Can cannabis help with autism? A new clinical trial at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York is about to find out. Researchers believe since cannabis has had success with treating certain types of epilepsy, that it could perhaps hel with the irritability and repetitive behaviours that are commonly seen with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
It’s not CBD or THC that will be testing though, it’s a compound within cannabis called CBDV, it’s another non-psychoactive chemical component that does not cause a “high.”
The cannabis for the trial will be grown by a British biopharmaceutical company called GW pharmaceuticals.
Some autism experts remain cautiously optimistic about cannabis-based medicines treating autism behaviors. Dr. Alexander Kolevzon, clinical director of the Seaver Autism Center at Mount Sinai, is not involved in the Montefiore research but is encouraged by initial reports on CBD-based cannabis medicine. Kolevzon believes cannabis compounds show enough promise to warrant further study but cautioned that the variation and range in the autism spectrum makes it an especially challenging disorder to treat. (source)
Another recent study conducted by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Soroka University Medical Center has concluded that medical cannabis can be a safe and significant treatment option for many symptoms of autism spectrum disorders in patients ages 18 and under. These symptoms include seizures, tics, depression, restlessness and even “rage attacks.”
In fact, the study, which monitored just under 200 Israelis under the age of 18, revealed remarkable information even Alex Berenson might have trouble disputing: Over 80 percent of the participants who were treated for six months showed either significant or moderate improvement, according to Lihi Bar-Lev Schleider of the BGU-Soroka Clinical Cannabis Research Institute. Less than 10 percent of participants experienced no noticeable effect from cannabis. And how many reported negative effects? A big ol’ zero.