Cannabis Spray Treatment Helps 9-Year-Old with Autism Learn to Speak

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A controversial cannabis treatment helps boy break his nine-year silence. Could it benefit others, too?

The Short of It

Kalel Santiago, who lives in Puerto Rico, was diagnosed with cancer at 10 months old, and after he was cancer-free at 3 years old, he was diagnosed with severe, non-verbal autism. At age 9, he hadn't spoken his first word—until his parents tried a controversial treatment: Hemp Health, a hemp oil that includes a form of cannabis. Two days later, he was speaking.

The Lowdown

Kalel's parents sprayed the compound cannabidiol (CBD) in the boy's mouth twice per day, and they say the results were astounding.

"He surprised us in school by saying the vowels, A-E-I-O-U. It was the first time ever," dad Abiel says. "You can't imagine the emotion we had, hearing Kalel's voice for the first time. It was amazing. The teacher recorded him and sent it to...

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