For some parents who are at their wits’ end finding ways to ease their kids’ autism symptoms, medical marijuana has offered a relief other medications and treatments apparently can’t. This past year has seen several parents of children with autism speak out, especially as more states qualify autism patients for medical marijuana use and major studies examine the effects of cannabis on children.
Most recently, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Australian pharmaceutical research firm Zelda Therapeutics are joining up to see how effective medical marijuana is as a treatment in pediatric patients with autism. The observational study is expected to start early next year and have preliminary results within six months.
Pennsylvania was one of the first states to add autism as a qualifying condition for its medical marijuana program, which will fully launch next year. In 2015, Delaware made “autism with self-injurious or aggressive behavior” a qualifying condition. And just this month, the Minnesota Department of Health approved autism as a qualifying condition since it first authorized the medical marijuana program in 2014.