DEA Finally Approves Research into Medical Marijuana’s Effect on PTSD
“It’s about time,” said Navy Veteran and director of Veterans 4 Freedom, John Evans, after learning that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) will finally allow researchers to study the potential benefits of medical marijuana with regards to treating post-traumatic stress disorder. For veterans suffering with PTSD, the results of this research could dramatically change their course of treatment and possibly be one of the most historic clinical trials ever conducted.
This unprecedented decision is a surprising, but welcomed victory for marijuana researchers and veterans suffering with PTSD. Working for nearly a decade to win federal approval, Dr. Sue Sisley and her colleagues hope to study 76 participants: specifically military veterans who have had little or no success treating their PTSD with traditional methods.
Funded by a $2.156 million grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), the California-based nonprofit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) will be sponsoring the research.
Using only marijuana supplied by the federal government from their ultra-secretive, twelve-acre grow farm at the University of Mississippi, researchers will study the use of marijuana strains with varying levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) with respect to treating symptoms of PTSD. Dr. Sisley and her team are hoping to discover previously unavailable data regarding medical marijuana dosing, composition, and side effects.
To many Colorado veterans suffering from PTSD, this research is arguably the first step in the right direction in light of last year’s 6-2 vote against adding PTSD as a medical condition that can be treated with medical marijuana. In contrast to the testimony by various medical professionals, the hearing was fraught with emotion as a dozen veterans explained how medical marijuana saved their lives. Despite a “yes” vote from Colorado’s chief medical officer, Dr. Larry Wolk, the Board of Health claimed there was not enough quality evidence to justify adding PTSD as a medical condition worthy of medical marijuana.
In addition to this groundbreaking study, the CDPHE is also funding eight medical marijuana studies with money collected from application fees paid by medical marijuana patients.
Although the results of these studies will not be available for at least a few years, many veterans and marijuana activists are hopeful that the data finally will confirm what they already believe . . . that medical marijuana can save lives.