Lehigh University to study cannabis as treatment for autism - Lift News

Friday, Jun 23, 2017

In 2016, Pennsylvania became the sixth state to allow the use of cannabis as treatment for autism in children. Now, a year later, Lehigh University of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania has announced it plans to begin assembling its first collection of real-world usage data to analyze the health effects and effectiveness of cannabis when used to mitigate autistic behavioural tendencies.

Lehigh hopes to work with BioGreen Farms, which is currently pursuing a production license for a facility in nearby Williams Township. Lehigh plans to begin seeking grants if BioGreen is awarded a grower's permit, but that’s a big “if”—there are 28 applicants vying for only 2 permits initially expected to be issued in the region.

BioGreen's medical director, Dr. Sue Sisley, told The Morning Call she is eager to conduct research on the effects of treating autism with lab-tested cannabis, having previously railed against the low quality of federally grown research marijuana.

No stranger to youth autism, Lehigh’s professors work with students at Centennial School, a special-focus school that serves children with educational and developmental disorders. Lehigh is also home to the Center for Promoting Research to Practice, which has been working with autistic children for years.