While there’s long been an abundance of anecdotal evidence for marijuana treatments with autism, the world’s first clinical trial is now underway – in Israel, no less.
Dr. Adi Aran is leading the study after being pushed toward better cannabis research by the mothers of autistic children, many of whom had tried traditional medications with poor results.
While he was admittedly reluctant at first, given how few clinical trials have looked closely at cannabis in any setting, recent data supporting marijuana use in epilepsy treatment helped change his mind.
“OK, we need to do a clinical trial so there will be data,” said Aran, according to USA Today.
Aran hopes to with data definitively show whether or not cannabis can be a successful part of autism treatment; study participants will be given liquid drops to add to their foods, and will not be told what drops they are receiving. In addition to two different cannabis strains, there will also obviously be a placebo control group.
The trial will involve 120 autistic patients, ages 5 to 29, who range on the autism spectrum from mild to severe cases. The trial will last through the end of 2018.
There are currently more than 110 cannabis clinic trials underway in Israel, notes Michael Dor, senior medical adviser at the medical cannabis unit of Israel’s Ministry of Health.
Cannabis research is less expensive and easier under Israeli laws, especially compared to the United States, which is already behind the rest of the world.
When will that change?