A speech disorder makes it difficult to properly form words and sounds. Some patients have a speech disorder that originated on its own, and others have one caused by an underlying condition.
Regardless of the cause behind someone’s speech disorder, it can make everyday communication much harder. People who have a difficult time speaking often have to go through speech therapy or learn an alternate form of communication altogether.
Besides developing strategies to make communication easier, some patients take medicine. But, some medicine used to treat speech disorders can have harmful side effects or potential for addiction. When used correctly, MMJ can be a natural substitute that can work even better than standard meds.
Types of Speech Disorders
There are four categories of speech disorders that have different symptoms and causes:
- Apraxia prevents your mouth from moving to say words correctly, even though your brain processes them right. It happens when the areas of your brain related to muscle movement get damaged by conditions like dementia, head trauma and stroke.
- Dysarthria impairs your speech-related muscles’ movement, making it harder to understand you. It’s caused by brain damage from health conditions like Huntingdon’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.
- Stuttering causes disfluencies, or disruptions in the sounds you make when you talk. One of the more severe disorders that causes stuttering is cerebral palsy.
- Voice disorders are often called “losing your voice.” Your voice becomes hoarse or goes away completely due to strain on your vocal muscles.
Medical Marijuana Conditions That Cause Speech Disorders
Speech disorders on their own can’t qualify for medical marijuana in MMJ-legal states. But, since many speech disorders come from another disease, you can use MMJ for yours if it originates from a qualifying condition. Underlying conditions that can cause speech disorders and are commonly approved for medical marijuana include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Huntington’s disease
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Senile Dementia
- Traumatic Brain Injury
What Do We Know About Speech Disorders and Medical Marijuana?
Since marijuana is a Schedule I drug under federal law, it’s considered an illegal substance. This makes it much harder for scientists to conduct studies. While researchers have managed to complete some research on MMJ, they haven’t gotten to studying how it affects speech yet.
But, we do have some anecdotal evidence about MMJ’s benefits for speech disorders. For instance, in the documentary In Pot We Trust, a woman details how MMJ helped her with her speech issues.
What Are the Effects of Medical Marijuana on Speech Disorders?
As we discussed earlier, all sorts of conditions cause speech problems. So, the effectiveness of medical marijuana depends on the underlying cause of your speech disorder.
Another factor to consider is that marijuana has different effects on every person. Your reaction to MMJ will differ from another patient’s. So, even if you know somebody with the same health problems who benefits from MMJ, it might not help you the way it does for them.
Keeping those things in mind, certain varieties of marijuana can ease speech disorders more effectively than others. Blackwater and Diablo strains relieve muscle spasms and relax the body, which can help if your speech disorder is related to muscle strain. There’s also evidence that low to moderate doses of cannabis can help cognitive function, possibly relieving speech disorders originating in the brain.