Can people with down syndrome smoke weed

Can People With Down Syndrome Smoke Weed?

Did you know that in the United States one out of every 700 children is born with Down syndrome? It is the most common chromosomal condition in the country.

It is thanks to this that in recent years hundreds of scientists have turned to conduct studies in search of a solution to help improve the daily lives of those who have been diagnosed with the condition.

Many of them turned their gaze to medical weed and asked themselves: Can People with Down Syndrome smoke weed? Can marijuana be beneficial for people with Down syndrome?

Since then, research evidence has emerged highlighting the potential of cannabis to alleviate some of the symptoms of people with Down syndrome, including impulsivity and seizures.

There is still much to be done. It should be noted that no human studies have been carried out, however, theoretically speaking people with Down syndrome can smoke weed and at the same time obtain great benefits.

How does Cannabis work on Down Syndrome?

All vertebrates have an endocannabinoid system whose function is basically to help regulate our sleep, appetite, and pain sensation.

This system can be modulated and activated by the cannabinoids that our body generates naturally or then, with those found in the cannabis plant.

In 2019, a scientific study was conducted on animals that managed to establish the existing connection between CB1 receptors and Down syndrome.

In this experiment, researchers discovered the following:

  • Blocking CB1 receptors with marijuana restored Down syndrome-related deficits with memory, synaptic plasticity, and new brain cell growth.

  • The animals studied that had Down syndrome had a greater number of CB1 receptors in the region of the brain responsible for memory.

That is why researchers nowadays give much importance to the endocannabinoid system, noting that it plays an essential role through the activity of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor, which is found in large quantities in our brains.

The findings obtained in the 2019 study suggest that people with Down syndrome can smoke weed and, as a consequence, could potentially improve some of the symptoms related to this syndrome.

Studies on Down Syndrome and Weed

Although no large human studies have yet been conducted looking at the use of weed to treat Down syndrome conditions, there is a great deal of evidence showing how marijuana improves some of the symptoms.

There is much evidence that the weed improves some of the symptoms, and may even help protect the brain against beta-amyloid and neurodegeneration, responsible for contributing to cognitive problems.

Chronology of investigations:

Year 2017: A clinical study found that Sativex, a drug made from weed, improved hyperactivity and other symptoms in people suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

This can easily translate to cannabis can certainly help people with Down syndrome who have difficulty concentrating and have very impulsive behavior.

Year 2018: Another important study was conducted, where it was shown how CBD can help with seizures that occur in approximately 8% of people with Down syndrome.

So much so, that the drug “Epidiolex” (which is weed-based) received FDA approval to treat specific seizure conditions, including Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

Year 2019: A study reported that cannabis can help relieve gastrointestinal symptoms, inflammatory bowel diseases, abdominal pain and constipation. Clinical conditions that are often quite common in people with Down syndrome.

On the other hand, there are stories of parents with children suffering from this syndrome, who indicate that they have treated their children with cannabis-based oils.

Those who report noticing improvements in attention, concentration, mobility, and speech. They even indicate that their children are able to speak more clearly and in much more elaborate sentences.

Benefits of Smoking Weed With Down Syndrome

As mentioned above, more scientific research and human trials are still needed to demonstrate the effectiveness of smoking weed with Down syndrome in treating its symptoms.

But there are undoubtedly some benefits that are already evident between the lines and are important to highlight below:

  1. Cannabinoids protect from gastrointestinal.
  2. Help improve sleep by up to 67%.
  3. Stimulates the growth of new brain cells.
  4. Helps prevent recurrent seizures.
  5. Improves speech and mobility.

Negative Aspects of Smoking Weed With Wown Syndrome

While it is true that cannabis is shown to be quite good for the treatment of Down syndrome, like any other drug, it has some side effects.

These side effects usually vary depending on whether the composition you have been consuming is rich in CBD or THC.

Negative aspects of compositions with a high content of THC:

  1. Can cause dry mouth and eyes.
  2. It increases the heart rate.
  3. It damages memory and reaction time.
  4. May experience paranoia and anxiety.

Negative aspects of compositions with a high content of CBD:

  1. Can cause diarrhea.
  2. It produces big changes in appetite.
  3. It lowers blood pressure.
  4. May cause dizziness and drowsiness.

However, it is important to make it clear that the effects mentioned here do not usually occur with herb consumption at the proper dosage.

Generally, people with Down syndrome who smoke weed or use cannabis of any kind, and experience any of these side effects are usually because they used extremely high doses.


All the evidence is on the table and we can feel quite optimistic about the benefits of weed in treating the symptoms of people with Down syndrome.

It is a relatively safe option and there is a wide variety of products to consume it in the way you see fit. From the traditional weed joint to transdermal patches and much more!

However, direct human studies still need to be done before we can say that people with Down syndrome can smoke weed.

Before making hasty decisions, it is best to consult with a healthcare professional who will be responsible for guiding you through the world of medical cannabis.

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