Scientists Studying If Marijuana Could Help Kids with Autism
Scientists in New York are studying if cannabis can help children with autism. CNN reports researchers at the Montefiore Medical Center believe a non-psycho-active cannabis extract could possibly aid with autism symptoms.
A new clinical trial will examine the effect of a cannabis compound called cannabidvarin, known as CBDV, on irritability and repetitive behaviors in children with autism.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN chief medical correspondent, was given exclusive access to the Montefiore study and GW Pharmaceuticals, the British biopharmaceutical company that grows the cannabis used in the trials.
In a rare tour of GW’s extraction facility, David Cooper, the company’s head of manufacturing, showed Gupta how their specialized strains become medicine for patients.
GW’s CBDV is shipped from the UK to Dr. Eric Hollander, director of the Autism and Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Program and Anxiety and Depression Program at Montefiore Hospital.
Hollander is leading the clinical trial and believes the cannabis extract holds hope for treating autism symptoms based on the success it’s had reducing seizure activity. With 30 years of experience in autism spectrum disorder research, he also believes autism and epilepsy could have similar underlying causes.