There has been an abundance of anecdotal evidence that medical marijuana can help in the treatment of autism. Now the first clinical trial in the world is underway in Israel to test the many theories.
Dr. Adi Aran, the pediatric neurologist who is leading the study, said that nearly all its participants had previously tried anti-psychotics, to which nearly half responded negatively.
Aran’s initial decision to undertake the trial came not from his colleagues at the Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, but from mothers of autistic children.
The moms pushed Aran to prescribe cannabis oil after they’d seen a news report about a mother who gave it to her autistic son and said it was the only thing that helped him.
“First I said, ‘No, there’s no data to support cannabis for autism, so we can’t give it to you,’” he said.
But he changed his mind after studies in Israel showed that cannabis helped children with epilepsy by drastically reducing seizures and improving the behavior of those with autism.
“OK, we need to do a clinical trial so there will be data,” said Aran, according to USAToday.
This first-of-its-kind scientific study will attempt to determine if the link between cannabidiol (CBD) use in autism treatment and the anecdotal evidence of its success is indeed real.