Leigh University in Bethlehem, PA, is preparing to study the effects of cannabis as a treatment for children’s autism. Thus far, only anecdotal evidence exists that the cannabis compound cannabidiol or CBD results in significant behavioral and health improvements for children with autism. Researchers from Leigh University are interested in both cannabis’ efficacy and its lack of debilitating side-effects caused by most commonly used medications.
CBD and autism
Stories of parents who are successfully treating their kids’ autism with cannabis oil are popping up everywhere. CBD seems to have a particularly amazing impact by reducing the hypersensitivity, hyperactivity, and instances of self-harm while improving the communication barriers associated with the disorder.
In an effort to keep up with demand for the treatment, scientists are pursuing more information and conducting more studies on the body’s endocannabinoid system, cannabinoids and their links to autism therapy. The National Institute of Health (NIH) has also found data indicating that the CB2 receptor is a “potential therapeutic target for the pharmacological management of autism care.”
Leigh University seeks to gather some of the first quantitative data on cannabis as a treatment for autism. Pennsylvania happens to be one of just a few states that list autism as a condition that can be treated with cannabis.
Gary Sasso, Leigh’s Dean of Education wishes to move beyond anecdotal evidence to ensure that marijuana has no unforeseen effects. If it is deemed safe for use, Sasso wants to know,
does it mitigate some of the major characteristics of autism – social reluctance, language and other stereotypical behavior they sometimes engage in?
This study comes in the wake of the world’s first medical trial to test the effects of cannabinoids on children’s autism in Israel, which began in January. There, 120 children with mild to severe cases are currently being given isolated CBD until the study concludes next year.
The studies make a difference
Medical trials such as these should certainly have a positive impact on cannabis legalization and increased access for families in need. Dr. Sue Sisley, Medical Director of BioGreen pharms who is partnering with Leigh University for the research believes that movement in this direction will make a huge difference in the lives of families who too often must risk their livelihoods to provide effective treatments to their children. Moms are certainly using this
Moms are certainly using this activity in the black market, and not it’s time to bring everything out into the open. It’s time to let the sun shine in. – Sisley
The CDC estimates that 1 in 68 children now fall somewhere on the autism spectrum, and the FDA has approved many prescription drugs that produce unfortunate side-effects in children. Parents complain that drugs like Adderall, Prozac, and Abilify either create more aggression, extreme drowsiness or zombie-like effects in children. CBD on the other
CBD, on the other hand, produces no psychoactive effects. Parents report improvements in their child’s focus, concentration, mood, learning abilities and motor skills while treating them with CBD.
As more studies like these get underway, researchers are confident they’ll be able to prove its efficacy as a treatment. As a result, let’s hope we’ll continue to see expanded mmj access for children and families across the globe.