Marijuana for PTSD: DEA Approves First-Ever Trial of Medical Marijuana for PTSD in Veterans

On April 19, 2016, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) formally approved the first-ever randomized controlled trial of whole plant medical marijuana (cannabis) as a treatment for PTSD in U.S. veterans. The DEA’s approval marks the first time a clinical trial intended to develop smoked botanical marijuana into a legal prescription drug has received full approval from U.S. regulatory agencies, including the DEA, FDA, and Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) at the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University, and the Copernicus IRB. The randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled study will test the safety and efficacy of botanical marijuana in 76 U.S. military veterans with treatment-resistant PTSD. The study is funded by a $2.156 million grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to MAPS, which is sponsoring the study. MAPS’ study protocol will be replicated using vaporization by the Canadian medical marijuana producer Tilray, and by the University of Sydney using Tilray extracts in orally administered capsules. View the press release