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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Marijuana for PTSD

In the United States, we have prohibited the cultivation and use of marijuana for 80 years. America is not alone; most developed nations have similar legislation. While prohibition may have resulted in deterring the use of the drug, it also had the unintended consequence of preventing cannabis research. Since 1996, when California first legalized medical marijuana, there have been a number of studies conducted to determine what the drug could be used for, particular ailments it could treat.

Experiencing a tragic event can result in what is known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While the disorder is most commonly associated with war, it affects millions of people who have experienced some form of trauma. PTSD can be extremely difficult to treat, it requires extensive therapy. Left untreated, those suffering from the disorder will often self-medicate with drugs and alcohol in order to cope. While substance use may provide some temporary relief, in the long run it only exacerbates the problem.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has approved a new study that will try to determine if cannabis is an effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, The Denver Post reports. PTSD is currently not on the list of qualifying health problems for gaining access to medical marijuana programs, which researchers in three states have been working for years to garner approval for the new study.

“This is a critical step in moving our botanical drug development program forward at the federal level to gather information on the dosing, risks, and benefits of smoked marijuana for PTSD symptoms,” said Amy Emerson, Director of Clinical Research for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Public Benefit Corporation.

The study will involve the use of raw marijuana, rather than oils or synthesized cannabis, according to the article. The findings of the research may not be published until 2019.

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