The state has awarded $2.7 million for research into how medical marijuana could replace opioids to ease chronic spinal pain — and how it might treat irritability in children and adolescents with autism.
The research will be conducted at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, the state Department of Public Health and Environment announced this week.
Gov. John Hickenlooper issued an executive order in June that cited the autism study as a fiscal priority after he vetoed a bill that would have made the disorder eligible for medical marijuana treatment in Colorado.
That research will be headed by Dr. Nicole Tartaglia, a pediatrician specializing in intellectual and developmental disabilities and an associate professor at the CU Anschutz School of Medicine. Tartaglia practices at Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora.
She said she prescribes such patients traditional behavioral therapies and medication, which can help some but not be robust enough for others. Families whose children haven’t seen improvement are looking at alternative treatments, and one of the most popular is the use of cannabidiol oil.
“We have a lot of anecdotal evidence (for CBD treatment) that is positive and some that raise concern about side effects,” Tartaglia said. “We feel it’s time for a well-controlled trial and a rigorous study design to tell what the benefits are, what symptoms it can help and what the side effects are.” [Read More @ The Gazette]