Oral THC for Autism. A 19 month randomised placebo controlled trial.

According to this news story anyway. Sadly we don’t have any more information than this. Certainly no access to the results apart from this one claimed success.

If you have any more information about this trial or it’s results we’d love to hear about it.

Please be aware that there are many reasons why the company that conducted this research have not made it public. By no means is this an indication that the THC was not effective. However, anecdotal opinion tends towards a preference for whole herbal cannabis and Cannabidiol, at least in some part, over pure THC, and by most accounts smoking and vaporising  are superior to ingestion.

Clearly smoking is not an option for many on the autistic spectrum and certainly not for very young children.

Here’s the full text of the story by Kyle Midura, originally published May 2011:
“BILLINGS – A Montana woman says medical marijuana helps her autistic teenage son communicate. She’s concerned all his progress will be for naught if the bill to reform medical marijuana legislation makes it past the governor’s desk.

Coral Campbell says in 2001, her son was uncontrollable. “I have a 14-year-old son that has high-functioning Asperger’s,” she said, “Nick was never able to sit still and play Legos, or color in a coloring book.”

The family took up sign language because he only spoke gibberish. Desperate, Campbell signed him up for a Canadian experimental drug trial.

“It totally changed his life,” said Campbell, “at the end of 19 months, we found out was taking THC capsules.”

“Not only was I ecstatic to hear ‘I love you mommy,’ but to be able to understand it,” she said.

These days, Nick will eat a cannabis cookie, or have a sucker before bed. He’s capable of attending school, if only for a few hours, and has been able to stop taking prescription drugs that hurt his kidneys.

“It’s very disturbing to me to know that I might not be able to get (edible marijuana products) for him,” said Campbell.

A reform bill is expected to pass mid-May, eliminating commercial caregivers. Campbell says she has no interest in learning how to grow her own marijuana, and says making liquid medicine and treats are well beyond her capabilities.

“It’s a matter of knowing how it’s made, what’s in it, how much is in it, what percentage (THC) it is,” said Campbell, “and that’s what I expect when I go to the pharmacy.”

Legislators say they aimed to eliminate caregivers and reduce the number of patients because many recreational users abused the law.

“I can’t sit back and watch my child suffer again,” said Campbell. But she’s not going to grow marijuana or turn to the black market. She says if efforts to stop the reform bill don’t work, she’ll likely move to another state.

The governor has until Friday to act on the reform bill.

Coral Campbell also became a medical marijuana patient in 2010. She uses the drug in order to combat aggressive pancreatic cancer.”

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About cannabisforautism

An Ashtanga Yoga teacher, dedicated to improving the health and welfare of those involved in mental health issues, substance use or homelessness. I am also striving to put an end to the perception of the substance user as someone who makes incorrect choices. Striving for a world where there are no 'drug abusers' or 'addicts', just substance users with health concerns and sometimes financial and legal confounds. It is possible to use many substances and still remain happier and healthier than your peers. The notion that a substance user must become unhealthier as time goes by is false. I hope you enjoy reading my blog. It's about autism treatments and a few other odds and ends. Thank you and take care, Jules
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5 Responses to Oral THC for Autism. A 19 month randomised placebo controlled trial.

  1. JustExtreme says:

    Good news, hopefully more information about this will become available.

  2. skeptichamster says:

    I assume that you’ve been looking into the whole cannabis for autism idea for a while so maybe you can tell me if I’m wrong about this:
    It seems to me that I often hear or read of studies into the use of marijuana derivatives for various conditions. But finding actual results is trickier. It seems there’s a plethora of magazine articles, news stories and commercial press releases etc. but these are poorly sourced. Actual papers are really hard to find.
    For me anecdotal evidence isn’t really worth squiggly- not that I would go as far as to dismiss it, of course. I can add to the anecdotal pile myself with my own use of cannabis for Crohn’s Disease (as a pain relief) or some of my friends with ADHD. I have a friend with Asperger’s who, in my opinion, wouldn’t have made it through Uni without pot. He doesn’t do it now as he’s got other ways of doing things but at the time it allowed him to socialise and deal with shared housing.
    But what I want to see is real, peer-reviewed evidence. I want to know the results that seem to disappear into the ether.
    I’d hoped that the situation in California might have made information more forthcoming, but it doesn’t seem to be. Perhaps I’m looking in the wrong places.
    I hope this poor woman doesn’t have to move. Her son and her seem to be being punished for abusing the system when they are surely the ones the system should be working for. If anybody is not abusing the system it’s these people!

    • Given the unique difficulties presented by the daunting task of actually conducting an RPCT in an autistic population, I’d suggest, sadly, that we will be the last clinical population (who’s prevalence exceeds one in nine thousand or more) to get cannabis based medicines trialled for us.

      You’ll hopefully enjoy this list, and it’s hopefully what you’re looking for: http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000884

      If you google ‘Granny storm crow list’ you’ll find over 420 pages of references…

      The whole question of ‘cannabis may treat XYZ’ is an interesting one.
      There are claims that it treats many thousands of conditions.
      Looking at the evidence so far, trials are considerably more likely to result in agreement with anecdotal reports than the contrary.
      How many times must this happen before people in medicine will believe that it’s probably true for autism too?

      As for me, I’ve been smoking it for over 20 years, diagnosed with asperger’s for about 10 years, I didn’t think of it as medicine until other people pointed out to me that that’s what it’s doing for me, and it wasn’t until 2010 that I decided to learn all about it and campaign, after I realised the problem faced by autistic kids (they can’t grow their own or score it off a mate!).

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