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Sci Rep. 2019 Jan 17;9(1):200. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-37570-y.

Real life Experience of Medical Cannabis Treatment in Autism: Analysis of Safety and Efficacy.

Author information

1
Clinical Cannabis Research Institute, Soroka University Medical Center and Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Be'er-Sheva, Israel.
2
Research Department, Tikun Olam LTD, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel.
3
Institute for Drug Research, School of Pharmacy, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel.
4
Negev Autism Centre, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel.
5
Soroka University Medical and Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel.
6
Clinical Cannabis Research Institute, Soroka University Medical Center and Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Be'er-Sheva, Israel. VictorNo@clalit.org.il.

Abstract

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) worldwide. Recently anecdotal evidence of possible therapeutic effects of cannabis products has emerged. The aim of this study is to characterize the epidemiology of ASD patients receiving medical cannabis treatment and to describe its safety and efficacy. We analysed the data prospectively collected as part of the treatment program of 188 ASD patients treated with medical cannabis between 2015 and 2017. The treatment in majority of the patients was based on cannabis oil containing 30% CBD and 1.5% THC. Symptoms inventory, patient global assessment and side effects at 6 months were primary outcomes of interest and were assessed by structured questionnaires. After six months of treatment 82.4% of patients (155) were in active treatment and 60.0% (93) have been assessed; 28 patients (30.1%) reported a significant improvement, 50 (53.7%) moderate, 6 (6.4%) slight and 8 (8.6%) had no change in their condition. Twenty-three patients (25.2%) experienced at least one side effect; the most common was restlessness (6.6%). Cannabis in ASD patients appears to be well tolerated, safe and effective option to relieve symptoms associated with ASD.

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