California veterans needed for PTSD study

As military veterans’ access to medical cannabis continues to improve, several advocates are calling for further research on marijuana’s benefits on PTSD.

Post-traumatic stress has become a major mental health concern among war veterans, as a 2014 survey of the group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America showed that over half of them “have known at least one Iraq or Afghanistan veteran who has died by suicide, and 31 percent have thought about taking their own life since joining the military.”

Two companies are now working together to do some of their own research. National non-profit Grow for Vets and California’s Care By Design (CBD) have launched the “The Survey on Cannabis in the Treatment for PTSD,” which is currently recruiting California-based patients for a 6-month research project that hopes to prove the medical benefits cannabis has when used for PTSD, Cannabis Now reports.

The two companies hope to prove the efficacy of cannabis as an alternative to the dangerous amount of pharmaceutical drugs currently prescribed to combat PTSD symptoms. Retired U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Mike Whiter was prescribed an astonishing combination of over 40 different antidepressants and painkillers throughout just his first year of treatment, and used as many as seven medications at the same time.

Several veterans such as Whiter have shared their success stories using cannabis to overcome their debilitating PTSD symptoms, but Veterans Affairs currently prohibits employed physicians to discuss using marijuana as a form of treatment, even in states where medical use is legal. A newly approved Senate bill hopes to finally authorize VA physicians to recommend cannabis treatment.

“Veterans in medical marijuana states should be treated the same as any other resident, and should be able to discuss marijuana with their doctor,” said Michael Collins, deputy director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, in a statement. “It makes no sense that a veteran can’t use medical marijuana if it helps them and it is legal in their state.”

California-based veterans who wish to participate in the study can apply online now.

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