A trial of marijuana use for managing the symptoms of chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in military veterans is now fully under way in the USA.
In April last year we reported the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) had been awarded a USD $2.156 million grant to execute the first clinical trial of whole plant marijuana for PTSD treatment.
MAPS announced earlier this week the first participant has received cannabis under the trial being run at the Scottsdale Research Institute (SRI) in Phoenix, Arizona.
A total of 76 U.S. veterans will participate in the placebo-controlled trial. Half will be enrolled at SRI and the other half at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
The first participant was officially enrolled on February 3 and Johns Hopkins University commenced screening on January 19.
Participants will complete 17 outpatient study visits to the respective clinics over 12 weeks, and a six-month follow-up visit.
Marcel Bonn-Miller, Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, is overseeing both sites.
“.. we are breaking important ground needed to identify improved treatment options for veterans with PTSD,” said Dr. Bonn-Miller.
Results from the trial will provide important information on dosage, composition, side effects, and other areas; which will be disseminated to health professionals and lawmakers considering marijuana as a potential PTSD treatment.
While there has been plenty of anecdotal evidence as to the efficacy of smoked marijuana in treating the condition; scientific evidence to date is still rather scant.
A recent wide-ranging report on the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids, which reviewed thousands of research papers, only found limited evidence supporting the use of cannabis in treating the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. But that doesn’t mean it’s not effective – the claim just needs hard data to back it up.
The impact of PTSD on those afflicted and others in contact with sufferers shouldn’t be underestimated – it is a serious health issue and one that doesn’t just affect military veterans who have been in combat situations.
According to SANE Australia, which has been working with people affected by mental illness for 30 years, approximately 25% of people who are exposed to traumatic events develop PTSD.
An estimated 8% of Americans – around 24.4 million people – have PTSD at any given time says PTSDUnited