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Scientists at UCSD Awarded $4.7M for Research on Effects of CBD on Autism

Updated: Aug 13, 2018

Researchers at the UC San Diego Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research have been awarded a $4.7 million grant from The Ray and Tye Noorda Foundation to investigate the effects of cannabidiol, CBD, on autism in a multidisciplinary study. 


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The clinical trials led by Doris Trauner, M.D. of the departments of Pediatrics and Neurosciences in the UCSD School of Medicine will begin in late 2018 and will include 30 children ranging in age from eight to twelve years old who have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. The children will be receiving cannabis in the form of CBD which is a chemical compound contained in cannabis that does not include tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. 


Igor Grant, MD, chair of the Department of Psychiatry at UC San Diego School of Medicine said when explaining how the study could have a larger affect than just helping those with autism, "We are excited to begin this clinical trial and unlock additional, evidence-based knowledge of how cannabis and cannabinoids can be used as medicines, not only for autism, but in the future for other neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders". 


Many of the symptoms of ASD, a complex neurodevelopmental disorder, such as hyperactivity and repetitive behaviors are thought to be caused by abnormal development of connectivity and communication between neural networks. The study aims gain a new understanding of how CBD interacts and affects neural activity and if it could safely alleviate some symptoms of ASD. 


The study would not be possible without the generous funding provided by the Tye and Noorda Foundation which focuses their philanthropy on making a world "where all people enjoy equal opportunities to achieve health, purpose, and happiness" by choosing to "make sizable, enabling grants to those adventurous organizations we believe have the ability to propel the world closer to achieving that vision" according to their website.

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