AZ Family: DEA Green Lights Trial of Medical Marijuana for PTSD in Veterans (Article)

Summary: AZ Family reports on the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)’s recent approval of MAPS’ clinical trial of medical marijuana for U.S. military veterans with chronic, treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Originally appearing here.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has approved a first-of-its-kind trial to study the effects of medical marijuana as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans.

“This is a very important opportunity to finally answer some questions for patients about, first of all, does marijuana work for patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, and if so, what strains might be best,” said Dr. Sue Sisley.

Dr. Sisley has been pushing for this trial for years.

“I’m not pro-cannabis, I’m just pro-science, I’m pro-research, and I desperately want to see this plant studied in a rigorous controlled environment, and I think we owe it to the veterans community to do that,” she said.

To get the optimal candidates, Dr. Sisley said they are going to be screening hundreds of veterans over the next year.

“They have to have severe PTSD, and they have to be diagnosed for at least six months, they have to have failed medication or psychotherapy or both in order to be eligible,” said Sisley.

There is a whole host of other criteria they will be required to meet as well to participate.

The money to fund the study is coming from the state of Colorado.

Dr. Sisley will oversee 38 veterans in Phoenix and 38 more will take part in the same trial in Baltimore.

“Those 38 vets are going to be randomized into four different strains of cannabis,” she said.

One of which will be a placebo, meaning some of those chosen to participate will be given what looks and smells like marijuana, but it’s been stripped of all its medicinal properties.

This is also a blind study so no one involved will know what anyone else has been given.

“That’s the way we eliminate any human bias so the public can be reassured that this data will be absolutely impeccable,” she said.

Dr. Sisley expects the trial to take about two years with at least a year-and-a-half of that required just to find the optimal candidates.

Admittedly, she is not sure what the data will show but says the goal of this has always been to put whole plant cannabis through the entire FDA drug development process.