Touted as the first medical marijuana (MMJ) product in the state, its release was made possible by scientific research, according to Louisiana-based Ilera Holistic.
The research shows that cannabis is “safe and effective on patients (including children) to treat ASD,” the company statement notes. Patients who use cannabis have reported significant improvement in quality of life, mood and sleep, as well as less reliance on other medications, it adds.
Louisiana exceeds “the national percentage of autism diagnoses, while at-risk and under-served patients still struggle to receive safe and effective healthcare,” Dr. Chanda Macias, Ilera Holistic CEO, notes in the statement.
Called HOPE, the product was formulated by Zelira Therapeutics and will be available through state-licensed MMJ pharmacies to patients and families who have a doctor’s prescription. The product is gluten-, dairy-, soy- and nut-free, pesticide-free and lab-tested. It will be available in a 1:1 THC:CBD tincture and a 5:1 THC:CBD tincture.
“Louisiana families deserve full access to all the benefits that cannabis medicine can provide, and we are thrilled to have HOPE in this market and available to everyone,” Dr. Macias says.
“Now, more than ever, patients are struggling with the symptoms associated with autism,” says Erica Daniels, founder of the non-profit Hope Grows for Autism, who developed the formulation with Zelira Therapeutics.
The product is grown, cultivated, processed and packaged in Louisiana through the Ilera Holistic and Southern University partnership. Its launch in the state follows the release in Pennsylvania.
Noting its pride in being associated with the new product, Janana Snowden of Southern University’s Agricultural Research and Extension Center adds: “The work we do aims to not only provide valuable research but to also provide potentially beneficial and accessible treatments for symptoms due to conditions that thousands of people live with daily, like autism.”
Not all studies have come to the same conclusions, of course, but research published two years agofound that there was an improvement in symptoms for most children when they were treated with high-CBD, low-THC medical cannabis. Taking into account symptoms that include restlessness, rage attacks and agitation, following six months of daily cannabis treatment, “80.1 per cent of patients reported improvement of their symptoms, with 30.1 per cent reporting ‘significant’ improvement.”
And a review from last year cites a study that found the quality of life was better for some children and teens with autism who were treated with cannabis oil containing 30 per cent CBD and 1.5 per cent THC.
Want to keep up to date on what’s happening in the world of cannabis? Subscribe to the Cannabis Post newsletter for weekly insights into the industry, what insiders will be talking about and content from across the Postmedia Network.