Originally published in 2016
Researchers in Israel are formulating a study to test if CBD could be used to help people with autism. The study will be headed by Dr. Adi Eran, the head of the pediatrics neurology department at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. Dr. Eran, whose already obtained authorization from the Israel Health Ministry, is currently gathering the other necessary authorizations to conduct this study and recruiting subjects for the study.
Is CBD Oil the Key to Helping Folks With Autism?
The cannabis and autism study will consist of 120 autistic individuals, ranging from ages four to 30, who will be split into a test group and a placebo group. The test group will ingest a CBD oil, while the other group will receive a placebo. After the test period, the effects of the CBD oil will be recorded. The study will then be put on pause for one month, after which the groups will reverse and the former placebo group will receive a dose of CBD oil.
At no point in the study will the patients or their families know if they’re in the group receiving CBD oil or the placebo. The study will focus on changes in the behavioural symptoms of the patients, including their physical aggression and their anxiety levels.
This study is the first clinical study of cannabis’s effect on autism, though there’s already some anecdotal evidence around how marijuana has helped people with autism. Tikes Olam, an Israeli medical cannabis provider, is currently providing cannabis oil to 10 autistic people between the ages of eight and 22. Nurse Naama Saban says that the CBD oil has helped the patients become significantly calmer and less violent.
Thirty percent of people with autism also have epilepsy, and CBD-heavy medical cannabis has already proven to be extremely beneficial for seizures. The researchers are hopeful that cannabis will provide an effective avenue of therapy for patients with autism and their families.
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