Scientists will test if cannabis eases the symptoms of autism.
The University of California, San Diego, has announced plans to launch such a study next year, with others due to begin at New York University, the Montefiore Medical Center and the Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem.
Dr Orrin Devinsky, who is involved in the two upcoming US studies, said: 'There's an enormous amount of [cannabis] usage because 29 states and [the] District of Columbia have approved medical marijuana.
'In many of those states, parents of children with autism are able to obtain medical marijuana from a physician and use it to treat a variety of different problems, from anxiety, to aggressive behavior, to sleep problems.'
He adds, however, studies need to be conducted to determine if cannabis use in children with autism is safe.iPhone transfer software
Experts are interested to see cannabis' effects in autism patients after past trials have suggested a nutritional supplement in marijuana, known as cannabidiol (CBD), eases epilepsy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around one in 59 children in the US are affected by autism to some extent.
Scientists will test if cannabis eases autism in a study launching next year (stock)
A supplement derived from cannabis may help alcohol and cocaine addicts overcome their cravings, research suggested in March 2018.
Recovering rats given cannabidiol (CBD) are less likely to relapse when exposed to drugs, a study, by the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, found.
This is thought to be due to the supplement easing anxiety and stress, as well as reducing impulsive behaviour, according to the researchers.
After just three days of receiving CBD, recovering rats are still less likely to relapse five months later, the study found.
The researchers hope the findings will assist in the development of treatments to prevent human drug relapses.
CBD is a cannabis-derived nutritional supplement that is thought to possess a range of medicinal benefits and has been reported to help people suffering from migraines, psoriasis, acne and depression.
Legal in the UK, it does not contain any THC, which is the psychoactive component of marijuana that makes users 'high'.
Speaking of the findings, lead author Dr Friedbert Weiss said: 'The efficacy of the CBD to reduce reinstatement in