Israel is pioneering cannabis research. Ample anecdotal evidence that CBD oil for autism has a positive effect has led to the first-ever scientific study to determine the facts. USA Today was among the news agencies to report.
Medical marijuana has been permitted in Israel since 1992, making it one of the first countries to allow this. Along with Canada and the Netherlands it is one of only three countries worldwide with a medical cannabis program sponsored by the government.
Why Israel’s research is vital to the US
Cannabis research is much easier under Israeli law than in the US where there are many more legal obstacles to overcome. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, autism affects 1 in every 68 children and the proportion of kids with autism seems to be growing ever-larger.
Autism is a debilitating condition. It impairs social and communications skills, and causes compulsive and repetitive behavior, often including self-harm. Children with autism are typically diagnosed in early childhood or in infancy.
The only medications approved by the FDA for autism are anti-psychotic drugs, which turn children into zombies and have unpleasant side effects
Epilepsy study notes behavioral improvements in autism
Pediatric neurologist, Adi Aran, who is leading the study, said that most of the participants responded negatively to anti-psychotic medication. Many parents approached Aran asking him to prescribe cannabis for their autistic children. At first, he refused because of the lack of data supporting anecdotal evidence.
However, a year ago, studies in Israel showed how cannabis improved the condition of children with epilepsy by eliminating seizures. But researchers also noted an improvement in the behavior of autistic children who participated in the trial.
CBD oil for autism: Israeli doctor takes the lead
After 70 of Aran’s autistic patients showed positive results in an observational study, he decided it was time for a clinical trial. It took six months to gain approval. Participants will receive one of two liquid cannabis oil formulas or a placebo. The cannabis oil is non-psychoactive, containing very little THC.
Currently, more than 110 clinical trials on cannabis are underway in Israel. Senior medical advisor at the Health Ministry’s medical cannabis unit, Michael Dor, says this is more than in any other country.
US research stonewalled
Harvard-trained physician, Dr. Alan Shackelford, said he tried for years to get approval for cannabis clinical trials in the U.S. but only met with closed doors. He says it makes sense to study something that is so obviously beneficial. A colleague of his spent seven years trying to get approval to study the effects of cannabis on post-traumatic stress disorder.
Shackelford said Israel leads the world in studies on the potential of cannabis as a medicine. He recently launched an Israeli research company to conduct medical marijuana research. Of the 1.4 billion dollars earmarked for cannabis research in the U.S. 1.1 billion was used to study addiction, drug abuse, and withdrawal.
Autism researcher Aran is cautious about assumptions on the subject of cannabis and autism, but says that he has seen many children improve significantly. Some stopped the self-harm and fits of rage, some started communicating, others returned to their classrooms.
The CEO of the company that will provide the cannabis oil for the study says he’s heard about CBD oil for autism before. One mom has told them her child couldn’t stop talking since he started to take CBD oil for autism. The 12-year-old has never spoken before.
A real scientific study using genuine CBD oil for autism will finally tell us whether CBD can help autistic children. This is information that tens of thousands of parents of autistic kids have been waiting for.