A leading autism consultant has slammed claims that cannabis oil can cure autism.
It follows claims from a current affairs podcast that a Dublin Hemp company has been caught making claims that it sells cannabis oil that can help to cure autism.
The Here’s How podcast is claiming that it recorded the manager of the popular Dublin shop, saying that children should start taking the oil as young as two years old to treat autism, and that there were ‘clinical trials and studies’ to prove that it worked.
But Dr Michael Fitzgerald, a consultant with decades of experience treating autistic children, and advisor on a government task force on autism, dismissed the claims live on air.
He advised parents to exercise extreme caution with anyone who offered miracle cures, and to make sure that any treatment was backed up with proper research published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
William Campbell, the presenter of the Here’s How podcast said: “The company is selling the product at an exorbitant price, up to €165 for a tiny 30ml bottle, that works out at €5,500 per litre.
"The oil itself is probably harmless, but if parents use it instead of proper medicine for their kids, the results could be serious.
“But this shop is also exploiting vulnerable people, lying about the benefits of their products, giving them false hope and profiteering on the desperation of families that have children with serious medical conditions.”
He continued: “They also advise their customers to visit quack websites that claim to offer medical advice on how to administer the oil to children for medical effect.
"Cleverly, they don’t make this claim in writing, but they tell parents that it treats autism when they call."