Israel Leads Medical Marijuana Progress
Israel first legalized medical marijuana use in 1992. Unlike in the U.S. where it is still almost impossible to research marijuana as a medicine due to it being a Schedule 1 drug, in Israel, research into the medicinal qualities of marijuana is encouraged and promoted by the Israeli Ministry of Health.
Recently, Israel became the first country to conduct a clinical trial into whether or not CBD (Cannabidiol; the non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in marijuana) can be used to treat autism.
This study is one in a group of many different studies conducted in Israel into the medical benefits of marijuana. Recently, a study showing marijuana’s success in treating epilepsy also showed some positive benefits in those who were also suffering from autism. The results from that study were the basis for beginning this study.
Issues with Current Autism Medication
Autism is a neurodevelopment disorder that normally appears in infancy or early childhood. Some symptoms include issues in developing non-verbal communication skills, impaired social abilities and other symptoms, some of which can be debilitating.
The medications currently being taken by those afflicted by autism are antipsychotic medications that do little to suppress the issue and often times have very harmful side effects.
The Israeli study will include 120 people with autism, ranging from age 5 to age 29, who will be given a solution featuring twenty parts CBD to one part THC. This is a typical solution given to younger patients of medical marijuana because the very low level of THC is safer for children with developing brains. The study will take place over six months and will gauge the effectiveness of medical marijuana to treat the many symptoms that come with autism.
Goals of Israeli Ministry of Health
If successful, the study will provide those suffering from autism and their family members with the peace of mind of knowing that there is a treatment option which would limit the symptoms of autism without the terrible side effects that come as baggage with current treatment options.
The Israeli Ministry of Health, who are sanctioning the study, are the worlds most progressive health board when it comes to studying the benefits of medical marijuana. If bigger and more powerful countries, like the United States, took a more proactive approach to marijuana research, then we would have a much clearer picture as to what real medical benefits are concealed within the plant.
Lane is based in Southern California and is a content curator for Medical Marijuana 411. He focuses his research into finding informative stories that can help medical marijuana patients better understand their diverse medicine.