When Asi Naim, a severely autistic Israeli boy, started smacking his head against the wall and hurting himself in other ways, his parents tried every kind of psychiatric drug to calm him. Nothing worked.
“He was so totally out of it,” said his mother, Ricky Naim Blumenfeld. “It was scary.”
Then Asi entered a cannabis-based research program at Jerusalem’s Shaarei Zedek hospital. After a period of trial and error, he started getting a dosage of cannabinoid drops that worked. Four years later, Asi loves music, being at parties, going to the movies and traveling abroad.
The same medication has helped many of the 60 autistic children enrolled in neuro-pediatrian Adi Aran’s program. Aran is now in the middle of a second, controlled study with 100 children. The end goal: approval by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration as an experimental treatment.