The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will be joining forces with a biopharmaceutical company called Zelda Therapeutics in Australia to study the effects of medical marijuana on children that have autism.

The director of the hospital’s Center for Clinical Pharmacology, Athena Zuppa, said, “This is truly an observational study. We’re not giving them anything. We’re just gathering data to educate ourselves.”

No children will receive cannabis products. Instead the hospital will be leading a team that researches current medical marijuana patients.

The research on children is expected to begin early next year on children which are already covered under Pennsylvania’s Safe Harbor provision.

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will build on data that is collected by Zelda who is funding the research.

Erica Daniels, founder of Hope Grows for Autism is responsible for bringing the two organizations together. “For too long, patients and their families have been missing out on genuine therapeutic options with the potential to transform lives,” Daniels said.

“We’re trying to understand the landscape of what the kids are taking,” Zuppa said.

“Some kids are taking only CBD and some are taking a mixture of CBD and THC. I’m trying to understand how parents make their choices.”

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