Anecdotal Evidence Of Marijuana Helping Symptoms Of Autism Getting Tested In Clinical Trail
Dr. Adi Eran, is heading up the autism and medical marijuana clinical trial. The study is in the process of getting permits from the Israeli Health Ministry for the study. The study will involve 120 autistic individuals, male and female, aged 4 to 30, low to medium on the spectrum of functioning.
The study will administer CBD (cannabidiol) oil with trace amounts of THC.
Eran, head of the pediatrics neurology department at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, has obtained the authorization in principle from the Israel Health Ministry for his tests. He is finding subjects from local hospitals, and psychiatric facilities and centers dealing with childhood development.
The Study Outline
The participants will be divided into two groups: the test group that actually ingests the oil, and the control subjects who will be given placebos. After a test period during which the effects on the patients will be recorded, treatment will be halted for a month, then the groups will be reversed – the test group will become the control group and vice versa. Again, as is typical in such research, at no point will subjects or their families know whether the patient is receiving CBD or a placebo.
The study will focus specifically on a certain segment of behavioral symptoms typical of certain autistic individuals, including physical aggression toward themselves and others, attacks that can be accompanied by acute anxiety.
Risks and uncertainty
and how it could be prescribed to treat autism – a process that includes defining the “severe behavioral problems” that would require use of the substance.
As of right now cannabis oil is not recognized as a form of treatment for autism, Dr. Eran explains, several dozen Israelis who suffer from the disorder have received approved prescriptions for the drug because of the severity of their symptoms and behavior – mainly because nothing else helped them. The families know cannabis isn’t a recognized treatment but had nothing to lose, the specialist says, although he stresses that its merit has yet to be tested under rigorous conditions. Now it will be.
Naama Saban, a pediatric nurse, says treatment with CBD oil three times a day made the patients significantly calmer and less violent.
“It isn’t that they’re stoned because the oil has no psycho-active component,” Saban says. “Their parents say the quality of life has completely changed. That for the first time, their little kids can have friends over and the big brother doesn’t go wild.”