A PTSD study on the benefits of cannabis is now looking to enroll military veterans.
Returning members of the United States military have long claimed that cannabis has helped them deal with their PTSD symptoms. However, they are often unable to acquire cannabis or have to resort to seeking it illegally. While there is little academic research on the benefits of cannabis for PTSD, many veterans have claimed it is one of the only treatments that has helped with their return to civilian life. This PTSD study is the first to receive approval from the FDA and DEA to use flower as opposed to oils and synthetic treatments.
“We’re not arguing that cannabis is a cure, but our hypothesis is that it will at least reduce the symptoms,” study organizer, Dr. Sue Sisley said according to militarytimes.com.
The PTSD study will have volunteers smoke up to 2 joints per day in order to see if it reduces symptoms associated with PTSD. There will be 76 combat veterans to be tested for 12 weeks each. The joint study will involve participants from both Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and Sisley’s Scottsdale Research Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. Four subjects will start to receive cannabis each month and the study will span over two years in total. Over 100 participants have already volunteered. To qualify, candidates are expected to have tried other treatments for PTSD but still have lingering symptoms.
Cannabis for PTSD is becoming a hot-button issue nationally. An Illinois judge ordered PTSD to be added to the states list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis.
New Jersey authorities are also debating allowing PTSD for veterans. The state assembly has passed a bill adding the condition to the list of qualifying conditions. However, the bill’s fate is now up to Governor Chris Christie. The governor has voiced his opposition to legal cannabis in the past. While running for the Republican nominee for president, he told Colorado residents to enjoy their cannabis while they still could. “As of January 2017, I will enforce the federal laws.” Governor Christie said. Cannabis is currently a Schedule I banned substance.
As cannabis use grows in acceptance the issue of veteran use will likely remain in the spotlight. The DEA is also expected to announce a decision on whether or not to reschedule cannabis sometime in the future. If they elect to reclassify, research on PTSD and cannabis will likely increase significantly.