Study Shows Cannabis As Promising Treatment For Autistic Children

By Benjie Cooper

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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a range of neurodevelopmental conditions that affect around 1% (62.2 million) of the world’s population and are typically symptomized by problems with social communication and interactions, and restricted and repetitive behaviors and activities.

There is a range of treatments that can help with ASD, but a new Israeli study published in the Neurology journal looks into the effects of medicinal cannabis in children with spectrum disorders and appears to offer some hope for individuals who live with the condition.

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The study included sixty children with an average age of 12 and was led by Dr. Adi Aran, Director of the Pediatric Neurology Unit at Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem. The children were given cannabis oil containing 20% cannabidiol (CBD) and 1% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for a period of at least seven months.

The patients did not experience any psychoactive effects from the THC.

The children’s parents completed surveys at the end of the treatment period to indicate whether there had been any change in their child’s behavior or if communication had improved.

Of the participating families, 80% responded that their child showed a decrease in problematic behavior while 62% reported a significant improvement in their child’s conduct. 50% of children in the study also improved in communication, and 40% of parents said that anxiety symptoms had dramatically improved.

Researchers in the study are hopeful that their work will help spawn new legislation geared toward medicinal marijuana research that will explore that benefits that cannabis oil may have for a range of medical conditions.

Graph: Statista