PTSD and Cannabis Study is Finally Approved 

Veterans suffering from PTSD finally have something to look forward to; at least as far as medical marijuana is concerned. A year ago, federal government approved the funding for a study that would look into the effects of medical marijuana on veteran patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The work may finally get underway after the National Institute of Drug Abuse reported in May this year that they are ready to supply the research team with cannabis they need to begin the study.

This study represents an important milestone in medical marijuana reform in the U.S. as it is the first study approved by the federal government that allows the subjects to consume marijuana by smoking it. The study will also mark “the first whole-plant marijuana study,” as it will not look into the effects of a cannabis extract in a manufactured delivery system, but the entire plant instead.

The one-year delay shouldn’t have happened, according to some veterans who were eagerly waiting for it to start.

Since the Department of Health, the Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Agency gave all necessary permits last year, the study was stalled with many setbacks. The University of Arizona was supposed to be one of the testing sites, but after the school fired Dr. Suzanne Sisley the lead researcher, they left the study. The university failed to explain its decision to suddenly fire Dr. Sisley, although some suggest that it was a political decision in an effort to avoid the conflict with certain Arizona lawmakers who opposed the study. One of the veterans, an alumnus of the university, started a petition to bring Dr. Sisley back and even though the petition collected more than 100,000 signatures, the university decided to ignore it.

The study will examine 76 veterans in order to find out about the effects of smoked marijuana. Four strains of cannabis with different potencies, including a placebo strain will be available for the researchers as provided by the National Institute of Drug Abuse. So far, we’ve had a lot of anecdotal evidence about the effectiveness of cannabis in treating war veterans who are suffering from PTSD. Many have started using marijuana to treat symptoms of PTSD after marijuana reform started sweeping the country a couple of years ago. Many veterans reported the withdrawal of symptoms such as panic attacks, insomnia, depression, self-destructive behavior and anxiety. However, it wasn’t until now that any scientific evidence was available to draw conclusion upon.

While marijuana is known to have a complicated relationship with conditions such as anxiety, some strains are known to have beneficial effects in treating patients with this condition. It is also known that THC is responsible for anxiety, meaning that overcoming anxiety with cannabis might be accomplished by reducing the levels of THC in the plant.

For this reason we need more research about cannabis, and hopefully with this new study, more PTSD patients will be able to successfully manage their illness.