Global medicinal marijuana company Zelira Therapeutics recently signed a licensing deal with cannabis grower, manufacturer, and distributor Alternative Solutions for the HOPE line of products, said the Green Market Report. The agreement will allow Alternative Solutions to produce and distribute the HOPE line.

HOPE is Zelira’s well-known treatments for autism patients will become available in Washington, DC with the help of Alternative Solutions. The capital is just one of the areas in the United States in which medical cannabis is legal. Thirty-two states in the country have a legitimate medicinal marijuana program.

With Alternative Solutions, the company will be bringing its offerings to DC’s patients with autism in the second quarter of 2021.

Zelira CEO and Managing Director USA Dr. Oudare Odumosu expressed excitement in this new development. Odumosu said, “We are thrilled to have Alternative Solutions as a partner to launch HOPE in the nation’s capital.” Odumosu added, “They are a leader in the DC medical cannabis market, and this partnership will allow legal access of HOPE to more patients across the country than ever before.”

Zelira Partners with Alternative Solutions

Odumosu regards this partnership with Alternative Solutions as the widest expansion of HOPE as of writing.

In a press release posted on PR Newswire, Alternative Solutions  CEO Matt Lawson-Baker said that the company “is thrilled to be partnering with Zelira to bring the HOPE product line to the Washington DC medical cannabis market.” He added, “Access to this medicine in the nation’s capital will provide patients and their families the treatment they deserve through a legal regulated medical cannabis program.”

Aside from penetrating the DC market with the help of Alternative Solutions, Zelira has also partnered with Ilera Healthcare to offer HOPE in Pennsylvania and with Advanced Biomedics LLC in Louisiana.

The Potential of Medical Cannabis in Treating Autism

According to the Green Market Report, “HOPE was formulated by Zelira Therapeutics and is the brainchild of Erica Daniels, founder of Hope Grows for Autism, a nonprofit aimed at improving the lives of families affected by autism through research, education, and advocacy.”

With this, it is important to take a look at the potential of medical cannabis as a treatment for patients with autism. What you need to know about cannabis is that more than a recreational plant, it has been used throughout history for its therapeutic properties. In the modern world, researchers have found that the plant has the potential for treating a wide variety of medical conditions including insomnia, epilepsy, mental disorders, and chronic pain.

Given its various medicinal attributes, you might be wondering about its ability to address autism, especially as it is a spectrum. According to Spectrum News, the United States Food and Drug Administration has only approved on drugs derived from the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Epidiolex, a liquid cannabis extract that contains pure cannabidiol (CBD), is used to decrease seizures in individuals with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, both a grave kind of epilepsy.

The thing is, both types of epilepsy are associated with autism as some sufferers of both syndromes have autism. Another connection that cannabis has with autism is that the company that produces Epidiolex, GW Pharmaceuticals, is performing a trial regarding the potential use of the medication for Rett Syndrome. This syndrome is a neurodevelopmental condition known to be related to autism.

A great thing about the trials is that while the use of the CBD-rich drug for Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is focused on alleviating seizures, the application of Epidiolex for Rett syndrome is geared toward improving behavior and cognition. To this end, GW has been recruiting children and teenagers with autism to participate in the second phase of the trial for cannabidivarin, another cannabinoid just like CBD.

The company is in the process of studying the effects of cannabidivarin on the traits exhibited by children with autism, especially behaviors that they repeatedly show. It also seeks to see the cannabinoid’s effect on their quality of life.

So, how can medical cannabis aid in treating autism? One thing you should keep in mind that treatments are not necessarily cures, but as a means to manage the symptoms of the condition. For autism, managing moods, behaviors, traits, quality of life, and cognition is the primary focus of using medical marijuana.

What parents need to remember is that while Epidiolex has been successful in treating syndromes related to autism, it is important to note that not enough tests have been conducted for this purpose. Having said this, a sliver of hope can be observed in animal models. Moreover, early-stage clinical trials have also shown promising results. Regardless, widespread use is not yet advised as all of these are still in the trial stages.

Accessing Cannabis for Individuals with Autism

When thinking of using medicinal cannabis for autism, it is important to reiterate that the effectiveness of the plant in treating this condition is still in the trial stages and still largely untested. Plus, it is always better to err on the safe side when it comes to children. Having said this, if you are an adult and you want to try medical marijuana for yourself, then you can definitely do so, even before the arrival of the HOPE product line.

In Washington, DC, this plant is legal for therapeutic purposes for individuals with qualifying conditions. Because of this, there are numerous licensed dispensaries that offer medical cannabis for patients. However, in light of the current public health situation, you want to make sure that you safely access these products. After all, you would not want to sacrifice your health while in the process of addressing health-related matters.

To get your hands on the plant and infused products, make sure to practice these tips.

●        Opt for Contactless Methods

The new normal calls for the cooperation of everyone in preventing the spread of the virus. because of this, you want to make sure that you opt for methods that let you minimize your risk of exposure. Your best bet is to pick contactless ways.

When talking about contactless methods, you have a variety of options. Contactless deliveries are home or curbside services that allow you to practice social distancing. With weed delivery being legal in the capital, you can get your supply even without leaving your home. If driving down to the dispensary is fine with you, then you can simply pick curbside delivery in which a staff member will bring your orders to a designated parking spot.

 In the process of contactless procuring of your supplies, you might want to add more precautions to ensure your health and safety. You can do this by choosing to make contactless payments, as well. You can choose digital or online payments if the dispensary allows. However, you should keep in mind that the industry is underbanked, which means that some traditional banks may not be available for making marijuana-related payments.

When choosing contactless buying and payment methods, your best bet is to ask your favorite dispensary if they offer such services.

●        Practice Due Diligence

If you choose to visit the store in-person, you want to make sure that you practice due diligence. Remember, the virus can spread easily if people fail to follow protocols. DC released an advisory saying that dispensaries should uphold protocols including social distancing, regular sanitizing of often-handled surfaces, and offering services that allow customers to safely access their products.

Moreover, sniff jars and other similar activities are no longer allowed inside the stores. The wearing of protective equipment is also mandatory, so when you decide to head down to the dispensary for a walk-in visit, you need to make sure that you have a mask with you, or else, you risk being turned away from the establishment.

●        Consult Your Doctor

The HOPE product line is designed for people with autism. However, since you will have to wait until the second quarter of 2021, you need to make sure that you consume medical cannabis properly. If you are not sure where to start, the best thing to do is to consult your doctor, particularly one who specializes in medical marijuana. They are bound to know the proper dosage for people, especially if you are new to the cannabis scene.

These medical professionals can also give you valuable advice as to what type of product would fit your needs. Keep in mind that there is a wide variety of products for you to choose from including flowers, edibles, topicals, and vape pens. You want to make sure that you know the type that can help you with your condition and will not impair your daily functions. Cannabidiol is always a safe choice, but keep in mind that cannabinoids take effect in various people differently.

Upon the advisement of your doctor, you can choose to get products that are low in dosage, make sure to take your products moderately.

The Bottom Line

The HOPE product line is definitely a great initiative from Zelira and Alternative Solutions. While waiting for the arrival of these items, you can check out medical cannabis in a safe and healthy manner. Just keep these tips in mind and you are good to go.

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