Does Medical Marijuana Help PTSD?

Does Medical Marijuana Help PTSD?

By Ed Coghlan

There is strong anecdotal evidence that medical marijuana positively helps people suffering from chronic pain.

The reason the evidence is anecdotal has been the government’s strong resistance to studying the impact of marijuana on chronic illness.

Why the resistance.

Because marijuana is technically an “illegal drug” when it comes to federal law.

But states have been legalizing recreational marijuana – starting in Colorado – which is giving an opportunity for more “study.”

That’s why news of a groundbreaking trial funded by the state of Colorado is notable. The hope it that the study will shed light on the use of medical marijuana by veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

For the first time, the Drug Enforcement Agency has given the green light to a controlled, clinical trial of medical marijuana for veterans suffering from PTSD.

In Colorado, veterans have been fighting the Colorado Board of Health and Department of Public Health and Environment to include PTSD as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana, but the board has repeatedly denied the request, citing a lack of scientific evidence.

Now, a $2 million research grant awarded by Colorado has the potential to help provide the evidence many states are seeking.

“It’s very significant,” Marcel Bonn-Miller, principal investigator for the study told the Denver Post.

Bonn-Miller said the trial, which took more than a year to gain approval from the DEA, will be conducted in medical centers in Arizona and Maryland. Veterans will smoke marijuana from pipes. A control group will smoke a placebo. The study could take up to three years, but it will still mark an important first for research of this kind.

“Without Colorado’s initiative in setting aside money for this, this work couldn’t get done,” Bonn-Miller said. “The biggest stumbling block or barrier to this research is funding, more so than federal regulations or red tape.”

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

There are 7 comments for this article
  1. Bradley at 3:50 pm

    I am a retired disabled veteran. I have been taken Fentanyl continually over 6 years, other medications for PTSD and also suffer from seizures. I know use marijuana in place my pain medications and PTSD medications. What helps far greater and the others ever did with no side effects, it also has reduced the number of seizures I have dramatically. I swear by it now.

  2. Armin at 4:43 am

    I have smoked weed since 1969,am a Vietnam vet with a type A
    personality,helps with pain on chronic back issues but is great with
    ptsd and anxiety issues.Have tried multiple types of SSRI’s ,nothing
    worked except cannabis.Thank the Lord cannabis works great.I can
    guarantee they will find it effective in their studies.Worked for thirty
    plus years as a cancer radiation therapist and many of my patients
    used marijuana as an anti-emetic and appetite enhancer.

  3. Sheryl Donnell at 12:30 pm

    It is about time we are testing the benefits of Marijuana to start showing it has the benefits so many of it’s users already know exist. It has been ludicrous that a plant has been classified as more dangerous than alcohol. We have far more deaths due to alcohol every single day than opioids and Marijuana combined, two medicines that actually help sick people whereas alcohol is purely a recreational toxin, but it has a strong lobby for the government. No one has ever seen anyone high on pot attack an ER nurse, but drunks for it everyday. Let’s stop thinking like uneducated fools and legalize Marijuana and make it harder to get drunk!

  4. Bob Schubring at 10:13 am

    Pain is frightening, if the cause isn’t obvious, because it could get worse. Fear like that, creates anxiety. Anxiety increases muscle tension and makes one tired. Both the tiredness and the tension make pain worse.

    Opioids are the oldest class of drug known, for relieving pain…starting thousands of years ago with the discovery of the opium poppy.

    Cannabinoids are an equally-ancient class of drug, for relieving anxiety. They derive from the cannabis plant.

    Patients with chronic pain suffer both pain and anxiety. By treating the anxiety, we lower the pain level. By relieving the pain, we reduce anxiety.

    Knowing that both these classes of drugs, have beneficial effects on pain and anxiety, it’s obvious that using them in combination, should give greater control of these symptoms, than using either one by itself.

    Which is why it’s so absurd, that some people speak of cannabis as an opioid alternative…and some devise wacky conspiracy theories about opioids and companies that make them, and try to polarize the pain patient community along opioid vs cannabinoid lines. We’re harming ourselves when we repeat that nonsense. Each drug has it’s uses, and many people benefit from both drugs, as needed.

    Worse yet, racist attacks against so-called “Negroid brain characteristics”, led, 102 years ago, to opioid control and prohibition…and 20 years later, to cannabis prohibition.

    The very act of giving lip service to any of this Drug War propaganda, is a surrender to the people who prohibited cannabis and restricted opioids. And it’s a surrender to the racist ideas of bygone years, that wracked our own country with great turmoil and, when imported into Europe, led directly to the Holocaust. These ideas are shameful and inexcusable. Let’s say so, up front.

  5. jimjm at 7:19 am

    Of course it works. Tension, stress sleep,general happiness, appetite,friendship,teambuilding with other like minded people. That’s just beginning,pills are fine,IF U NEED THEM. Im not a vet,but god why would law against a non toxic plant.,god just the fact that its beautiful is damn near therapeutic right there.

  6. Janet Komanchuk at 6:04 am

    It would be wonderful for those in chronic pain to have another option other than heavily regulated pharmaceuticals that at best mask some of the symptoms, and at worst cause terrible side effects as well. For me, help in recognizing and resolving the numerous unresolved stressors and issues in my life that I tried so hard to ignore, but which kept surfacing and making me so desparately ill with painful, chronic, debilitating fibromyalgia was the turning point in my remission. Thank you Joy of Healing for helping me and so many others with all manner of dis ease.

  7. Angel at 5:51 am

    Marijuana has done wonders for my pain and ability to sleep and function. It’s only been a little over a month of use and I feel like it’s been a miracle. Whether or not the government choses to face the facts, marijuana will help PTSD and pain. I too was highly skeptical but my pain provider pushed and the results are amazing.