Children who have severe autism are the ones that are in crucial need of help and UC San Diego is going to try to help them.

The educational institute will try to alleviate severe autism in children through a project that is being funded by the biggest privately made donation ever made in the U.S. for such research. A staggering $4.7 million from Ray and Tye Noorda Foundation of Lindon, Utah was donated towards the study.

The project will use the non-psychoactive chemical compound in marijuana called cannabadiol, or CBD, to treat severe autism in children.

“I’ve spoken to parents who swear that this is effective — but it needs to undergo scientific research,” said Scott Badesch, president of the Autism Society of America, which is based in Bethesda, Maryland.

UC San Diego’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research will be conducting a clinical trial involving 30 autistic children with severe symptoms who will be given a liquid form of CBD that will be provided by a federally-approved laboratory in Arizona.

The project, which is being led by Dr. Igor Grant, “will determine if CBD is safe and tolerable and whether it alleviates adverse symptoms of ASD; determine whether and how CBD alters brain activity, neurotransmitters and/or brain network connectivity; and determine whether biomarkers or neuroinflammation are altered by CBD.”

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