Ask Dr. David

Hello From Medical Cannabis-Friendly Israel!

May 17, 2018

AS YOU MAY KNOW, for many years Israel has been at the very cutting edge of research using cannabis. Since I am finishing a 16-day trip to Israel escorting my son’s 8th-grade class, I figured it would be nice to write about some of the exciting things they are doing here with medical cannabis.

Cannabis is widely accepted in Israel. A recent survey showed the percentage of adult users in Israel is the largest of any country in the world. In fact, the use of cannabis dates back to biblical times, and during the 18th century, some believe senior rabbis would use it to experience an  ascension of the soul.

Two years ago, five Israeli pediatric epilepsy clinics treated children and adolescents diagnosed as having intractable epilepsy with a regimen of medical cannabis oil. The results were “highly promising” for the use of low-THC medical cannabis for intractable seizures. Of the seventy-four people in the study, 89% showed a reduction in seizures using CBD, while 7% had worsening seizures. The researchers also noted, “In addition, we observed improvement in behavior and alertness, language, communication, motor skills and sleep. Adverse reactions included somnolence, fatigue, gastrointestinal disturbances and irritability leading to withdrawal of cannabis use in five patients.”

An extensive research study in Israel is currently underway to determine potential uses for medical cannabis in the treatment of autism. Although conclusions are not yet known, the preliminary findings have been very promising. If the results of this study even remotely align with the success we have had with our Wholistic ReLeaf patients, it would be a potential game changer. This is because it would help physicians become more comfortable recommending medical cannabis for patients with autism.

For those who do not know, the Hebrew word Shalom means, hello, goodbye, and peace. As my grandmother used to say, “Shalom Y’all!”