became very self-injurious, biting himself until bleeding. And sometimes very aggressive towards his cares or towards me.

There were years I refer to as “living in the shadow of hell”. Loving and caring for your child but frightened he will attack you…can’t be alone with him and can’t drive and take him to places.

So, even before cannabis, we weaned him off all those medications and found him to do better without them than with. But still, he had his outbursts, his restlessness and self-injurious behaviors.

Then, in 2014, I read that Israeli neurologists started prescribing high CBD whole plant oil for kids with intractable epilepsy. I reached out to them, but they said they couldn’t prescribe it to Yuval since his epilepsy is intractable and because autism was not a qualifying condition in Israel.

I decided we had nothing to lose and would find a way to give it a try. I read as much as I could on the internet about the cannabis plant, turned to an Israeli psychiatrist who treated hundreds of Israeli veterans with PTSD and finally, got access to medical marijuana for Yuval.

It was on October 2015. I remember thinking if Yuval responded amazingly to the treatment his mother would become the Israeli advocate for so many families choosing to treat their children with medical marijuana instead of pharmaceutical drugs.

In Yuval’s case, he responded best to a CBD-rich whole plant cannabis oil and vaporizing high-THC cannabis flower when he is agitated. CBD-dominant cannabis products without THC tended to increase his hyperactivity and anxiety. However, some children can experience significant improvements with CBD oil alone.

Do you think cannabis education for medical professionals and healthcare providers is lacking?

Definitely. Since cannabis is a very complicated plant, much more scientific research is needed to better understand: the different strains, cannabinoids and terpenes effects, different delivery methods, extraction methods, and vaporizing options.

Even today here in Israel, where autism is a qualifying condition for medical marijuana we have more and more doctors supporting this treatment option and willing to prescribe it. And since autism is so complex by itself most of the knowledge today comes from the patients themselves, and just small part of it from science.

And this is what I do here in Israel at Cannafora (Cannabis for Autism treatment center I’ve founded) – the “hands on” part with the families to get the right cannabis product and the right dosing and balance for their autistic child…

Read full blog on Hopegrown.org

About the author

Mieko Perez administrator

Mieko Hester-Perez, International Autism & Cannabis Healthcare Advocate In 2009, Mieko Hester-Perez decided to go public with her son's success with medical cannabis and since that day in 2009, she has become a source of inspiration and information for families looking to explore unconventional and holistic treatment options within the autism spectrum. - Board Member, California Aquatic Therapy & Wellness Center Inc. - Board Member, Chalkin Social Foundation - Board Member, Norml Woman's Alliance - Director of Product Develpoment, MD Exclusive CBD - Healthcare Ambassador, CannaSafe Labs CA - Honorary board Member, Puerto Rican Society of Cannabis Science and Medicine