Clinical Trial at Montefiore Medical Center Explores Effect of CBD on Children with Autism
A clinical trial at Montefiore Medical Center is exploring the effect of a cannabis compound on children with autism. Launched in April, the trial is being held in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense and GW Pharmaceuticals, the company that produced the first-ever cannabis-based drug as a treatment for epilepsy.
According to a report this month by Wfla.com, the trial will examine the potential of the cannabis compound cannabidivarin, or CBDV, to relieve symptoms of autism, such irritability and repetitive behaviors, in 100 children between 5 and 18 years old.
The report noted that Dr. David Berger, a pediatrician at Wholistic Pediatrics and Family Care in Tampa, Florida, has been treating people with autism for 20 years, and has been using medical cannabis and CBD in his treatments for three years.
“I’ve seen both THC and CBD cause tremendous improvements,” Berger said. “I haven’t had an opportunity to use the new CBDV product that they’re referring to because that is not something that we have isolated and have available to us in Florida yet but I’m very excited to see the clinical results.” Berge said that if the trial is successful, he would be open to using CBDV in his treatment of patients. The compound is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not produce a high.
The Montefiore trial is being led by Dr. Eric Hollander, director of the Autism and Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Program and Anxiety and Depression Program at Montefiore Hospital. Hollander believes CBDV has the potential to treat autism symptoms, since the compound has been very successful in reducing seizure activity.
Berger said he is cautious about using THC as a treatment for children, though he is not afraid of using it compared to “what the alternatives are.” “Even if the kid did take too much, the effects are there for a few hours,” he said. “They go to sleep, the next day it’s kind of like you start all over again. So, I’ll tell parents ‘we can push this a little bit, and if we don’t like what we’re seeing. No parent is going to want their kid walking around acting high, so we can then come back, or we can also boost the CBD some more and that often will also take care of that negative effect.”
The clinical trial is estimated to be completed by September 30, 2021. Source: https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/29/health/cannabis-autism-weed-5/index.html