The medical marijuana market is carrying out different studies to check if medicinal marijuana can help treat young people with autism. If it happens, it will be a possible revolution that would bring relief to millions of afflicted children and their distressed parents.
Israel is a leader in this type of trial. It allowed the medicinal use of marijuana in 1992, one of the preliminary nations to do so. Moreover, it comes in the list of three nations with a government-funded medical cannabis plan, along with the Netherlands and Canada. Performing cannabis research is less expensive in the Israel. Also, it is easy to perform this research under Israeli laws, mainly compared to the U.S., which has many legal restrictions.
Noa Shulman, 17-year old is the first teen to become a part of the preliminary clinical trial to assess the benefits of marijuana in treating autism. This study, expected to last through the close of 2018, was started earlier this year at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center. It comprises 120 young adults and children, ages 5 to 29, who are suffering from mild-to-severe autism.
There is subjective evidence that marijuana’s key non-psychoactive compound cannabinoid helps children. This is first-of-its-kind innovative scientific trial that is trying to know if the link is real.
Autism comes in the list of the fastest rising developmental disorders, affecting almost one in 68 kids in the U.S. Its devastating symptoms include impaired social skills and communication, along with repetitive and compulsive behaviors. Autism usually emerges in early childhood or infancy.
The U.S. FDA has approved only two medications so far to cure the symptoms of autism, and these two medications are antipsychotic drugs that show grave side effects and may not always be effective.
Adi Aran, who is a leading pediatric neurologist and also leading the research at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center, stated almost all the subjects in this trial previously were given antipsychotics and about 50% responded negatively.
Growing anecdotal data of autistic kids who benefited from cannabis prompted Aran to pursue extensive scientific testing. After recording promising results in 70 of his autistic subjects in an observational trial, he decided to initiate a comprehensive clinical study.