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August 30, 2016 9:54 am

Israeli Doctor to Study Effects of Medical Marijuana on Autistic Children, Adults

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A cannabis leaf. Photo: Jon Richfield via Wikimedia Commons.

A cannabis leaf. Photo: Jon Richfield via Wikimedia Commons. – An Israeli pediatrician has launched a clinical trial to study the effects of medical cannabis on autistic children and adults, Haaretz reported.

Dr. Adi Eran, head of the pediatric neurology department at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, is obtaining permits from Israel’s Ministry of Health to test 120 low-to-medium functioning autistic individuals, aged 4 to 30.

The participants will be given cannabis oils rich in cannabidiol (CBD), one of 113 active chemicals found in cannabis that makes up 40 percent of the plant’s extracts. The substance is non-hallucinogenic.

The research will focus on behavioral symptoms such as physical aggression and attacks deriving from acute anxiety. Though cannabis oil is not a recognized treatment for autism, several Israelis have been given prescriptions to treat severe symptoms, Eran noted.

A subcommittee of the Ministry of Health is currently reviewing rules that would define criteria for using medical cannabis to treat autism.

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