A new study will focus on using pot to treat PTSD symptoms after some preliminary evidence showed that it can be effective. The Health and Human Services Department has allowed the study to go forward, and it could make an important difference in the lives of soldiers dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies is involved in the research and will be looking at how marijuana can help the disorder, according to the Army Times. Researchers hope to discover how marijuana affects people with post-traumatic stress disorder, and how it can be used to lessen their symptoms or improve their lives.
The initial study will have 50 veterans who will be provided with the marijuana and monitored by researchers. They will receive controlled amounts of medical marijuana in a lab setting to determine the impact of the plant on their health while scientists will be involved every step of the way. This will be the first official U.S. study to focus on veterans, marijuana and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Researchers think the medical marijuana may be useful for treating problems ranging from stress to sleep disorders in PTSD, but they hope to discover other benefits from the study. They will be carefully monitoring the veterans to see how they are affected by the drug and hope to learn more about the disorder.
The use of medical marijuana to help people with a variety of disorders is still a controversial topic, but previous studies have found it helps people with multiple sclerosis. There may be other benefits too, yet the research will take time to find the exact ways the drug can be used to help people. The approval from the Health and Human Services Department is a step in the right direction since federal restrictions have been a serious issue in the past. The recognition that pot may hold answers for those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder is crucial to the growing acceptance of the drug.
Soldiers who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder are not always able to find relief from traditional medications such as antidepressants so having more options could greatly benefit them. Medical marijuana may become an accepted treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder one day, but it will take time. For now, researchers hope to discover some more answers about the drug and its impact on the human brain.