Cannabinoids for Behavioral Problems in Children With ASD (CBA)
This study aims to assess the safety, tolerability and efficacy of cannabinoids mix [cannabidiol (CBD), Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in a 20:1 ratio, BOL Pharma, Israel] for behavioral problems in children and youth with ASD.
|Condition or disease||Intervention/treatment||Phase|
|Autistic Disorder||Drug: Cannabinoids – 99% pure cannabinoids mix Drug: Placebo Drug: Cannabinoids – whole plant extract||Phase 2|
Disruptive behaviors are very common in children and youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Behavioral problems increase social impairment in children with ASD, make interventions more difficult and place considerable strain on families and caregivers. Current treatment is based on behavioral interventions combined with atypical antipsychotics which often have low tolerability and questionable efficacy.
Cannabis exerts profound effects on human social behavior. Research using animal models of ASD indicate a possible dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system, and stress that it may be a novel target for pharmacological interventions. Anecdotal evidence suggest efficacy of various phytocannabinoids in resistant behavioral problems. However controlled human studies are lacking.
Objective: To assess the safety, tolerability and efficacy of cannabinoids mix [cannabidiol (CBD), Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in a 20:1 ratio, BOL Pharma, Israel] for behavioral problems in children and youth with ASD.
Setting: A double blind randomized placebo-controlled trial with crossover.
Methods: One hundred and fifty participants, ages 5-21 years, with ASD and moderate to severe refractory behavioral problems will be randomized to receive 1 out of 3 treatments for 12-weeks and cross-over to another treatment in a second 12 weeks period. Treatment options are: (1) oral placebo (2) cannabis extract, contains cannabidiol and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol in a 20:1 ratio, at a cannabidiol dose of 10 mg/kg/d and (3) pure cannabidiol and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol in the same ratio and dose.
Outcomes and measures: Two co-primary endpoints will compare the whole plant extract treatment to the placebo treatment on a within subject design. 1) The change from baseline Home Situations Questionnaire-ASD score after 3 months of treatment (HSQ-ASD; a parent rated assessment of disruptive behavior). 2) The Clinical Global Impression- improvement (CGI-I; a clinician rated assessment of improvement in disruptive behavior following treatment)
Secondary efficacy outcomes include:
- Within subject differences between the placebo condition and the pure cannabinoids condition and between the whole plant extract condition and the pure cannabinoids condition in the change from baseline HSQ-ASD score after 3 months of treatment and in the CGI-I.
- Within subject differences between each pair of the 3 conditions in the Clinical Global Impression- drug effect (CGI-D).
- Within subject differences between each pair of the 3 conditions in the change from baseline after 3 months of treatment in: Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) parent and teacher rated, Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and autism parenting stress index (APSI).
Safety endpoints will include the proportion of patients with adverse events measured by the investigators and the Liverpool Adverse Events Profile (modified).
Exploratory measures are: markers of the endocannabinoid system in the patients’ blood and possible correlation to phytocannabinoids bioavailability and treatment response, change from baseline at the end of treatment in BMI and Children’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ) score and quality of parent- child interaction during the study (Emotional Availability- EA).
Long term safety, tolerability and efficacy of cannabidiol-rich medical cannabis will be assessed after 12 and 24 months of open treatment, in a subgroup of patients who will apply for medical license to use cannabis after completing the study.
Speakers & Oral Presenters
CannX is the leading international conference in medical cannabis. The conference is held in partnership with Shizim and Cann10 – the premier holding groups with companies active in the fields of entrepreneurship, BioMed, clinical research, regulatory affairs, innovative technologies, and business development services.
Conference Dates: March 14-15, 2022
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