Researchers Continue to Examine the Connection between Cannabis and Autism

New analysis regarding an in-progress study based in New York have been revealed by researchers who are looking into the use of cannabis as a treatment for autism.

The study entitled “Cannabidivarin (CBDV) vs. Placebo in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)” initially began in April 2019 at the Montefiore Medical Center. Researchers are currently studying the effects of a cannabis compound called cannabidivarin (CBDV) and how it affects patients with autism, specifically with a focus on irritability and repetitive behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorder.

According to a recent update published by CNN in late September, researchers have reported important findings with the use of CBDV in their clinical trials. “In some of the animal models that are similar to autism, it was found that CBDV had important effects on social functioning, on decreasing seizures, on increasing cognitive function, and in reducing compulsive or repetitive behavior,” Dr. Eric Hollander, director of the Autism and Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Program and Anxiety and Depression Program at Montefiore Hospital and the lead researcher on the study, said. “So, for that reason, we wanted to apply that to autism.”

“When you look at these—loss of cognitive function, poor socializing skills, poor language skills—what you’re looking at is a phenotype very similar to autism,” Dr. Geoffrey Guy, the founder of GW, explained. “In my mind, epilepsy and autism-type presentations are on the same continuum.”

While this is a new and exciting trial, more work needs to be done before it’s clear how cannabis impacts autism. Many states continue to reject autism as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis. Still, many are starting to study this connection, and it won’t be long before more information is known about cannabis and how it can help treat those with autism.

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