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. 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

Free PMC article

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

Lihi Bar-Lev Schleider et al. Sci Rep. .
Free PMC article


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.

Conflict of interest statement

L.B.L.S. and N.S. are employees of Tikun-Olam Ltd. V.N. is a paid member of the Tikun Olam Ltd. scientific advisory board. R.M. and G.M. have no conflicts of interest pertaining to the current manuscript.


Figure 1
Figure 1
The study population in the three follow-up periods, at intake, after one month and after six months of medical cannabis treatment.

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