In an amazing step for the advancement of public health, the Drug Enforcement Agency approved a study of cannabis as a treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD, once called shell shock or battle fatigue syndrome, is a serious condition that can develop after a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic or terrifying event in which serious physical harm occurred or was threatened; most commonly suffered by military veterans. This a serious affliction that, according to Associated Press, affects 1 in every 8 soldiers returning from active duty.
Many have been calling for cannabis to be legalized specifically for veterans suffering from PTSD after seeing the amazing effects the plant has on one’s ability to begin a healthy recovery from psychological trauma. A study published in the journal, Psychoneuroendocrinology, showed that people suffering from PTSD are largely characterized by having significant and long-term reduction in the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is a system absolutely crucial for emotional regulation (to generalize its effects). Understanding cannabis’ special connection to the human body’s natural endocannabinoid system reveals just how perfect cannabis is to treat PTSD on a cellular level.
The non-profit organization Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, or MAPS, announced Thursday it will receive a grant of over $2.1 million from the State of Colorado to study the whole cannabis plant. This will mark the first time a study of this type will have been approved by a federal agency.
“We have been working towards approval since we opened the Investigational New Drug Application (IND) with the FDA in 2010,” explained Amy Emerson, Executive Director and Director of Clinical Research for the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation. “We are thrilled to see this study overcome the hurdles of approval so we can begin gathering the data. The study is a critical step in moving our botanical drug development program forward at the federal level to gather information on the dosing, risks, and benefits of smoked marijuana for PTSD symptoms.”
According to MAPS, cannabis with varying levels of both THC and CBD will be administered in a placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the medical efficacy and safety for 76 veterans; specifically ones with “treatment-resistant” PTSD. The trial will be administered by way of smoking, which is a massive win for medical cannabis and civil rights activists alike. The fight for legalization has always been a two-pronged approach: whereas obviously the desire for the plant’s miracle medical uses were at the forefront. Yet not far behind, and the true underlying principle of the movement, is the fight for every American’s constitutional right to choose; to have the right to do whatever one so desires with their own body in the safety of their own home, as long as their actions are not endangering another. By allowing the action of smoking the whole plant the federal government is acknowledging that smoking cannabis has the same medical benefits as the concentrate or oils that have been widely proven to have miraculous healing priorities.
The study will examine possible side-effects, potential dosages and the like, in order to provide the data that can be used in future policy by clinicians and legislators, should they choose to acknowledge the impending benefits that are sure to come as a result.
The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, has been at the helm of some very innovative studies into psychedelics and cannabis as treatments for a number of ailments, raising $36 million for their research since its founding in 1986. Known for exacting precise standards in its research, MAPS works closely with government agencies in the U.S. and abroad in order to maintain its ability to study drugs that might otherwise be considered illegal.
MAPS has conducted in-depth research into many psychedelics such as psilocybin and LSD. Both have been garnering renewed attention by the medical community as more begin to realize that the monumentally failed war on drugs has successfully manipulated the perception of more than just this nation’s favorite green past-time. Every substance has its usefulness in moderation, despite the stringent and panicked urging of big pharma to only use their dangerous and wildly addictive products.
There will no doubt be more resistance from those foolishly committed to the further restriction of American rights, but this is one huge step in the right direction. It should seem obvious that helping this country’s veterans to find a healthy and non-addictive path to happiness and stability is the right choice, despite the means in which they find that happiness. Yet, many are more concerned with corporate sponsors and their next re-election to consider how restricting their access can quite literally end their lives. It seems that it takes one man’s extreme measures to force the hand of those intent on ignoring the people.
I suffer from PTSD, anxiety and depression. I can’t wait until medical marijuana is available in Maryland.