The federal government has approved marijuana testing to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, a big move for many involved that say lifts one of the greatest hurdles for clearing the way for its use for medicinal purposes. Fifty veterans will take part in the study that will test five forms of the drug on those suffering from PTSD. Those in favor of medicinal marijuana were shocked by federal approval, given they have stood against it for decades.
Could marijuana help treat post-traumatic stress disorder in military veterans? New research aims to find out.
The U.S. government has signed off on a long-delayed study looking at marijuana as a treatment for military veterans with PTSD, a development that drug researchers are hailing as a major shift in U.S. policy.
The study will measure the effects of five different potencies of smoked or vaporized marijuana in treating symptoms of PTSD in 50 veterans.
The Department of Health and Human Services’ decision surprised marijuana advocates who have struggled for decades to secure federal approval for research into the drug’s medical uses.
The proposal from the University of Arizona was long ago cleared by the Food and Drug Administration, but researchers had been unable to purchase marijuana from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The agency’s Mississippi research farm is the only federally-sanctioned source of the drug.
In a letter last week, HHS cleared the purchase of medical marijuana by the studies’ chief financial backer, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, which supports medical research and legalization of marijuana and other drugs.
“MAPS has been working for over 22 years to start marijuana drug development research, and this is the first time we’ve been granted permission to purchase marijuana from NIDA,” the Boston-based group said in a statement. The federal government has never before approved medical research involving smoked or vaporized marijuana, according to MAPS.