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Israeli Study: Cannabis is an Effective Treatment for Autistic Children

Cannabis treatment for Autistic children
Written by Alexandra Hicks

Groundbreaking research from Israel indicates that medical cannabis can ease some of the most common and debilitating symptoms in Autistic children.

The study – conducted by Ben Gurion University and Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, Israel – discovered that cannabis oil was able to alleviate multiple symptoms of Autism in autistic children such as seizures, depression, tics, restlessness, and fits of rage. It worked quickly, effectively, and with little to no negative side effects.

Out of 188 teens who participated in the study, more than 80% of their parents reported noticeable improvements. In total, 30% said the changes observed in their children were significant, 53.7% reported moderate changes, and only 15% had minor or no improvements. The patients themselves also reported various levels of improvements. After completing the treatment, 66.8% of patients claimed to have a good quality of life, compared to only 31.3% who felt that way beforehand. There was also a 21% increase in patients who reported feeling generally positive.

autistic children

1 in 59 American children are diagnosed with Autism

Moreover, before the trial began, only 26.4% of the teens were able to dress and shower independently. This number increased to 42.9% following cannabis treatment. Other changes reported include better sleep patterns, improved concentration, the ability to perform more daily tasks, and overall feelings of calmness and well being.

All the teen subjects were diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) sometime between 2015 and 2017. The cannabis oil used in this particular study contained 30% cannabidiol (CBD) and 1.5% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Research was funded by Tikun Olam, the first and largest medical cannabis supplier in Israel.

“While this study suggests that cannabis treatment is safe and can improve Autism symptoms and improve ASD patient’s quality of life, we believe that double blind placebo-controlled trials are crucial for a better understanding of the cannabis effect on ASD patients,” said Dr. Victor Novak, one of the study’s authors.

Regardless, this study is extremely promising when taking into consideration the sharp uptick of Autism diagnoses across the globe, particularly in western countries. In the United States alone, 1 in 59 children are diagnosed with some form of Autism Spectrum Disorder. At the moment, the only recognized medical treatment options are therapy and antipsychotic drugs, many of which come with a host of negative and potentially dangerous side effects.

If this study proves accurate on a larger test group of autistic children, cannabis can be a natural alternative that offers long term relief of Autism symptoms in a much safer way.

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About the author

Alexandra Hicks

Managing editor at Cannadelics and U.S based journalist, helping spread the word about the many benefits of using cannabis and psychedelics.